Jul 3, 2010
“Who is roll number 3? Is it Robin Almeida?” shouted the teacher and with that all my friends pointed towards me. “Is it 5 or 50 marks that you have scored out of 75 in Geometry?” the teacher asked. “Miss it’s 0.5 (half)” I said and the whole class giggled. Our school policy was such that the half mark gets converted into one. So in short, I had scored just 1 out of 75 in geometry. The whole class except my best friend Mitesh giggled because Mitesh was also closest to my score. He had scored 8 times my original score i.e. 4 out of 75.
Mitesh and I had never known the value of a single digit until we started scoring that figure. The days of our results were mourning days for us. We would observe a minute’s silence in memory of our results which was followed by a week’s silence at our homes. The moment I entered my house, my mom would ask me “Did u get your results?” and before I could lie, my sister would answer “Yes mom we all got our results” as she was two years younger to my batch in the same school. So there was no escape for me. I would answer “Yes mom” and then the one digit figures would follow in a slow and quiet tone. The same scenes were also experienced at Mitesh’s home. We were weak in Algebra and Geometry but we always made the passing marks in Science as we had a crush on our science teacher and we did not want to be in her bad books Well that was way back then during the good old school days.
The look on our faces was somehow as represented below.
Despite this, our parents never forced us for merit results, but they always encouraged us to turn those single digit marks into double digits. We never realized the level of understanding that they had as school life was full of fun and with our carefree attitude we could reach nowhere.
Today when we read the newspapers and watch television news we come across many instances of students committing suicide and harming themselves, before or after the results in the fear that they might not be able to face the world because of their poor results. What’s more shocking is that it is not just the weak students who resort to committing this act. Even intelligent and smart students who perform exceptionally well in exams resort to such acts. If this has to be the order of failure, then Mithesh; and I would have finished our quota of our 7 births before passing our 10th standard as our every failure would have resulted in a suicide
SERIOUSLY, What drives students to take this ghastly step? Is it pressure from home I mean parents and relatives? Is it peer pressure? Is it the pressure from Society? Or any other reason? Whatever the reason might be, the point here is that one has to realize that all five fingers are not the same. Every child is special and unique in his/her own way and we need to understand that. This is best shown in the Hindi movie “Taare Zameen par”. Students need extra care, attention and encouragement and not pressure and force to perform well.
On a lighter note, I would like to recall one instance of my college during my HSC (12th standard) days. My father proudly told me one day “Son, if you clear the exam with flying colors I’ll get you a two wheeler and if you don’t, I’ll get you a three wheeler. The same followed for Mitesh as well. His father told him “Son, if you clear the exam with flying colors, I’ll enroll you for CA (Chartered Accountancy) and if you don’t I’ll still make you CA (Complete Aaram). We both passed with average marks and we got neither of it.
The point here is that student can be best heard and understood by their parents, elders and teachers. The intelligent student shouldn’t be separated from the less-intelligent ones. Every student has the potential to be “THE BEST” …it’s just the time frame to achieve this that differs from one student to another.
A little encouragement, a little extra attention, a little humor and love from parents, teachers, and our society can make the impossible possible for our students. Students on the other hand, should realize that exam performance is not the end of the world and there is always a second chance. If this happens, then there will be a drastic reduction in the number of suicides and with that we will be saving many precious lives before they get wilted due to insurmountable pressure from all quarters. It is our duty to ensure that our youngsters do not turn weaklings bowing to uncalled for expectations.
Remember, ROME wasn’t built in a day !
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