October 19, 2021

A demerit in the education department

Anna Arif Kazmi

Transitioning from upper secondary school to university level is an entirely new and exciting experience, expected by most. However, it is also just as difficult. Not only in the field of studies and extracurriculars. Apparently, it seems that the very idea of ​​being admitted to an institution, of being welcomed and possessed by a university of your dreams, is a new challenge in itself. Especially for my classmates who excelled in the arts and humanities instead of the highly regarded science subjects. We must be extraordinary in our results if we are to study a subject which is in no way related to any category of science. We need to live up to a paradigm set by students who want to go deeper into science, and if we are even one percent below the bar, disqualified. I passed my 2nd year of college with a 56 percentage point based on the computerized results released in August 2020. A month ago I had applied to most universities offering international relations. The lists were posted quickly and my name was obviously not there, and that was understandable given the “merit” and some eligibility criteria. However, I applied to take the special development exams which will be held in October 2020, for the second year, as well as the two subjects of the first year in which I wanted to excel. In less than three months, I had to start my study all over again, complete my practical psychology and fine arts notebooks, relearn notions that I had forgotten months ago.

The date sheet stated that all exams were to be completed within two weeks. I did three consecutive exams out of five hours of sleep, and when the results came in I had jumped 78 points, which brought my percentage to 67. It wasn’t much, but I did. was satisfied.

As soon as the spring 2021 admissions opened at the university that had been offered to me, I applied and the first week of January, I received an email informing me that I had been shortlisted for the interviews. I was delighted, although a little nervous. Finally, the day of the interview arrived and it went pretty well for me. I was sure my name would be on the merit list this time. I had a new sense of hope and a sense of accomplishment that I couldn’t remember the last time around. I was motivated to study and excel in a subject that interested me.

The list has been downloaded. I browsed while looking for my ID number. Nothing. I scanned the entire list again, this time a bit slowly. Nowhere. I scanned the list once more, stopping at each name. I haven’t seen mine. Discouraged as I was, I tried to keep hoping to see my name on the second list, on “seat availability”. My parents inquired about the matter as my interview was very good and I was sure to participate. The HOD said my interview was one of the best they’ve ever had, and I got 29/30, and they were really happy. I didn’t enter because of the total aggregate based on my high school and higher education percentages. Because I was not up to the task of science students who, instead of opting for subjects in their own field of study, take the easy way and choose the creative arts. I understand that the merit system, and the completion of the meticulously designed entrance tests and interview, is there to ensure that good and hard-working students are admitted to university premises, and that only responding students to the criterion are eligible to apply.

The merit system is certainly much needed, but the merit of science students should not be the bar that determines the eligibility of students in the Faculty of Arts. Likewise, science students should not be allowed to occupy the seats well deserved by us, who have focused on other subjects from the start. Likewise, there is no question for an arts student to apply for engineering or biotechnology. We are more on the creative side, and therefore our benchmarks rarely define us. Subjects other than those encompassed by the vast field of science are in no way related to it, and therefore the merit criterion should not be either. This is why interviews are conducted, but if in the end the result and the interview score are to be completely ignored because the overall percentage of a student does not match correctly, then what is the point?

The arts are not an “easy way” because a pre-engineering student found the sciences too difficult. People who treat the humanities and the arts as some kind of escape to eternal happiness in the academic realm are superficial and unaware of the complexities involved in these subjects. Rote learning is seldom helpful. Science students flocking to subjects like English Literature, Fine Arts, Psychology, Strategic Studies, International Relations and many more, monopolizing most of the seats, is not only unfair but frankly, a bit pejorative and extremely infuriating.

Another example that I remember is the great battle of Badr. After their victory, the Muslims penalized each of the literate and educated war captives by teaching and familiarizing ten Muslim children with their knowledge of the time. If some merit was decreed to decide the worth of the student, and whether he deserved to acquire knowledge, on the basis of his sense of understanding or the way he spoke, then I doubt that the importance of education and learning has grown in hearts. Muslims like he did. For a Muslim nation, the total dependence of the education system on the merits and grades obtained by a student does not coincide with the values ​​set by our religion and our ancestors. I wonder how many other smart students have had to give way to other science students just because their grades weren’t impressive.

The bottom line is that education is not something that can only be bought if one has the correct amount of money in grades or merit. It is a basic human right and everyone should have an equal chance to obtain it.

The second point is that science students and arts students should be seen as two distinct groups, each with their own expertise, but equally important and studious. Therefore, their merits should also be determined separately. The 70 percent merit bar is set taking into account the abilities of science students, so it should only be applied to their admission criteria. Arts students are well equipped in other fields, which is why their merit should be determined taking into account their skills and abilities, and not revolving all their eligibility around merit.

Third and finally, arts students should be given top priority when it comes to enrolling students in social science, arts and humanities subjects, just as only science students can apply for studies. scientists. Art is not an easy field, and treating it as such is disappointing for us art students.

Science and the arts are two completely different concepts, each beautiful in its own way, but not at all the same, and not to treat them and their students with distinguished merits and qualifying criteria would be a great injustice to them. of them.

-The writer can be approached at [email protected]


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