Thursday, January 06, 2011

Independent Inc. Perfection Output Up 115%

SINGAPORE -- Perfection hit a record high last year: its production increased by 115% from the previous year.

According to a report published by Independent Inc. today, its 2010 production batch of International Baccaulaurate (IB) perfect-scorers amounted to 28 units, compared to the 13 from 2009.

"We are, of course, very proud of our achievements," said an inside source, who wished to remain anonymous. "This kind of production history was something we hoped to achieve, but did not dare to expect."

The International Baccaulaurate is a Diploma Programme which utilises a strict grading system to determine the value of the finished product, and grades them with a "points" system. A perfect score requires 45 points, broken down into seven points each in six academic criteria and three bonus points which judge the products' non-academic qualities, among other things.

Independent Inc. also boasted an extremely high international-quality output, which refer to products which score 40 points or higher. Last year 71.4% made the cut, compared to 68.9% the previous year.

The organisation's only setback was the pass rate. According to the release, a product was disqualified from assessment due to malpractice, and as such, the pass rate dropped from 100% the previous year, to 99.8% last year.

"These kinds of figures are unprecedented," said Adelheid Schwartz, a spokesperson for the International Baccaulaurate Organisation, in a telephone interview from Geneva. "It completely changes what we know about mass-produced academic perfection."

"It has certainly redefined the concept of the 'bell curve'," she added.

Independent Inc. attributes its high quality output to a meticulous two-year assembly line and stringent quality control checks spread across that period. It has been known to discard products which don't make it through the first year of assessment checks, or reassemble them from scratch, to ensure the high yield of its output.

The organisation has also promised to deliver greater yields of production output this year. "When you supply the likes of Oxbridge and the Ivy League, you have to step it up a notch," said our anonymous source. "87.8% of our output already qualify to be shipped there for enhancements and specialisation."

Experts, however, warn about the inflationary effects of increasing numbers of such high-quality produce. Professor Ashwarnit Singh, a market analyst specialising in academic economics, says, "Perfection is like any other currency. If its supply keeps increasing, its value will eventually start decreasing."

"When everybody's super, no one will be," he added.

Critics have also criticised the assessment criteria as being too focused on the academic aspects of the product, and is not focusing on other like skills.

"We haven't invented a printing press which spits out Renaissance masterpieces at the push of a button," said one critic. "You can't mass-produce art like that. And life is an art."


Okay, first of all, this IS NOT a thinly-veiled jibe at a specific institution or organisation: all persons mentioned in this article are fictional, and I don't really have anything personal against the IB programme. It IS HOWEVER a thinly-veiled satire of our current educational system. We obsessed with mass-producing top-scorers sate our unhealthy desires for perfection and superiority.

Many people have been saying this over and over, from an awesome girl who spoke about it in her valedictorian speech, to this guy who is inspired by Apple's policy of thinking differently. But nobody says it better than Sir Ken Robinson. We are using an outdated education system which mass-produced "educated" people for the industrial revolution, and that is what we have been doing ever since. We have to stop chasing the numerical results, and look for the quality in people's lives, because at the final judgment, that is all that matters.

Because when everybody's super, no one will be.
The Edna Man

EDIT 080111: Even a Japanese romance manga from the 1990s knows it.

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