Its almost the end of May and while and we are in the middle of the result season, some have been declared and some still have a nail biting waiting period. I know a lot of people are anxious about their marks and you have many a times said to others and to yourself that “a single sheet of paper cannot decide your future” but lets be real, you will still sweat all the water out of you body on your result day, because you dont really believe in that statement and anyone around you doesn’t either.
In our culture 10th and 12th is like the most important thing, also criticizing our evaluation system is a favorite past time. However, we still revolve our lives around the outcome of the same evaluation process. We study a lot of things in school that are actually not related to what we will be doing as none of us is going to do something that’s a combination of all the artistic, scientific and commercial streams that we have.
However, this blog post is not about criticizing the Indian education and evaluation system or even about examples of self made billionaires who were academic failures. Its about the main cause of why we have a failed system, it is about making you believe it when you say that “a single sheet of paper cannot decide your future.”
Personally I dont think we are a complete educational failure because Indians students surpass other students in various international universities, I feel we are an evaluative failure and by evaluation I dont necessarily mean how we conduct our exams or examine our papers its about how we draw strings from numbers on a mark sheet to brain capacity or intelligence.
Schools are becoming factories where we have same mould and those who don’t fit in it are termed as lazy, unintelligent, dumb or worse a failure. But all of those who actually fit in the mould and secure high ranks are not intelligent either, they are just “publicly accepted as smart” people. Most of them have not seen the light of a television for years, dont have social media handles, have spent days at a study table because even meals are served there. All of this makes them socially awkward, more prone to anxiety from failure and hyper-paranoia or as I like to call it the “what if” syndrome, what if I dont get a top rank, what if the the son of the neighbor my mom dislikes gets more mark than me, what of i don’t get 90+, etc.
But how does it matter if it gives them a mark sheet to brag about for the rest of their lives isn’t it? It does matter because such sort of pressure and disorders change formations of brain cells. the working of brain functions and thought processes are highly influenced in such an atmosphere.
These students are not likely to accept criticism because since their childhood they have been labelled as the “smart ones” and they have been striving all their lives to keep up to that title. They are extremely sensitive and don’t actually blame them for crying for the slightest of things or feeling that they will never be enough, its the way we have interpreted marks to be the emblem of success and that is what children grow up to believe. Ironically children are sent to school to prepare them for the requirements of the real world and they come out the most unprepared for it.
The extreme effect after the brain goes through this process is in fact desire to kill. According to the National Crime Records Bureau a student commits suicide every hour in India. Most of those who kill themselves are high end students who were their family’s academic excellence trophy. Suicide rates among the ages 14-17 are the highest. Student suicides in India are the second largest human induced epidemic after farmers suicide. I remember the year I passed my 10th grade, my result was on 8th of June and on 7th June a boy my age committed suicide because he thought he wouldn’t get expected marks. He scored 87%.
This isn’t just for the A graders its for everyone who thinks getting marks is your goal. extremely not sorry to inform you it isn’t!
To that student who is being asked about results constantly,
As cliche as it may sound but bad marks are not the end of the world! Your marks don’t define who you are, have you ever seen someone identify a person as “that boy who scored 92% in his twelfth”, nobody does that and they never will. People remember you by what you are and that’s the way you talk or your humor or your opinions, etc. and all of this cannot be evaluated in numbers. You don’t stop having lunch because there is no dessert same way your achievements are a bonus. They are the railing to your staircase to success and u can still climb a staircase without a railing if you are mentally and physically fit to balance. It’s fine if you dont get the college of your dreams, people who experience failure early on in their lives are actually lucky because
Life isn’t about how many times you hit your goal, its about how many times you got up in spite of falling on your face and breaking your teeth!
What you learn in the real world is far important than anything you learn in a classroom. I know none of you is actually worried about forgetting every single thing you learned in school as much as you are worried about what people will say, but let its better that you know that everyone has a mouth that’s meant for eating and talking and this fact remains regardless of your grades, as even if you get 99.99% you could still be content for a lot of meme pages. So just do it for yourself and the way you want to! and as my favorite quote says-
Log kya sochenge yeh bhi hum hi sochenge, toh log kya sochenge
Now, to all the parents who are more skeptical than students,
To all the parents,
Firstly your children are not prestige symbols, PERIOD. Don’t think of what to do if they get a low grade, You are grown ups and no one better than you can understand that these marks are going to be the most insignificant things in their practical lives. Moreover, determining the intelligence of the result of a failed evaluation system which actually only tests your retention capacity is injustice.
Don’t worry if your child did not get the expected score in spite of studying day and night, they can always climb the stairs without their railing but the fist two steps to thats flight of stairs are mom and dad.