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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Inspiration-Dear students, your success is not defined by board exam marks
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Every year lakhs of students are made to believe that the board examination is the first step towards an individual’s successful life.

The month of May each year begins and ends on an anxious note. This year, this fateful month is set to decide the “future” of nearly 22,36,268 students who have taken the much-dreaded 10th and 12th board exams

Soujanya Ganig, National Program Coordinator for Mission Possible at World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA), says,We need to make liberal education the norm and not the exception— so that along with benefiting from an interdisciplinary education, students are also under less pressure to make crucial life decisions at 15.

Parents, students, and teachers across India invest their time, money, and energy towards this “important phase of life.” Hence, it becomes imperative to understand what makes this certification so stressful and at the same time question if the hype and brouhaha surrounding it is worth it.

As student enters the 10th grade, why his extracurricular activities and sports time have suddenly been cut short.?

The lack of warning and preparation, combined with a change in attitude from parents, teachers, and well-wishers often takes a toll on the adolescent mind. “To escape this stress, students might also indulge in activities which give them instant gratification such as drugs, alcohol, and sex at an age where they don’t have the maturity to deal with them”, says Gurekta Sethi, a former teacher at Oakridge International School, Bengaluru.

India has one of the world’s highest suicide rates amongst youth aged between 15 and 29 years. The National Crime Records Bureau 2015 report shows that an alarming 15 suicides took place every one hour across the country and the number of student suicides stood at 8,934.

The pressure on students affects their emotional status as their self-worth is measured according to their grades, Gurekta explains. Tuitions and the coveted seat in top colleges add to their already burdened school bag-carrying shoulders.

The Indian education system requires a student to decide his/her respective field of interests at two varying stages. Post the 10th grade the average 15-year-old child is expected to choose primarily between three subjects— science, commerce, or humanities— which two years later become the stepping stone towards a prospective career path.

  In the past few years Delhi University, among others, has seen 100 percent cut-offs in several subjects, thereby setting an almost impossible standard of achievement for students to be considered for a merit seat.

If students fail to perform in their boards or standardised exams, the management quota or donation seats are the only other option available for them to get into their dream colleges. However, Anirudh braved the odds and decided to take a year’s gap to get through his dream course and college on merit alone.

“I was relieved that he wanted to get into his college on his own terms. But is a gap year really a ‘big deal’?” Vasanthi questions.

Grades and marks do not define future.

We must help students become problem-solvers rather than information assimilators. Technology can drive our education system to become the force multiplier to create an innovative future.

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