Recently the results of CBSE boards were announced. This was inevitably followed by the endless social comparisons – how well the ward of Lone Sahab did and how Dar Sahabs daughter turned out to be all show and no substance. It was the day when many egos took flight and even more hopes dashed to ground.Many new heroes were born and a few old ones were scorned. Long lost relatives resurfaced calling up to know about their ladli beti or pyara betas result and offeredtheir unsolicited advice on what future the child should choose. Social media was in a frenzy with everyone uploading their scores. Each facebook status served as a stab to those students who had unfortunately not managed to score too well.The front page of newspapers showed images of beaming toppers being fed with sweets. These were followed by study tips and articles on how not to let results affect you. But,this unnecessary hype that our society creates over exam resultsmakes lakhs of parents and even children believe that the world begins and ends at how well they fared in their boards. While as in reality, nothing can be further from the truth.
Results create an atmosphere of lament in our society.If a student gets 499 out of 500, people dont visit to congratulate him or her, they console them for not getting full marks. During results, scenes of crying students are quite common. Even the ones who fare well can sometimes be seen crying because they couldnt fetch more marks. The more you have, the more you want which is maybe why you can see toppers regretting as to why they couldnt perform better and even going for revaluation.
Parents too get a sort of a kick in comparing their children with others and some rub salt on the wounds of others.We tend to depress others by highlighting our achievements, especially in the age of social media where we come across many updates about so and so scoring this many marks. It isnt only thesocial networking sites but some parents and schoolseven publish congratulatory messages in newspapers. Recently, a student of a well off family was awarded MPhil degree by the University of Kashmir and his achievement was carried as a huge news story in a local daily. Degrees and marks are nothing to boost about. They dont determine who you are going to be.
Last year a polytechnic student who had failed in his exam committed suicide because he couldnt live with the embarrassment. But, turns out that it was an error and that student had actually passed his exam with flying colours. A small error cost a student his life, a family a son. What led to his suicide? It was our society. If our society would have inculcated in him the believe that failure in an exam doesnt mean failure in life then maybe a precious life wouldnt have been lost.
It is absolutely clear that in todays world, exam results dont have any real impact on ones future. However, their psychological impact cant be ignored. The social esteem associated with ones performance in exams is a consequence most students have to deal with. Life seldom fulfills all your aspirations and expectations. It is a long war in which one must learn to take setbacks in their stride. A teenage student who performs below expectations in the board exams gets the opportunity to appreciate this harsh truth early on in life. The silver lining is that unlike other learning opportunities, this one doesnt come with very significant long-term costs. From an optimists perspective, poor results can be a great opportunity to know ones persona by learning some valuable life lessons.
An individuals personality is much larger than their education and their education is much more than their degrees and marks. As Mark twain said,I never let my schooling interfere with my education. One should not let the marks he or she fetches in an exam be the scale with which they weigh themselves and their worth. We are much bigger than a number, which is what exam results ultimately come down to. Exams dont mean competition. Exams are the examination of ones knowledge. When results are hyped in the way our society hypes them, they become unhealthy competition and unhealthycompetition doesnt encourage us to learn more, it makes us mechanical. Exaggeration of grades should be highly discouraged.We shouldnt compete for grades, we should compete for knowledge and wisdom and grades should never be taken as ones self-worth.
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