blog | 3min Read
Published on September 27, 2022
Oberoi International School
In response to the pandemic and its repercussions, schools and colleges were compelled to make multiple adjustments, including switching to online classes, shortening study blocks, condensing the curriculum, and lowering grade boundaries. Recently, with the return to offline classes, changes in school curricula and student expectations have been a cause for concern. As the virus’ grasp slowly loosens, the education system’s grasp on students is tightening again. Is there reason to worry?
The lockdown prompted leniency, which students cherished. Suddenly, there was more room to accommodate hobbies and new interests. However, these conditions also heightened temptations, leading to an indulgence in online entertainment, laxity in students’ eating, sleeping, and studying habits, and disruptions to their once relatively healthy and sustainable daily routines. Simply put, being stuck at home was more damaging than good and students struggled to shed these habits once offline school instigated the need for specific lifestyle changes.
Consider the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum. As a post-pandemic reaction, courses have been revised and expanded, additional exams are being introduced, and the grade boundaries, the most distressing change for students, are reverting to what they originally were: inflexible and demanding. Similar modifications are being made across schools all over the world. Many, if not all, students are beginning to panic, apprehensive about being able to reverse their poor study habits instantaneously and return to a studious work schedule.
Change can occasionally be misleading, and the transition back to harsher grading systems might appear alarming, unfair, and possibly entirely uncalled for. However, before criticizing the recent educational system changes, it is essential to consider their implications. An education without rigor or high expectations will render future generations of the workforce under-equipped to handle complex tasks. For instance, professions in medicine and law highly depend on an extensive, thorough education. Without that foundation, we would be jeopardizing the health and safety of the people and undermining our justice systems.
Not only this, but lenient grading encourages laziness and disrupts a student’s development of a healthy, efficient, and effective work ethic. It sets lower standards, making it much easier for students to score well while doing only the bare minimum. With every other person performing exceptionally, the value of a perfect or near-perfect score is degraded—its credibility tarnished. Rather than serving as a distinction of merit among student bodies, this style of grading assumes a perfect score to be a mediocre accomplishment. Without a demanding rubric, students will find it even harder to stand out in a community where excellence is already booming. For example, with the reduced IB curricula for graduating students last year, a perfect score, which was initially obtained by only a mere handful, was suddenly achieved by numerous students across the globe, diminishing, to an extent, its highly prestigious significance in schools and colleges throughout.
The sheer volume of skills, experiences and learning that students can gain from a wholly developed curriculum should surpass any challenges accompanying it. While adjusting to a post-pandemic lifestyle will be taxing, the school curricula changes will ensure students graduate with a high-caliber education that prepares them for a future burgeoning with complexities as well as opportunities.