STUDENTS’ PASSION FOR GRADES AT SECONDARY SCHOOL LEVEL IN PAKISTAN
1.1 Background to the Study
Pakistan is governed under the Islamic, Democratic, Federal Constitution of 1973 and the governance extends to four autonomous provinces: Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pukhtunkhwah and Baluchistan. Education in Pakistan is essentially a provincial affair; however, certain educational functions are the responsibility of the Federation via the Federal Ministry of Education. It was initially administered by the London University. After the establishment of universities in Bombay, Calcutta and Madras in the 1857 the matriculation examination was conducted by these universities. Major features of management and conduct of examinations replicated the University of London examination. One factor which consolidated the hold of external examinations was the system of financial grants-in-aid which was first adopted for the institutions of primary, secondary and higher education, based on the principle of payment by results the amount of grant to be given to an institution depended upon its results in external examinations. The Indian Education Commission in 1882 revealed that the system makes examinations the main thought of pupils and teachers. Thus, the examination became the main objective of the primary and secondary school education (GoP, 1971).
Pakistan government has made significant efforts by expanding the number of educational institutions, although, the standard of education and facilities are insufficient which affects students’ passion for grade. Positive feeling of students enhances self confidence and engagement in learning. Effective education demands that the level of students, teachers and the parents are highly satisfied. Satisfaction is linked with the achievement. A good number of researchers have tried to link the satisfaction with the achievement. Students’ passion for grades depends on their perception of school environment which may be conducive for learning and also supports educational success. Student satisfaction influences their motivation which is a very important psychological factor that determines their success. All students are from different backgrounds. Low level of students’ satisfaction shows that there is imbalance and disparity between the challenges of the course and the student’s abilities to meet these challenges. This therefore affects their desire for grades while high level of students’ satisfaction enhances their learning. Satisfied students will be more committed to their studies and keen to make more efforts than unsatisfied learners. They are hard working, attend their classes regularly and complete their coursework and get good grades at the end than unsatisfied students. Satisfaction of students is based on experiences associated with their learning and studies. These experiences also affect students’ overall satisfaction with the school.
Anything involving school in today’s society relates to grades in some way. In Pakistan education system, teachers tie a grade to every assignment, regardless of whether it is busy work or the final exam. The educational system has conditioned students to use grades as motivation to learn. Teachers argue that the purpose of doing so is to motivate the students to do the work and to learn. They feel that without the incentive of a grade, the students wouldn’t desire to learn on their own. However, in a widely accepted theory put forth by the American Psychological Association, it is shown that students are naturally motivated to learn and experience new things. Teachers, instead of attempting to motivate students through grades, should instead be putting emphasis on students’ natural desire to learn and should create an environment that nurtures that desire. This will increase students’ understanding of the material and will allow them to create personal interests in the material, causing it to become more meaningful to them.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Presently, Pakistan has two dominant educational systems and they are; public funded government and private major source of income is fee from students and. The effects of these two sectors on students are the things of concern for parents’ of these students in Pakistan. Therefore there was a need to investigate the students’ passion for grades at secondary level in Pakistan. Teacher, student and subject matter together make the triangle of teaching and learning process. Together they create a classroom climate where learning takes place. This climate is based on many factors, of which psychological climate, condition of teaching and the academic environment are very important. The study investigated the satisfaction level, achievement scores, and relationship of satisfaction level with achievement scores and students passion for grade in secondary schools in Pakistan.
1.3 Research Questions
The following are some of the questions which this study intends to answer:
i) what are the factors that contribute to students’ passion for grades at secondary level in Pakistan?
ii) what are the efforts of parents towards students’ passion for grades at secondary level in Pakistan?
iii) what are the efforts of teachers towards students’ passion for grades at secondary level in Pakistan?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this study is to investigate students’ passion for grades at secondary level in Pakistan. However, te specific objectives are:
i) to evaluate the factors that contribute to students’ passion for grades at secondary level in Pakistan
ii) to investigate the efforts of parents towards students’ passion for grades at secondary level in Pakistan
iii) to analyse the efforts of teachers towards students’ passion for grades at secondary level in Pakistan
1.5 Significance of the Study
The significance of the study is to investigate students’ passion for grades at secondary level in Pakistan. It is believed that certain factors like teachers’ attitudes toward students, academic environment, parents’ background in etc. contribute to students’ passion for grades in secondary schools in Pakistan.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The study seeks to investigate students’ passion for grades at secondary level in Pakistan and therefore, will be limited to few secondary schools in Pakistan.
1.7 Limitation of the study
The researcher was not faced with many challenges except for the challenge of access to students in Pakistan which proved to be a difficult task.
1.8 Definitions of Terms
The following terms were used in the course of this study:
Students: is a learner or someone who attends an educational institution.
Passion: a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something
Grade: a mark indicating the quality of a student's work