Any kind of ranking system is good. It is good because the very act of bringing the constituent parts together and the whole up front gives us the idea of where we stand in real time.

We are talking about the nation’s top schools.

The Ministry of Education has declared the names of the top schools of the nation. This has to be one of the noblest ideas that has in the recent times had the good fortune to flow from the highest seat of the education system. Where praise is due, we must give.

But do we believe our own findings? Often we have trouble accepting unpretty figures.

This day, according to assessment system we have come to adopt as the most unfailing and true, our schools have to do well in the categorically specified departments of academic learning, quality enabling practices, and GNH values.

Although the central school system has been at the receiving end of the public debate, reports tell us that central schools are among the top performing schools. If our central schools are doing so scintillatingly well notwithstanding the very many problems they face, this is awesome news, indeed.

Coming to the scorecards, though, what is not GNH that every subject that our children grow up to acquaint themselves with – Dzongkha, EVS, Mathematics, History, Geography, Chemistry, Biology, Economics, Physics, English, IT, Media, and Agriculture – does not offer? Our children must not only perform well in these important subjects, but also excel with competitive spirit. That is real education.

Are all our schools really giving our children the very essence of what all put together could be called education?

When education becomes business and loses its real purpose – of expanding and refining the horizon of human mind – shadows come shrouding the future of the humanity. If education in our schools mean all about exam-oriented teaching and getting the best recognition, who are we fooling?

The seed of competitiveness must be sown and nurtured, but in the right way. Otherwise the criteria we set for excellence could be our worst nightmares. We could sit for days and contemplate on this little fact: Why are our children becoming increasingly unemployable?  Education cannot be measured. That is why the knowledge one gains from the process of teaching and learning is always an uncountable entity.

Surely we are failing somewhere, but where exactly, with what?