Importance of grades

Importance of grades

Importance of grades

Grades are an important part of every student's life in our current society. Grades were created as a mechanism to test how students are doing across different mediums (different course materials, assignments, quizzes, etc.) but lately, it seems like grades are used as a medium to judge a student’s intelligence. Students with a high GPA are deemed ‘smart’ and likely to succeed, whereas students with low GPA are deemed a failure. The purpose of grades isn’t to classify students into ‘smart’ and ‘not smart’, but to give an aggregate result of their performance instead.
The mentality that grades are determining factor of everything is actively harming children and deteriorating their mental health. Many students, especially in Nepal have committed suicide because of the pressure to improve their grades. Children have been led to believe that their health, happiness and even their state of mind are all less important than grades. Depression is rampant amongst teenagers these days for this very reason. This is a very harmful mentality to have and can have long term consequences for students.
But the question still stands; are grades really that important? What would a world without grades look like? The truth is grades do matter. As explained above, grades were created as a method to judge how a student is doing academically in all subjects. Without grades, it would be difficult to analyze how a student is performing. Grades will also help students track their own progress and set goals that they can compare.
That being said, the majority of students may not have good grades but excel at something else. Some students may not be passionate about schoolwork but score good grades due to excessive pressure from their parents.  It is difficult to judge how ‘talented’ a student is based on grades alone as different students have different strong points. Thus the practice of judging a student’s ‘intelligence’ based on grades is not only actively harmful, but it is also inherently flawed as that is not the purpose of grades at all. That would be like judging an elephant, fish and a chimpanzee on their ability to climb a tree. A student with low grades has as much value as a student with high grades. Lumping all students together decreases their self-esteem as they start comparing themselves with one another, when in actuality they all are capable of bringing something to the table. In fact, people who prioritize grades over everything else are actually missing the point of education.
Education is not about who scores the highest; it is about who can reap the most benefit from school. Children aren't sent to schools so that they can get all As and top their class; they are sent to school so that they can learn, and use what they’ve learned in their lives and become successful. An individual who manages to do that can be considered educated instead of an individual with multiple A+s in their resume, but unable to do anything with it. 

Written by: Saisha Dixit 

Edited by: Sabanam Thapa

Canopy Nepal is a team of visionary youths working in the field of education, skill and leadership development, diversity and inclusion. We seek to improve the quality and efficiency of education by focusing on the learners and reshaping the way they learn.



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