• Saturday, November 01, 2014

THE MYTH OF GOLDEN A+

Azmin Azran/ssc Examinee 2015

With the SSC results having been published recently, there's been a lot of talk going on about the huge number of students who got GPA 5. Apparently, this means the quality of education as a whole is crumbling and the nation is walking towards intellectual cataclysm and whatnot. What with 142276 students getting A+ this year, which roughly translates into 1 in every 1000 Bangladeshis, some people look for something better in terms of result. Thus the myth of Golden A+ was born.
A GPA 5 or A+ is when a student averages 80 percent in his scores, but he doesn't necessarily get 80+ in every subject. It is the best result available in the SSC exams in our country. But for a lot of people, that isn't enough. If said student scores 80 percent in all subjects, it is popularly known as the Golden A+, something which officially does not exist. If you took the official transcript of a student with a normal A+ and the transcript of a student with a “golden” one, and put it side by side, nowhere in the latter's transcript will it say that he achieved a Golden A+. Yes, it does look better when it says that the student got A+ in every subject, but that's about it, and also, the parents can boast about it at family dinners, the necessity of which is questionable.
The Golden A+ is still something people crave, and by doing so, they stress themselves illogically. Najibul Haque, a tenth grader, is enrolled to sit for the SSC exams next year. “My father told me the other day that I must get a Golden A+, because my elder sister did it before me and if I didn't, people would talk,” he says. In most cases, these are the only reasons students get pressured to score a Golden A+. If they unfortunately fail to get what they set out to achieve, it results in bad mental health for the coming years, having an adverse effect on their education altogether. The question parents need to ask themselves here is, whether it is reasonable to risk so much for so little?
Some people will argue that there are renowned schools that look for Golden A+ for admission into the 11th grade. But these schools are small in number, and most people will agree that if someone's goal is to get enrolled in a good university later on, the schools they went to for classes 11 and 12 don't really matter. For medical college and public university admissions in our country, they do look at the SSC and HSC transcripts and if a student has 80 percent marks in all subjects, s/he will have a slightly upper hand, but that can be easily made up for in the admission tests. In fact, not even a GPA 5 is needed to be eligible in these tests. As for admission in the public engineering universities, all a student needs is good marks in the subjects that will matter in his higher education. For example, someone's marks in Social Studies won't matter at all in their engineering admission tests. What will matter is how they did in Physics, Chemistry and Math.
In our country, a variety of subjects are taught at the SSC levels, and when someone decides to study in a specialised field, a lot of these subjects stop mattering. There's hardly any logic behind students being pressured to do well in those subjects. Over-demanding parents and the fear of social disgrace certainly do not count. 

Published: 12:00 am Thursday, June 05, 2014

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