The reason students are so obsessed in getting the highest grades possible (A+ or 1 or 5 or what have you) is that the higher the grades arrayed in the transcript of records the higher is their chance of getting employed. This is the paradigm that the academe and society in general slowly constructed in the consciousness of these young people as they grow up and develop as individuals.
This is the way they are trained and developed in a society that thrives on competition. Society has devised a way of identifying the cream of the crop, the top dogs among young people. It’s like the government and the corporate world, in connivance with the academic community, concocted a scheme of pinpointing who among the young populace are the best prospects for leadership positions in both the public and the private sectors in the future. Who among them will be managers and supervisors, who will stay in the rank and file and who will do the dirty jobs. They put tags on them to make sure that they are identifiable during selection processes in the future. And what are those tags? GRADES!
So, the young graduates have tags, their grades listed in their transcript of records. They (the graduates) think that when they are recruited for jobs by the government and the private sectors they have the indelible marks. If they don’t have the As they’re doomed, unlikely to be hired or if ever hired they will be relegated to the lowliest positions forever.
The best and the brightest, the ones with As, they thought, are the only ones who would get hired easily and be given the choicest positions.
Students need to be told that grades are not the be-all and end-all of education. They need to understand that schooling is not just a preparation for a place in the world of work but for life in general.
Students need to understand that while it’s true that good grades are important, it does not guarantee employment. It does not follow that when in your transcript of records you have all As then certainly both the public and the private sectors would open their doors to let you in.
The transcript of records, where the HOLY As are listed, is but an attachment to a curriculum vitae which when submitted constitute only step 1 of a 4-step hiring process.
Having As would certainly create an initial good impression but no company or organization worth its salt would hire people only on the basis of GRADES.
Hiring has always been a 4-step process.
STEP 1: Submission of Resume and corresponding documents and attachments
STEP 2: Interview (or a series of interviews)
STEP 3: Tests (Intelligence, Aptitude and Psychological)
STEP 4: Demonstration of Skills
Companies and organizations who are serious in the trade they are plying know that the best way to filter applicants is make them undergo all the steps aforementioned.
No organization will hire an applicant after presenting a transcript of records with nothing but As. There are organizations who render a decision to hire or not after STEP No. 2. That’s their prerogative.
But if the intent is to get the best people then none of the steps should be dispensed with, most specially STEP No. 4, the demonstration of skills. The real capability of an applicant can not be efficiently measured in an interview. Applicants can not just rhetorically explain what are they are capable of doing. They should be made to show and prove what they could, not tell it.
So, students who may not get the highest academic marks (A+ or 1 or 5 or what have you) need not despair. They just need to prepare and make sure they are ready for the job interview, the tests, and most importantly , the demonstration of skills.
Those who get the highest grades are not always the best and brightest, specially in settings where the Grave Curve is implemented.