DailyPost 2066

Knowledge and intellect are being talked about in this country ad nauseam, in every interaction and in every forum, the defining parameters might be different for different people and in different contexts. The self-certification industry is fully at work. People who have nothing to do with these areas of human existence, are the ones who permanently remain in the adulatory intellectual bandwagon. There is no mechanism or expertise needed for public domain validation of anything and unfortunately that has led to the building of the make-believe knowledge, expertise and intellectual flab, which is there to stay. The academic, intellectual and expertise dishonesty has reached to a level that it has become difficult to differentiate the wheat from the chaff.

CBSE after introducing the much famed continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE) pattern, dropped it after a few years. Whatever might be the reasons, it proved to be inferior to the old outmode examinations of yesteryears in the Indian context. Can we expect objectivity in internal exams? Many years later COVID-19 hit the world and there was an examination less year, at the end of an online education year. In this examination less year, on some agreed upon formula, based on earlier exams, the results were drawn up and lo and behold, the examination less year produced the best results. We are talking about just the learning level, we have not yet ventured into the knowledge levels achieved, if any. When something is claimed to abound with no evidence of its existence, it becomes extremely difficult to believe the story.

The problem has arisen from different perceptions of the fact. What is knowledge? The marks on the basis of half-baked syllabus and a system trying its level best to give the maximum numbers, instead of most of the children giving in the best. Where at times coding and entrepreneurship are taught from pre-nursery itself! Attending a competition is treated to be its winner. Where nobody should be chided for the lack of knowledge. The system’s curse then in lack of knowledge for the vast majority. But for marks, learning and knowledge never ever occurs in any one’s imagination. Expertise is an engineering degree, or any degree connected to any concerned expertise, even certifications would do. There are no market ratings for the same. Expertise through hard-earned hands-on experience and its open validation is nowhere in the picture. Never say never die effort has done the vanishing act.

Intellect is again treated synonymous to topping or scoring very high marks. A gold medallist of any University translates himself into an intellectual for life. Wish intellect came so easily. Intellect is a grey matter attribute to react and respond to a problem statement, scenario or a likely crisis in his area of concern and be able to find a timely and logical solution and execute it on the ground successfully. Intellect does the most ordinary human task in the most extraordinary manner. Intellect dazzles where best of the degrees fail, where explanations are now allowed to run amok. Easy life has found its own easy definitions of knowledge, expertise and intellect. These great traits today are facing a civilizational crisis. Hope the relevance will not go down any further. Being street smart, or powerful or having a job with a hefty salary and having any of these great human attributes can be two totally different things. Now creativity and innovation are also made to become run of the mill.

Sanjay Sahay

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