Success: Not the half-brother to results

Two female and one male friend smiling and studying
Photo: © Ashwin Abhirama Kharidehal / 123RF Stock Photo

The root cause of stress and anxiety among students can be pin-pointed to the fear of examinations, failure to live up to parental expectations and peer pressure. The present education system has been giving undue importance to the singular aspect called ‘result’. Parents, in their over-enthusiasm, tend to impose lofty expectations on children even to out-perform their peers. They, in fact, try to live their own ambitions through their children without making any effort to know the areas of interest of their kids. Children are made to feel miserable when they fail in school examinations. This robs them of the very joy of their life. Mere blind focus on academic performance has been putting a tremendous pressure on the child.

It requires a tower of strength to smoothen the knitted eyebrows of the family members and rescue the wretched, tongue-tied poor candidate, who has possibly spent nights on a sleepless pillow and burnt the midnight oil with sincerity, and yet has not lived up to the vaulting ambitions of the family. What we fail to realize is that fierce competition and increasing social expectations have put a heavy pressure on students to perform in academics alone.

With the rise of technology integration in diverse fields and a great demand for application-oriented and knowledgeable candidates from the employers, many parents have begun understanding the wider scheme of things and have consequently stopped pressuring the students. But there are miles to go before we are able to break free from this adamantine chain. Parents need to provide assurance to their children that success is not the half-brother of results. They can succeed in life even though they might fail to secure the highest marks in their regular examinations. They need to be encouraged to be practical, positive and passionate in their efforts. Parents need to harness their unreasonable ambitions and set realistic targets, empower the kids to look at failure with the eye of positivity in opposition to the traditional approach of doubt and frustration.

The educational arena is yet to witness major reforms in our country. However, the newly approved National Education Policy offers a transformative vision for the segment of education. With the NEP 2020, we foresee major changes taking place at all levels in the Indian education system and potentiality to transform India into a “vibrant knowledge hub” making it a global knowledge superpower. It emphasizes on conceptual understanding rather than rote learning; seeks to develop knowledge, skills and values to nurture responsible global citizens. Students are the valued resource of our country and the responsibility of nurturing and equipping them for the future completely rests on the education they receive. With greater focus on application-oriented conceptual learning, examinations would then become an easily accepted self-assessing tool rather than being a weapon of stress, anxiety and excruciating mental torture.

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Dr Augustine F. Pinto is a well-known educationist and the Chairman of Ryan International Group of Institutions, Mumbai.

Dr Augustine F. Pinto

Dr Augustine F. Pinto is a well-known educationist and the Chairman of Ryan International Group of Institutions, Mumbai.