Cramming in Our Education System
By Mahjabeen Malik
Cramming is the most popular technique of the educational system. In Pakistan teachers and parents encourage the children to cram their lesson whether the concepts about the subject are clear or not. From junior to graduate and even post-post level cramming is used as a powerful magic tool for learning. Cramming is considered as the best tool to secure better marks in the exams. Even university students use the same technique for qualifying their exam with better grades. We all are familiar with this technique and have experience of it at some point during our learning process. Cramming is a habit of study, pupils read aloud their lesson with iteration again and again. And the substance of learning material is filled in their minds but for a short while; it is called short-term memory. It might be possible that cramming can be applicable for tomorrow exam but it is utterly useless in long-term memory. Throughout the procedure of cramming, the neural connection formed in the brain is temporary. For the long-term remembrance, experts suggest another effective technique called ‘’Spacing Effect’’. This technique space- repetition is known as space-effect proves to be much better for building brain palace (storing vocabulary and notes in the brain) for long-term memory. They believe in the quotation, ‘’Repetition is the mother of learning’’.
Cramming is a quick process for storing material in the brain. In this article, I’ll throw some light on its advantages and disadvantages in the process of learning. This technique is followed in many countries around the world. Here are some glimpses of Taiwan where the students of primary level specifically attend cramming schools after attending their school in the morning. Parents of the children say that they feel relaxed in sending their children to cramming schools as they have no time to spend with them due to job business. They say that cramming schools are better for their children instead of engaging in other fruitless activities. If they don’t send them in cramming school, they might fall in evil or blighted activities such as gambling, fighting with the street children or they may learn abusive language etc.
A similar situation is prevailing here in our dear homeland. Parents in Pakistan are not satisfied with public and private schools, they send their children to evening academies to cram their lesson assigned by the school teachers because every individual wants his child getting good marks in the school tests and the final exam. Despite the fact that cramming is a short term memory many assessment strategies are promoting cramming technique. The researchers said that multiple-test session programmes are promoting cramming. Students cram their essays for the tests and this habit grows mature in them destroying their creative competence. In Pakistan parents and teachers mainly focus on the secondary and intermediate exam. And following the trend of getting high grades, an environment of competition has grown up. Inevitably the established trend of academies is being flourished day by day. Teachers are earning with both hands by teaching at academies. Kips, Unique, and Star academies are famous for their notes at the secondary and intermediate level. Students can easily get highest marks in the exam by cramming the notes provided by the academy. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of cramming learning:
Advantages of Cramming
Cramming offers substantial advantages for the students for example
(a) It gives spare time to a student for other activities. (b) It lessens the monotony of study time because within a short period of time a student can acquire his/her lesson. (c) Students catch up when behind. (d) It stimulus the students to study difficult material with concentration. (e) It helps students to achieve good grades. (f) It develops the mental flow of lazy students during the study. It mitigates procrastination of shy students by cramming they can learn lesson within a short while and overcome boredom and anxiety. Thus cramming strategy is effective by some criteria.
Disadvantages of Cramming
One of the biggest drawbacks of cramming is you cannot keep knowledge in your brain more than a few days. Researchers suggest that the Spacing effect-studying flash card is the best way to study for mathematics and sciences. Reviewing the concept is more effective and beneficial in the long-term study. Cramming can have a negative effect on student’s grades. Cramming must be condemned from all educational institutes. To promote the spacing effect in education, well trained competent teachers should be appointed at schools and colleges. The traditional method of teaching must be replaced by modern techniques of teaching. Previously, student’s role was passive in the class whereas the only teacher performs the active role. Students were not encouraged to participate in the classroom activities, they were expected to listen to the teacher, follow instructions and learn lesson assigned to him. Which create boredom and fatigued in studying. Through the use of flashcards and other study materials, arranging trips and study tours learning can be improved. I really feel sorry to mention the plight of a student after passing the matriculation exam is unable to speak English not only this he/ she is unfit any field of life. Therefore I put force on skill-based education, creative art or technical subject must be taught at school level. So that a student after matriculation could be able to live an independent life by getting any reasonable job. But in my dear homeland PhD are not satisfied in some cases PhD fail to secure a reasonable job according to their high standard qualification. The Education system of our dear country is in need of a great transformation.