Myth Busting

Myth Busting

Last year, around this time, I met a girl in the neighbourhood who had just become aware of her HSC results. She seemed absolutely down in the dumps. Assuming that she’s failed, or at the very least, performed real bad, I inquired as mildly as I could, about the cause of her gloominess. She was bit uncomfortable initially, but after a little gentle prodding, she gave in. Her response jolted me. She said she was embarrassed to face her Mathematics teacher because she had obtained “only” 98 out of the maximum of 100 in her Mathematics paper. Till I had met this girl, I was under the impression that with grades like these, students would be rejoicing, celebrating and even distributing sweets to one and all. But it was not so.

On the other extreme, Dr. Anil Tambe, a prominent doctor from Thane revealed to me another shocking case related to the board results. Earlier this week, on Monday morning, he had discharged a 15-year-old girl (name withheld) from his hospital. This girl was admitted to his hospital on the previous day because she had apparently consumed rat poison in an attempt to commit suicide. Why? She had failed in her tenth standard (CBSE) exams!

Both the above cases signal a disturbing trend that has come to besiege the board exams. With increasing competition and peer pressure, board results have become perhaps the biggest source of stress, trauma and paranoia among students.

Each year more than a hundred thousand students appear for board exams across the country. Most of them attach more importance to the results than is warranted. And as we’ve seen from the cases above, this applies to all kinds of students – not just the so-called dull students but also the brilliant ones who score extremely well.

But students are not alone to be blamed. Parents, teachers and the society share the responsibility equally. For instance, regardless of their expectations from their children, it’s important for parents to declare unequivocally that they love their children  . Parents must let children know that they love them in spite of, not because of, their performances. An old saying goes, “A child needs love the most when he least deserves it.”

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