MARKS OF SUCCESS?
Safir Makki, Jakarta Globe

The objective of studying is to master knowledge, material and skills. How well this objective is achieved by a student is monitored through quantitative and qualitative marks written in a student’s report book.

The quantitative marks in the report book reflect how well a student is mastering their subjects, how good their achievement is. The qualitative marks reflect the student’s attitude and performance in reaching this achievement.

Rankings, as one of the quantitative forms written in the book, reflect a student’s position, or his level of achievement, compared to the whole class or school.

Child psychologist, Dr. Adriani Purbo Psi MBA, says the emphasis on a student’s academic achievement, using the ranking system alone, has some drawbacks. It tends to ignore a student’s non-academic achievements. Student with high rankings and considered as ‘smart’, could actually be lacking in non-academic fields. On the other hand, low ranking students or the ‘not so smart’ ones, are not necessarily lacking in competency or quality.

Another flaw of the ranking system is the tendency to label students. Those with good rankings (e.g. 5) are consequently considered ‘smart’, which may not reflect their true level of achievement and could lead them to be arrogant. Whereas lower ranked students could cause children to have low self-esteem. Poor rankings can make some children feel depressed or stressed because they feel they are unable to compete with their peers.