Option 1: Giving students grades does more harm than good. Schools should replace grades with written evaluations of the student’s strengths and weaknesses. These would benefit both students and parents.
According to the report from National Suicide Registry Malaysia, the suicide rates among students keep increasing, and stress from school work is one of the main factors. This situation should be prevented by replacing grading system with written evaluations. Although written evaluation is not the perfect system for evaluating students as it may contain evaluator bias, written evaluations can produce quality students, provide better learning environment, and give specific feedback on students.
Currently, our education system is producing quantity students who concern about how many As they obtain. However, written evaluations could produce quality students who can think, and apply what they have learn. Under the new system, students able to shift their main focus on learning for marks to real interest in subjects. Quality but not quantity students are what we needs as national future pillars of the country. Students who pass with flying colors should also equip themselves with social skills to perform well in their future or to obtain scholarships. For example, employers will mostly hire students who can perform well, and present themselves during the interviews as compared to those who have only obtained excellent grades. Employees are people who solve problems for the company, but not robots that only follow employers’ orders.
Labeling students with grades will bring psychological impact such as, low self-esteem and unnecessary stress. For instance, when students see an F on an exam paper they have put effort into; they will feel disappointed and worried about how their parents will react. When this situation continues to happen for a long time, they will feel that they are not on the right track, and are losers whereas those who score high grades feel that they will be very successful. The new system will not divide students according to their exam grades, thus creating a better learning environment that students will not be looked down by the society. Under such environment, students will be more confident, and willing to learn. Thus, it prevents students who do not excel in studies from involving in gang-related activities which will destroy their future.
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid,” wrote Albert Einstein. Every student learns in different ways, why do we need to examine them in the same way? Examining students with grading system, we may not be able to see their true potentials as examinations are more on memorizing, and not every student is excels in academic.
Written evaluations will be a better form of judgment for students to show students’ actual abilities, for every student has various abilities in particular fields. It gives more specific evaluations for them to develop, and discover their strengths such as sports and arts. Students will be able to improve their weaknesses, so that they can do better. People who understand, and keep improving themselves can perform better than others.
What will happen when students are only concerned about what grades they will obtain for their final results instead of, what knowledge they have learn at the end of the day? Written evaluations could change the mindset of the students by knowing the importance of knowledge. It will be a different world when students produced are innovators.