Green Blazer, Blue Blazer..

Oh no, this is not some tongue-twister game that I’m starting with you! You can breath easy! ๐Ÿ™‚

This, in fact, is the base of a flow of thoughts that was set in motion after a discussion with a friend whose children studied in one of the schools here.

The exam season is going on in most of the schools here, or at least the Indian schools here and most of the children, I know have their noses buried deep in their course books. And parents, or at least some of them, have their eyes, noses, heads, expectations firmly fixed on their kids to ensure that they prepare their subjects well enough to score high passing marks.

Now there are plenty of parents I come across here who go through their own hyper-ventilating sessions every time the examination-fever is in the air. They bring about all kinds of embargo into their lives. ‘No watching television’. ‘No socializing’. ‘No phone calls’. ‘No internet’. ‘No Facebook’ ‘No playing, dancing, singing, nothing!’ Only stress and mounting pressure to perform.

And the embargo is not just restricted to the kids but the parents too, mind you!

Anyway this post is not about those parents and their parenting styles. They are a fodder for another day another post.

This post is rather aimed at this particular approach that one of the schools here has adopted, apparently, to encourage the students to perform better.

I learnt from a friend recently that the students of the school, who otherwise have green blazers as their uniform, are rewarded blue blazers if they manage to score top grades for three consecutive years. Furthermore they get to wear a blue-tie as well if the top grades are scored for the fourth straight time.

And this friend of mine was distressing about how her daughter was so worried about scoring the top grades this time around for that would entail her the blue blazer!
Ok Now I am happy to see her so driven and studying hard to get the required marks( and the blazer) because I know she is a very bright girl who is confident that she is capable of score high marks.

This incentive may be helpful for those smart promising students who have their confidence and morale intact and for whom this may be motivating enough to work harder and be one of the chosen ones to own the blue blazer.

But what about those weaker students who need that extra push and attention to score passing marks or those average ones who may not be scoring as many marks as their top ranking class-mates and who may just have to make do with the ‘ordinary’ green blazers? Does it mean that they are not good enough? Just because they dont have enough numbers on their mark sheets, does it mean that they are not smart enough?

Every child is different and smart in his/her own way. And every child needs encouragement and motivation just as much as any other, if not more.

Which is why I am not sure how motivating such techniques that schools have in place are. Such segregation based on grades and intellect can demoralize a less scoring child, in my opinion. Imagine a group of students wearing green blazers entering a classroom where there are some students in blue blazers. How likely is for the green blazer wearing students to be ignored or looked down upon by their mates in blue blazers or how likely is for the blue blazer wearing students to be grudged of their status by their mates in green blazers?

I have seen and heard of instances where teachers have favoured the high scoring students by investing time and energy on them, over the weaker students.

Why, its approaches like this that make those overbearing parents sit on their children’s head like a hawk and push them to perform beyond their capacity.

I find such methods so utterly discriminating and unfair. And I have my doubts how encouraging and helpful these are for our children. Hope I am wrong.

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41 thoughts on “Green Blazer, Blue Blazer..

  1. Education has become a Business and to make money the school has to show how good they are hence they want only good ones and so one .. and I totally agree with you ..
    if my teachers had done this I would have never made good in life, I am sure you know by now I was so bad in studies , if the current crop of teachers were teaching me they would not have wanted to invest their time in me and I would have languished so down there ..

    This segregation and making them wear different blazers is utter BIzaare nad I would be totally against it , My kids would not study in such a school simple…

    Bikram’s

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  2. Deeps, its terrible over here in Chennai ๐Ÿ˜ฆ No kid is down during exam time for any kind of stress busting activity. I am the only parent who insists on a walk at least, to clear the mind !!!

    D: I find it so strange too, Uma, when I see such restrictions being followed by parents and children alike. They completely shut themselves off ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    The color of the blazers will certainly push the moral down for the non-performing or average students. Many schools are like that…they keep concentrating on the performers and leave out the average students. I thought there are better systems outside India. But looks like it isn’t so ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    D: Be it India or elsewhere, I think the basic functioning of any Indian school will be the same. And if its a branch of one of the reputed schools of India, even more so.

    Since there are no Engg / Medicine Entrance exams in TN, all the students are allotted courses based on their 12th marks. So, just imagine the pressure these students will undergo to fall into the mad rush for Engg or Medicine !!!

    D: Absolutely!

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    1. It’s pretty much the same mentality in Kerala. It’s like people don’t bother about any other career options apart from engineering and medicine. Fortunately I managed to dodge it and take up commerce, and my parents were supportive as well.

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  3. Deeps, that does sound so very unfair. As you say, it might motivate some, but totally demoralize others, esp those who try as theymight, might not be able to reach those goals. It is so very discriminatory.

    And moreover as you say, it could even bias teachers against those in green blazers. Such an unfair system.

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    1. It is so unfair to base a child’s intellect purely on his/her academic prowess, sint it?. Cant imagine the negative impact it might have on a child who may not be so good at studies but his/her excellence may lie elsewhere which may get overlooked because of this stupid system!

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  4. Couldn’t agree with you more. This is a truly single sided approach to the development of a child where only academic performance is considered important. Watched ‘English Vinglish’ yesterday and loved Sridevi’s question to her daughter’s english teacher when he says how she is a top performer (will leave that to you to watch).

    D: I did watch English Vinglish and loved it! ๐Ÿ™‚

    What is considered important in school years may have no relevance to what they really need in life later on.

    D: Absolutely right, Bindu!

