Friday, June 01, 2018

Outstanding Grade - A Quick Counseling

On a conversation with a friend, I got to know that the Class 10 results are out and a common friend’s daughter was upset because she scored just a 95%. Apparently, she expected to top the class and missed it by 2%.

Yes, 2% is lot in Indian schools. A hundred people may have scored over-and-above your score. 

With three cheers to this obsessive compulsive disorder of worrying about scores ( I have once been there too!, I must confess.. in June 1996).

I am writing the following list of thoughts that flash in my mind:
  • Ask the value of a nanosecond to a Olympic runner. What matters is being the winner. The fact that someone ran faster in the race by 30 seconds, is a big 'Lost or Won’, number!!
  • Between 11:59 P.M and 12:01 A.M is just two minutes on the clock but two different dates, which means a lot when it comes to an admission in an extra-ordinary pre-school that admits kids born on or before 31st July, and your tiny tot was born on 12:01 A.M on 1st August!!! One year delay is too much and means ‘In or Out’ of the admission list for the school year.
  • Old Uncle around the corner of the street got delayed by five minutes in traffic on the way to hospital, and died just the minute his stretcher was taken through the Emergency Door!! Five minutes means 'Life or Death’ sometimes!!
Coming to think of these common place incidents (Yes, they are common place incidents and there may be many more such incidents that you can think of too!!!).

Are these really the fault of anyone??

  • Did the Olympic runner aim to lose by 30 seconds? 
  • Did the baby decide to come out at the transitioning hour of the calendar??
  • Did the old Uncle die just because of the traffic?

The answer to all of these questions is 'NO'.

The reason for these incidents is simply “It happened because it was meant to be that way!!

Now, let’s do a retake:
  • It is grand to have got a chance to run an Olympic race. A lot of people do not even cross the finish line in the school running race.
  • It is a blessing to have given birth to a baby. A lot of people are awaiting the blessing, even as we read this text.
  • It was good that people could do their bit to get an ambulance for the old Uncle. What if old Uncle had died in his sleep?

Just like these incidents, the most common place happenstance of an academic examination should be evaluated at its ‘face value’ which is just as an incident that happens in one’s life. 

The candidate scored 95% is a fact. There is no other significance attached to this number as far as the admission into Class 11 in school or Pre-University College matters, as it IS a score given by the evaluators.

Is it the child’s fault to have missed out on the 2%??? Definitely Not.

The reason for this incident is simply “It happened because it was meant to be that way!!

Now, let’s do a retake:

That she was able to study well, was able to write well, was able to score well matters!! There are people who do not clear the paper in spite of having done it well. There are others who are not even fortunate to write the exam for a hundred reasons!

Dear Child, Parent, and Teacher,

A 95% is an Outstanding score.

Class 10 board exams is a milestone which every school student has to cross. Sincere Effort (Hard work, Smart work), Sound Mind in a Sound Body, and Best Intent are the three things the parents and school have to instill in the children.

Can we get the parents and children and teachers to understand that scoring Rank 1 may mean ‘OUTSTANDING’ in some sense, but does not necessarily mean an ‘OUTSTANDING’ performer in Life?!!!!

It is just really okay to shrug off a class 10 exam score, if the basic responsibilities have been taken care of by the child/parent/teacher: Effort, Health and Intention

All parameters of the day (Sleep, Hunger, Fear, Stress,Score Anxiety, Peer Pressure, Health, Parents, Teachers, Home) define what a child can possibly write on the answer paper. Score is a MERE number that rates what is being written in the paper on a set date

Score is a number that does not :
  • say anything about the intelligence of the student
  • measure the teacher’s skill to teach
  • evaluate the mental health quotient of the student,parent and teacher
  • consider the hunger and sleep of the student, parent and teacher
  • rate the stress that the exam itself may have caused to the clan - student, teacher, parent
  • care about the student’s interest in the subject

And let’s stop giving too much hype to this little snippet of life (Class tenth board exams) that happens in most students' life.

After all, life is more than a school board exam! Life in itself is a bigger exam that needs a lot of your love and understanding showered on your children, giving them reassurance that ‘Its going to be okay’!. How many times you may have to say this to your child, is a number you may not even be able to keep a count of!!! But, yes, that is the real scoring sentence which will help your child live an ‘OUTSTANDING’ life.

If this read does not sound convincing, it is high time we sought the help of counseling services and counselors who will help us come out of the obsession on examination scores, thereby helping the:
- parents to avert stress
- children to retain their sanity  
- teachers to keep up their passion for teaching.

Seriously, think about it, dear parents!! 

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