These days very seldom we do see Guinea pigs, particularly in our State. It’s a beautiful creature and probably reared in the laboratories only. Despite their common name, these animals are not in the pig family, nor are they from Guinea. They originated in the Andes, and earlier studies based on biochemistry and hybridization suggested they do not exist naturally in the wild. The animals are frequently used as a model organism, resulting in the epithet "guinea pig" for a test subject. They have been largely replaced by other rodents such as mice and rats. But, they are still used in research, primarily as models for human medical conditions such as juvenile diabetes, tuberculosis, scurvy, and pregnancy complications.
In India, human resources are cheap. May be because of this reason, students are used as "guinea pig", in various fields. A perfect example is our education system. Thus, we find series of Education Commission since our independence, starting with the University Education Commission-1948-49 headed by Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, Secondary Education Commission- 1952-53 headed by Dr. Lakshmanaswami Mudaliar, Sanskrit Commission-1956-57 headed by Dr. Suniti Kumar Chatterji, Kothari Commission-1964-66 and so on. In between, we have witnessed adoption of various Educational Policies by the Government and its abolition. In our endeavour to know the efficacy of these systems, we have ruined the life and prospects of so many children. Many of us have inadvertently made the life of our wards like a robot and taken away their joy in life. As a father of a son, cherishing berth for admission in an Engineering College these days I am suffering from extreme sadness for reasons which were not in my control or of my son.
The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), an autonomous organization established in 1961 by the Union government advises both the Union and state governments on formulating and implementing education policies. It provides support and technical assistance to a number of schools in India and oversees. In India, in broad we have the following curriculum bodies governing school education system:
- The state government boards.
- The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).
- The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE).
- The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS).
- International schools affiliated to the International Baccalaureate Programme and/or the Cambridge International Examinations.
- Islamic Madrasah Schools Boards, controlled by local state governments, or autonomous, or affiliated with Darul Uloom Deoband.
- Autonomous schools like Woodstock School, The Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education Puducherry, Ananda Marga Gurukula, etc.
Admission of a ward in any of these school curriculums does not necessarily fall within the ambit of the parents or guardian. Rather, it depends upon various factors from economic ability to the availability infrastructure and facilities, talents of the children and even his/her luck in the lottery for admission sometimes.
I do not know who should be blamed for the misery of students like my son or others from various boards despite putting up their best ability in JEE (Main) and Board Examinations. Their Board Examination marks have been reduced drastically by the JEE Apex Board Secretariat, Joint Entrance Examination (Main) - 2014 through adoption of percentile system giving advantage to the students from Boards like CBSE. As a parent, I know that the Syllabus of CBSE is best suited for appearing in JEE (Main) Examination and even the examination routines are set for giving benefits to CBSE students, but I find it helpless at the complete apathy of the authorities of concerned Board and school authorities over this "guinea pig" treatment. Imagine the agony of a boy or a girl who finds that despite scoring hundred out of hundred in a Board Examination his/her marks have been reduced to virtually sixty percent in the percentile and in contrast a student appearing from a favoured Board with similar marks gets ninety percent assessment. Does anybody has any right to snatch away the brilliant performance of a student only because he did not appear in examination from a particular Board?
Even, it is noticed that a student of same Board who has scored more than fifty marks higher in JEE (Main) Examination has fallen behind several thousands in overall rankings for two three percent less in Board Examination. Passing of the Board Examination with star marks by a student not only gives recognition of his sincere labours over the years but also it gives a recognition of the guidance delivered by his teachers and parents. The percentile system was introduced rightly to compel the students to give importance to their Board Examination along with the JEE (Main). Mysteriously, the students pursuing Medical studies do not experience this "guinea pig" treatment. So, where is the justification for labeling a student mediocre despite of his scoring higher in Board Examination and JEE (Main)?
It’s high time for the Boards which experience reduction of Board marks assessed by them, by the JEE Apex Board to fight for justice: Else they should put up a cautionary notice, ‘ANYBODY PURSUING A CAREER IN TECHNICAL EDUCATION MAY NOT OPT FOR APPEARING FROM THIS BOARD’.
Otherwise, the agony of father of a "guinea pig", placed like me shall continue to soar.