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Competition, a threat to learning

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The sense of competition is a poison instilled in our minds so fiercely that we seem to lose touch with the concept of analysing our personal progress. Ever since we started working hard for achieving anything, be it grades, prizes or anything, we are constantly reminded of how much someone else is getting as compared to us. When I was a kid, I first had my personal objection on the column of “highest marks obtained” in our report cards. The only question that kept nagging was why and how can I compare my improvement by a standard set up by someone else? We are always told to score the best, do our best. What we seem to overlook is the very sense of our honest hard work and the result that presents us our calibre.


Every semester, the same story does it rounds. We give our exams and wait for the results and then as soon as we get them, the first thing everyone looks up for is the highest marks scored and by whom. I wonder why people can not compare their progress by what they got in the previous semester. Every time, it is the same old thing. You do your best, get the result and then compare it with others and insult yourself for being yourself. In this world of competitions, it is suffocating to be happy and satisfied with what you get. It’s not only our parents or teachers who are concerned with the highest or lowest, but even us. It’s a mandatory ritual that is followed. Those who scored less are bashed up and insulted. Sadly no one ever bothers to even scrutinize the insides but just the papers. Meanwhile the ones who really do score well get a chance to feed their ego.


It is said to not compare, for if you do, you are only insulting yourself. But there comes a point when you feel insulted and pathetic when over your batch group people start discussing someone else’s result; the one that scored the highest last time and how it has deteriorated this time. It’s derogatory especially when that someone else is a part of the group. It is not only rude and stupid but indeed a pathetic act. Comparisons and competitions have the ability of making a person feel dissatisfied and incapable of everything they could do or have done. Due to this constant reminder of competition and the ever lasting impression of beating others, most of us have assumed education as a system of mugging up and pouring it out on sheets than actual learning and understanding. Our generation is so heavily influenced by the standards others have set up for them that they overlook their personal development and start rushing for the undesirable. Most of the students fall prey to acts of dishonesty and cheating. Carrying chits or looking up to your partner for answers is the very evidence of how much we have lost the correct sense of education. Indeed, competition and the want of being the highest scorer are blunting the edge of learning. Marks only present to you what you could do in three hours. Life and educations is not limited to three hours.


From primary school to the life in college, this poison seems to be an inevitable enemy to me. This idea of highest scorer and being a topper seems absurd to me. It’s hard to find people who actually learn and understand. This poison constantly controls and limits the growth, development and progress of a person. We all have heavily compromised on our broad scope of growth just to focus on reaching the column of “highest marks scored”. Every student these days need to understand the importance of improvement, personal growth, and development. Marks have narrowed down our capabilities and the broad frame of possibilities. This needs to be replaced and understood. Marks are a way of analysing a person’s personal growth and not a race to be won or lost.


Guest post by Afeefa Nishaat

[email protected]

Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history. Freedom to Express.

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