There has been an increasing trend in the maximum marks obtained in Class X and XII examinations in recent years. There’s a rat race among the students to secure the highest. In 1990s, getting above average was considered great. And if anyone secured above 80%, that was extraordinary.
I remember my sister Kuljeet and I used to tell our little sister Prabhjot to calm down and enjoy also when she was in X. She once quoted the example of a girl in neighbourhood, also appearing for boards, who used to have rice instead of chapattis just to save on time on chewing so that she could study more. Sounds weird, right? Yes, weird it was, skipping on your food just to get some 10 minutes of extra studies! Thankfully, we managed to mould our sis a bit(only a bit) so that she could enjoy also, without compromising on her studies. She played Holi also during her boards and secured 89%.
Along with this increasing trend, there has been growing trend in the number of suicides among students as well. Students committed suicide because they failed or didn’t get a desired percentage. Some of them were too stressed that they didn’t even bother to wait for the results and ended up taking their lives, without thinking about the family and associations they made.
My brother was not great at studies. He secured decent marks in his X and XII and went for a hotel management course. In his college, he spent four years, instead of three, but my parents never complained or made him feel inferior. In fact, they used to ask every time on the landline call if there’s anything he requires. His failure didn’t deter him in putting his hard work when he got the job. With continuous hard work and dedication, he is now the Country Head in one of the leading restaurant chains abroad.
I keep telling my son also, that it’s ok if he doesn’t get full marks (he’s in Grade II only), what is more important is that he has understood the concept and can apply his learning anywhere.
Thankfully the education system of our country is also changing now. Instead of one final exam, we now have continuous assessment. Not only studies, but sports and extra-curricular activities are given weightage. Instead of just cramming up the answers, focus is now on the learning. The other day while was teaching my son Maths, I was amazed that instead of just sums and problems, children are doing logical reasoning questions at younger age. Same was with EVS, not only children are learning about the difference between a nuclear and a joint family; they are learning the concept as well. With regular homework, assignments and projects, overall capabilities are taken into account.