Handle the Season of Results, Report Cards and Scores With Care
A note of advice to parents, students and society about handling this period of exam results and report cards
The beautiful post-exam season has come to an end. The tenth (ICSC) and twelfth (ISC) standard results are just out. This will be followed by results of all the board and university examinations, and those of competitive tests. A stressful time for students, as much as it will keep the parents hyper-tensed.
Excellent report cards are usually flaunted. Not so good report cards, or to be precise, failures go back with tears, sulking in dark corners. So competitive are we today, that a failure isn’t so easy to digest. For some students, not scoring 90% is a failure. For some, scoring less than their peers is a failure. For others, not being able to move to the next stage is a failure.
Whatever be the individual definitions, we have experienced many such instances in the past where students have exhibited extreme reactions because they couldn’t handle the shame of their ‘incompetence’. Especially so, when it becomes a matter of public speculation and gossip.
There are three wings to this issue, all of which are equally important. The parents, the students and the public.
Scared by the inhumane competition around, parents often exert too much pressure on their children. They are expected to excel in everything they pursue, be it academic or extra-curricular activities. Students fail because their natural talents too are constrained while they try to meet multiple criteria. Over-strictness of parents make them claustrophobic.
Once the results are out, students are scared to face their parents. They are even more worried about the sorry state they have put their parents into. They think that their parents will be shamed by the society. Psychologically paralysed, they end up doing something undesirable. It is important for parents to understand that when our children wish to adopt drastic means, they do it because they lose faith in themselves.
Hence, just before the results are declared, do take some time out and sit with them. Explain to them that as parents, you haven’t and will never give up on them, whatever the world or a report card might say.
Students who are tensed about the scores, please understand that for your parents, you are the priority. They don’t want you to excel in your examinations just because that will boost their pride in society. Rather, they do it because they want you to be received better among the masses. A good score makes your path easier in the days to come.
The love of your parents is always unconditional and never dependent on a report card. That report card defines you only for a period of two months. Post that, your next score in the next examination will be considered. And when you grow up and start working, all that will matter is how your steer yourself through the complications of a working life and take yourself forward.
A good result makes it easy for you to make an entry, after that it is your temperament. So, try to score well in your examinations. If that has not happened, unfortunately, then prioritise on making peace with that failure and move on. That way you learn, irrespective of your scores. Hence, before getting your report cards in hand, spend a while alone and decide, to what extent you should allow it to affect you. You fail your parents only when you make any such mistake that insults their parenting and love for you.
For the rest of the people in society who must conveniently pass judgements, please go slow. Understand that every life has its own failures. Gossiping over them is not cool.
There are many big names in India, like Sachin Tendulkar or Aamir Khan or Azim Premji, who either don’t possess academic degrees that one can boast of or have dropped out of college. Their success explains that these personalities are “relevantly” educated, to the extent that they have excelled in their own areas of work.
Give every child that opportunity to
explore the defining talent which can make them, rather than mocking over a
failure which can break them. Stand by those parents and the children who might
need your support.
Wishing every student that they bring home a pleasant report card. Even if they don’t, hope this will just be a new start nevertheless.
(Koral Dasgupta is an author, columnist, academic and Advisory Member CBFC. Twitter/@koraldasgupta)
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