Letters to Editor : A reason why dropouts go on to change world, By Dr P.K. Rajesh

A reason why dropouts go on to change world
Posted in NewStraitTimes


William Butler Yeats said: Education (not rote learning/ mugging up/ loading and unloading) is not about filling up a pail, but about lighting a spark”.

Education should focus on “training the mind to think”, not on “loading the mind”.

Assessments drive leaning. Recall type of questions will test only facts and memory, but if creativity, empathy and resourcefulness can be tested, attitude, skills and knowledge of the learners will be honed better.

Cheating in exams (assessment) will be a thing of the past if candidates are permitted to access information and synthesis, while creativity, analysis and recommendations are expected as answers.

HOTS (Higher order Thinking Skills) include analysis, evaluation, synthesis and creativity. Therefore, the training of the mind should start before candidates get used to the bad habit of memorising. I observe university students disregarding real-world practical sessions to memorise facts for an examination the next day.

Many students and teachers feel that experiential learning is not possible while intelligent and creative students are frustrated by mediocre and archaic assessment methods.

Inappropriate assessment could be the reason why people who are considered below average in academics do well in their profession.

This may be the reason why many school dropouts have gone on to change the world.


Dr P.K. Rajesh, dean, Faculty of Medicine, AIMST University, Kedah.

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