In my opinion, Education is a holistic process of learning and development in an individualâ€™s lifetime. While competitiveness, is the result of the basic survival instinct already inherent in an individual, or for that matter all living organisms which co-exist in the same environment. For this reason, I believe education as a system shouldnâ€™t undermine the importance of â€œcompetitionâ€ as a valuable tool employed to enhance the learning process, undermining which might consequently hinder the natural progress and development of a student. The need for a competitive education becomes all the more vital in preparing a student for the cut-throat competition that takes place in the real world, and in which â€œsurvival of the fittestâ€ phenomenon applies in every aspect of an individualâ€™s life. It starts early from sibling rivalry at home, to parents ensuring that the individual gets into the best school, again enrolling into the best college of choice, applying for scholarships, vying for the attention of the opposite sex, finding a suitable job, choosing the best prospective bride or groom, starting an enterprise and competing against other enterprises in the market etc. For better or for worse, â€œcompetitionâ€ is not limited to our personal lives but also thrives in our collective social, political, economic environment and not to forget in the field of sports. For instance, we all saw and openly displayed our enthusiasm and support for our department i. e. ITB during the cricket tournament and our players also felt motivated to outscore other Departments. Therefore, if competition is considered a positive and integral element in our progressive society, the question that arises is why should it be perceived as anything less or a threat in our education system? Competitive education system empowers a student to face challenges and not to shy away from them. It helps a student identify his/her strengths and weaknesses and further provides the necessary motivation to focus on the strengths and overcome the weaknesses. In academics a student will be able to assess what he/she has learnt so far in the class through oral and written examinations. In co-curricular activities, a student might be poor in sports but may be exceptional in painting. Through the means of competition, this student will be able to discover what he/she is good at and then focus on refining that particular skill, thereby a student will feel motivated to strive for excellence in the activity that brings out the best in him. Yes its true, in a competitive environment there is room for only one winner and for every winner to win the prize there must be a loser to take the fall, because failure is the much needed contrast to success and vice versa. Having said that, one can argue that â€œcompetitionâ€ is not about winning or losing but about giving our best. Salman Rushdie in his novel â€œmidnight childrenâ€ wrote: All games have morals; and the game of Snakes and Ladders captures, as no other activity can hope to do, the eternal truth that for every ladder you climb, a snake is waiting just around the corner; and for every snake, a ladder will compensate. â€ Therefore, a student in a competitive education system, in keeping with the spirit of competition can learn an important moral lesson of life: handling failures gracefully and perceiving it as a stepping stone to success. Ultimately, learning these crucial lessons from a competitive education system the easy way is better than learning from the unforgiving real world the hard way.
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