By Anindita Ganguly:
Ever since the board results were declared last week, there has been a lot of brouhaha on social media with people uploading, flaunting or rather announcing the ninety-fives and ninety-sixes. Board results! Are you serious? Does that even matter? Will those who have an aggregate of 75% be denied the right to a proper and respectful life in the future? But, this discussion is perhaps futile to the millions of students about to take the board exams and more so for the parents of such students. I am not an educationist, but an average academician who feels extremely sorry for kids who are caught up in the rat race of securing the highest percentages in the boards. So, this is what I want to say to them.
You are more valuable than the percentage you hold. Hard work and determination always result in success. In other words, your success is in proportion to the effort you put in. So, now when you have the result of your performance, learn to accept it as it is. You cannot go back in time to improve it anymore. But then, if you have not achieved a ninety plus, it is not the end of the world for you. Board exams are always a turn in life; they help you realise your interests, your inclinations and your near future. The mark-sheet that shows you the level of performance in each subject is merely based on your efforts, but are not a pre-condition of your future. Today you may not have fared well in Mathematics but tomorrow you might become an author, a lawyer or a teacher. You have a whole world with a plethora of opportunities in front of you. Your future lies in your passion for exploring this wonderful truth.
Now, for the kids who have secured above average marks, it is indeed laudable for friends and family that you have obtained a good result. Even you should appreciate yourself, but please abstain yourself from being overshadowed by the thought that is your ultimate success. This is not the final destination of your life or for your education. It is a turn where you are expected to move ahead with fortitude and purposefulness. And finally, just do your best and leave the rest.
Your worry, pride, disappointment and happiness over your child are understandable and justified to the extent that you accept the situation that your child is in. Again, board results are not the ultimate destiny for your child. Think about your times. You too had taken the boards, but how much have the results affected you so far? Did your marks ever help you through the difficult times in your life? Did they make you a better or a worse person? Your anxiety is justified considering that the competition is extremely difficult for kids today with the ever soaring cut-offs of the colleges, increasingly tough entrances examinations and the race to secure admission into a good college – all of which is very taxing. However, when your kid was born, did you not wish that he or she grows up to become a fine and virtuous person? Please do not be swayed by how much marks the neighbour’s son or daughter has secured and do not compare your child’s progress with that of someone else’s. Instead, consider the sincere effort that your child puts into studying. Don’t let exam fear engulf your child. Your child is more precious than the boards, the competition, the percentage, the neighbourhood talks and the prestigious college seats.
A great social responsibility lies with you. You are the ones who create the future citizens who carry the world forward on their shoulders. But the ultimate goal of teaching is to create a good human being. I request you to nurture the habit of acceptance in kids from a very young age. Their marks, mark-sheet, performance and exams should not be the ultimate object of their lives. Therefore, they need to be taught to look beyond such concerns and instead work for a higher purpose in life. Let not a ninety be the goal of the student, let the goal be to apply the best effort and aim for the best. The ability to accept success and failures as they come should feel natural to them. So, encourage them, motivate them and inspire them, for you alone can create a generation of responsible, upright citizens.