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  5. I think this will demotivate students instead of motivating them. Imagine the morale of a child who keeps trying and is never able to get the coveted blazer. What kind of a person he will turn into?

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  6. Hi Deeps, This is so sad!, I can totally understand this as in my daughters school also a similar thing has started but it is to curb the indiscipline of the children and not related to the grades, it say that if you violate any of the disciplines like talking in class, not doing home work,not getting your notes checked etc. for three such consecutive indiscipline a child will get one pink card and 5 such pink cards will fetch one yellow card and it will mean suspension for a week from school, but this has helped the children who were lax to do their homework and get their note books checked and having general discipline but I cringe at the horror of having such a thing linked to the grades, it is so unfair!!! and a talk to the teacher at ther school revealed that they had basically introduced this system to make the children listen in the class , obey and follow rules, nothing more and not to create any demarcations.

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    1. I can understand the school’s attempt and efforts to bring about discipline, Rekha..but to evaluate a child’s progress purely on how he/she excels in academics is something that I find extremely discriminating and unjustifiable.

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    1. Same here, Soma! I was never one of those top-scoring students. And I get you..sometimes the teachers’ expectations and assumptions can be quite perplexing!

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  7. How likely is for the green blazer wearing students to be ignored or looked down upon by their mates in blue blazers or how likely is for the blue blazer wearing students to be grudged of their status by their mates in green blazers?

    Whoever thought this would be motivation needs a kick in the rear! ๐Ÿ˜

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  8. This approach defies the very purpose of uniforms, when the discrimination speaks for itself in loud colors ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
    I agree with you Deeps that this policy will do no good but lot of harm to everyone, top achievers included.

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  9. I think they have this blazer/tie thingy in DPS too. I so agree with you, it wouldn’t serve any purpose except to keep reminding everyone of their grades every second of school-time, and what good can that do?It will only make the so called ‘average’ students feel dejected and demoralized. Shouldn’t the focus be on motivating them? It will also make the ‘good’ students arrogant and dismissive of their peers, so what’s the point, really!

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    1. Here too I am referring to one of the DPS branches, SH! I feel too this system of gauging a child’s intellect will do more harm than benefit both the good and the bad students.

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  10. I agree with your perspective towards the derailing effect such ‘motivation’ practices can have on children.

    However, I would want to look at the other side for a brief moment: I guess if the such school/s is/are ready with a strong team of expert student counselors, supporting teachers and a crisp plan which would include parents too for positively encouraging the green blazer clan, they might as well grow up to the blue blazer hilt.

    That said, this sure is a backfire strategy which might as well stem a ‘give up’ attitude in the students. So the authorities must revisit the entire program and tweak it where it is necessary or maybe come up with something else altogether like badges the ‘toppers’ can wear on their blazers etc…

    Another thought that just crossed my mind while writing this: Once the school has identified the green blazer clan, it can further probe into what these students are good at and/or what interests them, other than studies [like sports / crafts / art], and highlight their capabilities and coach them to grow in their areas of liking…who knows one might emerge out a cricketer, painter out of it in future?

    Just a thought!

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    1. I clearly understand the points you’ve raised, Nu. If the school has some alternate measures and motivating techniques in place for the students who dont to get to score high then its fine. But the point I want to make is, that why ever should a child be made to feel less worthy just because he/she has a green blazer. The way I see it is that academic institutions should treat every pupil neutrally and impartially, there should be absolutely no room for any partiality or favouritism. But with such a discriminatory method in place, I strongly feel that theres every possibility of bias creeping in.

      “Once the school has identified the green blazer clan, it can further probe into what these students are good at and/or what interests them, other than studies [like sports / crafts / art], and highlight their capabilities and coach them to grow in their areas of likingโ€ฆwho knows one might emerge out a cricketer, painter out of it in future?” Thats a brilliant thought! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  11. You’ve hit upon one of the main reasons I won’t relocate to India. Knowing myself, I’m very capable of getting my kid a RED blazer and taking it head on with the authorities. But to what end? Sigh! see what I mean ? yeah. Over the years, I’ve come to realize, that I am a sad minority. Some educated parents might crib about these issues, but behind doors, they are also part of the same working-their-kids’-butt-off bandwagon………..I guess??

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  12. I totally agree with you! I remember a number of my school friends who used to be subjected to the teachers’ ridicule because they used to perform poorly in exams. Those same people have gone on to be such creative people who have built up their own business!! I’m so happy that their psyche was not destroyed by their earlier daily humiliation!

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  13. This is the problem, we start segregating them from the very start and they grow with this kind of mindset. We need to teach them eqaulity not separation..

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  14. I am shocked. And, I am sorry to say that parents play a HUGE role in this culture. From a so called premier school, this is shocking. If you have an opportunity to meet the princi, just ask one question – why the hell do they have uniforms ๐Ÿ™‚

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  15. I have had problems with all sets of education systems… I just dont understand the grading methodology and the obsession… no one is bothered about learning but all are bothered about testing…

    weird weird world this is.. seriously

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  16. I am late to the party, but education is one of my favorite subjects for discussion and this is so shocking! I don’t think a visual, in-your-face discrimination serves any purpose to motivate students or whatever positive changes they had in mind. IMO solving a bunch of Maths problems or getting the hang of grammar and being first or amongst the first 5, is so unimportant in the course of life. Education, from the primary school level, ought to be more holistic, focusing on building a lot of life-skills and attributes which come in handy, not just grades. We really have a long way to go.

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