In the background of the success story of Board results splashed on page 1 of today’s newspapers, a small single column item on inside page of a national daily tells about two young girls in their teens killed themselves by hanging because of their poor results in the Board Examinations. This is not for the first time that students who perform poorly in examinations end their life. Such pessimist outlook is self defeating.
Competition is good but trailing in the race of life does not mean it is the end. Partly I would blame the parents or guardians who put pressure on their children to do well. Pressure is applied not only for career point of view but also as a tool to outdo friends, relatives and neighbors.
“Look, son and daughter of so and so have secured 98% marks and you got just 92%”, is the common refrain. I am told by a friend that a girl who secured 92% marks was so upset that she cried.
In the 1960s when we appeared in Board examinations, anything above 60% was considered excellent. I know of my friends and class mates who had secured less than 50% marks in matriculation examination that was class 11 but they did well in their life. Some of them even got into the Central Services of IAS and IPS.
Life throws opportunity and it is for the person to seize and exploit it to their advantage. Easier said than done, but all are not capable of recognizing and using opportunity to do well in life.
I have two children- a son and a daughter. When they were studying in schools, the only word that I would tell them to honour the opportunity they had to study. I never told them to do this or do that. My son opted for commerce and did his MBA and my daughter went to study Hotel Management course abroad. Both are well settled in life.
What we see today is entirely a different world. As a student enters class IX the guardian would influence the student to opt for science or commerce. A student may be comfortable with humanities but the parents would force him or her to pursue commerce since it offers a better job opportunity in market. Never mind if the student is poor in mathematics but must he study commerce. Such is the perception of the people today.
A student who does not have any knack for engineering becomes an engineer. The result is: in India more than 50% of qualified engineers are considered not fit to become an engineer. So is the case with medical science. Someone who may not be keen to become a doctor is compelled to study medical science. Such doctors are dangerous for the society. Instead of saving life they may take life of patients.
My advice to one and all is let children decide what they want to study. A guardian can and should only give guidance and not force decision. If student has secured less than 90% marks in the Board it does not mean that the door of learning is shut on him. Life is bigger than 90%!
~ R. K. Sinha