Keshav Gharti Magar.
“The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.”- Henri Bergson and Robertson Davies
I believe in hard work and dedication to attain the goal. Thus, the hard work and dedication make me all the time confident. However, sometimes when my self-confidence changes into despair, I don’t even have the words to elaborate on it. Such despair has been given to me for the second time now by the results of the second semester examination. As I’m studying in the 3rd semester of BALLB under LBU now, I got the results of the 2nd semester on September 29 & the next day i.e. on 30th Sept. I got my Grade Sheet as well which made me disappointed because I hadn’t expected such grades in two subjects i.e. Buddhist Philosophy of Law & Legal English and Communication II, specifically on Legal English and Communication II.
Well, let’s start from the beginning. Four subjects’ examination i.e. Jurisprudence I, Procedural Law I, Nepalese Legal System & Buddhist Philosophy of Law of the second semester were held in our physical presence while remaining two subjects’ exams i.e. Legal English & Communication II & Introduction to Sociology were held virtually after one and half months after the completion of the first exam due to high risk of Corona Virus. After that, we started the session of 3rd semester. Everything was going fine until I saw the Grade Sheet of 2nd semester examination. To be honest, my expectations have not been met since the results of my first semester. I had in truth, taken the best of the best exam in Political science and Legal and Judicial History of Nepal in the first semester particularly in political science. Unfortunately, I didn’t get good grade suiting to my copy i.e. answer sheets or as I expected. In other words, the weaker students got better grades than me. Consequently, I applied for retotaling of the marks/grades in 3 subjects by paying 1500.00 (I just knew that retotaling fee was 200 Rupees per subject and my 900 Rs was embezzled) but without success. And again now, I had to face the same situation. Well, leaving the past, let me talk about the present situation. Undoubtedly, there may be thousands of students like me who are facing the same situation from school level to university level as I do now. They may be frustrated too like me but for several reasons they don’t want to speak up.
My major questions are: why do teachers play with students’ knowledge, competence and their future? Why can’t they be impartial in checking the copy and giving grades? What kind of enjoyment and benefit they get by doing nepotism and favoritism in holy education sector? In fact, they don’t have any kinds of right to play with students’ knowledge, intelligence and future. Teachers or examiners are not allowed to be subjective under any circumstances. They should be objective because to be objective is to be impartial as checking the copy and giving grades. Unfortunately, they are not being fair to their students. Students you passed or getting higher marks because of you cannot run at the same pace of life. By doing nepotism and favoritism, you may be happy for a while, but the curse of the soul and tears of a hardworking and meritorious student will always chase and burn you.
If truth be told, I have been depressed by the explicit or implicit biases of the examiner or copy checker now. I can openly challenge the examiner particularly in Legal English & Communication II subject. I swear I will not get lower grade than him if I am given a chance to do competition with him. This challenge is not only for him, but for all the students who have secured higher grades than me. The surprising matter is those students who even don’t know to construct the simple sentences have secured A- in respective subjects. Furthermore, Legal English differs from ordinary English & consists of technical words, jargons, diffused words/writings & etc. & how do I convince myself? Okay for a moment, let’s suppose I made mistakes while writing answers & I couldn’t meet the expectation of the examiner but how could those students meet the examiner’s expectation? I don’t know the logical reasons behind it. When checking the copy, one shouldn’t look at one’s face, affinity, background, gender, caste, geography, personality, ethnicity etc. There is also a rumor that English question paper got leaked before the exam. I don’t know what the reality is but if true, this issue should be investigated immediately.
Surprising fact is I’m pursuing my degree at Buddhist University where we should move on the way of Buddha’s teaching, but the five precepts and noble paths given by Lord Buddha’s are only limited in the books. Buddha has clearly mentioned in the five precepts that we shouldn’t kill anyone for our vested interest but the examiner of LBU are trying to kill me indirectly time and again. They have not killed me physically, but they have been trying to kill me mentally since the first semester exam. They are killing my intellect and soul over and over. Here, I’m not blaming the university because to me the university is like a temple, but some so called instructor or examiners are like hypocrites. Simply speaking, you are giving a slow poison to destroy some hardworking, disciplined, creative and intellect students like me. What could be more embracing than this in holy education sector?
I went to Lumbini too where our central campus is located. I feel restless. It is difficult for me to focus on studying as remembering the results of the exam. After getting to know the grades, I am trying to control myself, but I can’t. When I remember the grade sheets of other students who are much weaker or weaker than me, I shudder myself. I do agree with this rumor as well somehow because I know all the teachers very well since I joined the University. Why do they only recognize students’ face by neglecting our test scores (Mid-term exam, pre-board exam, etc.), attendance, presentation skills, assignment, discipline record, etc.? In principle, teachers are like our parents, so they are supposed to treat their students equally. But in practice they are running after nepotism and favoritism.
They are meant to check the copy without any kinds of bias. In this context, let me mention only one example here. A friend of mine cried facing me after taking an exam of one subject (I don’t want to mention the subject now. if needed, I will obviously flash), but s/he got B+ in that subject which is very surprising & even s/he got shocked by his/her marks. Honestly speaking, we can see very careless and favoritism regarding giving grades to the students with our naked eyes. Starck has rightly said. “Teachers perceive, evaluate, and treat students differently on the basis of their race, and there’s a big role for bias to play in those disparities.” However, in our context, it has to be analyzed and understood differently.
The reality is brilliant students don’t secure good marks they deserve due to nepotism, favoritism and gross negligence in the marking of the answer sheets. Why is this happening in our education sector? This question is very serious, and the problem existing now should be solved on time. Mostly, affinity bias, conformation bias and gender bias should be prevented shortly at any cost. Teachers should make students more competitive not just to flatter because flattery is almost always insincere. Teachers should do their best to provide quality education to the students not to provide the information of question paper setting only. They should appreciate the students’ intelligence, hard work, level of knowledge and analytical skills etc. They are to be objective all the time while checking the copy and giving grades because teachers’ prior experiences with a student can bias teachers about current assignments. Teachers should apply Lao Tzu’s well-known quotation in practice i.e. “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”.
At last, I humbly request such wrong activities and tendencies should be prevented immediately because it is going against the entire aim of education i.e. the main objectives of BA.LLB five years’ program.
(Gharti Magar is the BALLB student of Lumbini Budhdist University.)