These days, we are in the final weeks of entrance examination period in my homeland – entry into schools and companies where the new fiscal year begins in April. Students of all ages (yes, some even as young as pre-kindergarten!) and their parents are reaching the peak of their emotional turmoil as they await the results, in hope or in despair.
Students study real hard to pass these exams. They study subjects of exams in school, then they study some more at a second school that teaches them techniques in passing exams. Their entire student lives are planned and scheduled around these exams. Where do all this studying get them?
Maybe to prestigious schools that give better chances of entering better schools in higher education.
Maybe to esteemed colleges that give better chances of getting better jobs further down.
Maybe to renowned companies that give better chances of being better paid.
So then, studying is just a means to an ever-shifting (and possibly ever-evading) end that everybody uniformly aims for? It would put me in great despair if students thought so. Studying, or learning new things, can be a means to so much more.
It can give new perspectives that may lead to changes in beliefs.
It can give new directions that may lead to changes in aspirations.
It can give new understandings that may lead to changes in values.
It would give me great hopes if students become enriched with these new beliefs and aspirations and values. Then they can find many other things than just entrance exams to plan and schedule their lives around. They can look beyond their confined surroundings and step out to a wider world. They can each discover their own unique end to aim for.
Moreover, their minds can have a better time dealing with the many hopes and despairs that come their way after school years have passed.