Once again, it’s the ‘exam season’ of the year. Newspapers are filled with headlines declaring one result or another – class 10 results, class 12 results, JEE results, CLAT scores, MH-CET scores, GUJ-CET scores and the results of all other entrance tests taking place throughout the country. And even more noticeable are the headlines highlighting the number of suicides by teen taking place every day after the declaration of the results.
For instance, three class 10 students killed themselves after the announcement of CBSE results. Last year, 12 students in Madhya Pradesh had hung themselves after the declaration of class 12 results. Have we failed in the upbringing of our children?
Don’t you think that if society thinks that a child shouldn’t live if they receive poor grades in their board examinations is a society that has failed? If drugs and alcohol consumption are some of the most common means of self-harm, for students in India, it is the exam stress and the inability to cope with society’s expectations. Isn’t this horrifying?
There is an urgent need for intervention. Consultation with the counsellors has brought to light that there is already an enormous amount of pressure on students to perform well in the exams and then, when they do not get the desired results, they fail to cope with their failure. When the society and families do not support them, the pressure rises to a level which becomes unbearable leading to students taking such extreme steps.
But what is to be done is to make them understand that the board exams are not the end of one’s life – that there’s still a long journey ahead of them. Further, it is even more important for parents to watch out for early signs of depression in their children and to get them help in time before it’s too late.
It is necessary to make parents aware that these tests are basically memory-based tests and do not define a child’s capability in its entirety. It is possible that a child may score 99/100 but still fail to achieve their carrier goals later in life and stay unhappy, whereas it is also possible that a child scoring 65/100 can be very good at something else and live life with satisfaction.
It is also advisable for children to always have realistic and achievable goals. Keeping back-up plans may help too! If plan A doesn’t work, go for plan B. Check the other options available if you cannot get the colleges you initially aimed for!
Remember, getting 99% grades or getting the top ranks in the school or a state, or getting into the best college in the town – this is not everything. There is still a lot to be done in life apart from achieving top ranks in exams.
Think sensibly, communicate, share your problems, take advice and relax. It’s okay if you fail, don’t give up. It’s not the end.