Life is much more than exams. Undoubtedly, negative experiences and failures happen in everyone’s life. They are paramount for one’s growth. It’s been two years since I passed my 12th board exams. I worked hard a lot and secured 92% in my boards. I got the position of the first rank holder in my school. I was also ecstatic because the result was announced on my birthday.
I was on cloud nine that day. My phone was bombarded with congratulatory messages and calls. It was my dream to take admission into Delhi University, and marks were the only way for me to reach there. I calculated the best four subjects’ marks, and it was 94%. It was still lower than what DU demands. Fortunately, the six cut-off lists got announced, and I managed to grab a seat in one of the prominent colleges of Delhi University.
Parents work hard all their lives for their children. They invest in their education. They expect good returns from their children. In my opinion, they are not wrong in their place.
However, parents don’t understand that comparing every child on just one parameter, studies, is appalling and worrisome. Here, I am sharing the stories of three students, two of who just recently cleared their 10th boards.
1. Virat, an 11-year-old kid, loves cricket. He has a very sharp mind. He doesn’t like the education system, which only focuses on gaining marks by hook or by crook. He often asks- Why is our education system so faulty? Why is every student compelled to gain more and more marks? Is life a rat-race? Virat is pleased with the new concept of online classes due to the ongoing pandemic. I read something a few days back. It says- If kids are happy studying at home, there is something wrong with our education system.
2. Nupur doesn’t like studying at all. Her friends and relatives had given her a tag of failure from an early age. Her parents are sending her to one of the reputed schools in New Delhi. She is clueless about her career. She might know about her dreams and ambitions but is scared of sharing them with anyone. She might be afraid because people would mock her based on marks. She knows she is born in a society where marks are everything. A society where a person is considered smart and intelligent if they score more than 90% marks. Nupur has scored 67% on her 10th boards. She is elated. Her family is celebrating her achievement. She has done a commendable job!
3. Annu scored 71% in her 10th board exams. Annu’s parents were stringent on her throughout the year. She was not allowed to miss school, three tuitions after school.
Even this was not sufficient. Annu’s parents wanted her to put more effort. They had promised her many gifts if she secures more than 90% marks. There was no TV connection in her home because of her boards. She was not allowed to talk to her friends, to play in her colony. Moreover, she was restricted from playing the guitar as well. She loves playing the guitar.
She was so stressed during the year but never acknowledged the fact. Once, out of the blue, I asked her, “Why don’t you participate in extra-curricular activities?” She replied, “These activities are futile. I don’t have time for all this. In the end, only marks matter.” I was numbed after hearing this. I couldn’t utter a word, and I chose to end the conversation. Of course, she is shattered after seeing her result.
My point is not to tell anyone to study 24/7 and get admission in an amazing college. My motive is not to tell anyone that studies don’t matter. They do matter. But, they matter up to an extent. Parents need to understand that there is a world beyond studies. Extra-curriculars have equal importance. Parents can’t make their children successful by disconnecting them from the entire world.
Parents should understand that every child is unique. They have their interests and capabilities. Nowadays, newspapers and social media are plastering pictures of students who secure very high percentages. Of course, these students deserve appreciation. However, there would be so many students who wouldn’t have scored up to their own or parents’ expectations. Still, they deserve appreciation for their efforts.
Dear recently passed outs, don’t be hard on yourself. You all are amazing. You all can excel in your avenues. Life is much much much more than exams. Congratulations to each and every one of you! You all did so well:)