Examination and Intellectuality
The examination is probably the only common enemy of all students and scholars. We all take it as a "gate" to enter a new phase of life. We all labor hard from the beginning, maintaining studies for 12-15 hours a day. We are taught for the competition and the result of our exam depicts our intelligence. Our grades and marks determine our wisdom and intellectuality.
Not everyone gets success through it, and the one who succeeds in the examination are famed as the great intellectuals of the modern society. They can recite and answers to the questions of the books, they have read, verse by verse. They can define any terms of those books in a printed manner. They can tell you 14 times 14 without using a calculator and can even tell you about the current affairs going throughout the world.
I live in Kathmandu and currently, I am pursuing my career in Bachelors in Physics and Mathematics at Tri-Chandra Campus, Tribhuvan University. We need to give an annual examination till four years to graduate. A book entitled "Old is Gold" is available in the book stalls that contains all of the past questions asked by the university in the annual examinations for the given subject. Every student knows the majority of the questions will be asked from the same book as the previous years. Glorious legacy it has.
Almost all students practice and read from the same book with questions older than their fathers. They know all the questions going to be asked in the examination. Yes, they are going to give their examinations to determine their intellectuality.
During my annual examinations, I am required to give the answers to the same old questions, the students of the previous batch had faced. I must recite it verse by verse and parrot it to obtain good marks. Even the examinations of physics and mathematics and every other subject are compelled to be given by parroting the same answers everyone did. Where's the new learning, knowledge and personal research we achieved during all these years?
In the examination, the one who writes printed by rote learning puts on the gold medal and the one who does vain attempt to solve by himself is declared fail. No one ever tries to know at least he tried to solve on his own. He wanted to paint that questions by his own ideas and since the answers written in the book doesn't match with his answers, he is considered fail. He is not the intellectual one.
Our society widely considers that examinations and intellectuality are interrelated. If you have good marks, you are intellectual and if you pretend to be intellectual, you must obtain good marks. Your mark sheet determines how much intellectual you are.
Newton, Galileo, Edison, Einstein and many others had no luck to see their highly colored mark sheets. Yet, they are considered to be the best brains and highly intellectual people who visited the earth. They had their own ideas and principles and all of them were rejected initially. Maybe that's why Friedrich Nietzsche spoke: "Sometimes people don't wanna hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed."
Intellectuality must be judged by the works people do. It should be judged by their views and opinions, how much of realistic approach do they possesses, not by their hypothesis, dreams and fairy tales, where concrete facts are always missing.
The examination should be taken such that it judges the professionalism, wisdom and conceptual facts of the students for a given subject. It shouldn't be based on the parroting, memorizing and re-writing capability of a student. Examinations should in itself be able to judge the understanding of the subject matters the student has devoured.
It is necessary for us to know the meaning of the word "Examination" at first, then only we shall be liable to be called as intellectuals.
Arjun Dahal is undergrad student of Physics at Tri-Chandra Campus, Tribhuvan University, Nepal. Talkative, Crazy, Funny, and Fun loving guy, his passion lies in Physics, Mathematics, Music, Literature, and Philosophy. His Non-fiction has appeared in Blue Marble Review. His poetry has appeared/forthcoming in Burningword Literary Journal, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, The Fable Online, Ann Arbor Review, and DWIT News. The links to his published Nepali Poems can be found at arjundahal.blogspot.com.