Why this obsession with marks?

Nisha Tiku Raina
The focus these days seem to be only on the marks and results of the students. In this process the students fail to enjoy the most endearing part of their education – the student life. It is rightly said that the journey is more important than the destination. But we completely seem to ignore it when it comes to a child’s educational journey. The fixation with the end results and the numbers reflected on the report cards are so strong that it completely overpowers our moral reasoning.
Sadly enough, in the present educational system marks seem to define and certify a child’s capabilities. This clearly explains the obsession of the parents as well as the students with the results. It’s high time we sit and ponder over what will actually matter in the long run. Is it the numbers on the report card or the true qualities of a child that will make him/her a successful and more importantly a happy responsible citizen?
Our worthy Prime Minister has rightly said “Never let the child in you die”. But the question that we need to ask ourselves is “Are we taking away the childhood from our children?” Hope we all are in a position to give a confident NO as a reply to this question. Of course, not every parent is an obsessive one. But many parents become stressed-even more stressed than their children!-when it’s exam time. Parents sometimes try to live out their unfulfilled dreams through their children. They become fixated on their children’s academic performance, regardless of where their children’s actual talents and potential lie.
Parents know it’s important to encourage their children continually, love them unreservedly, and support them unconditionally .But it’s difficult to measure just how encouraging, loving and supportive a parent is. It’s much easier to use their children’s academic results as an indication of their parenting ability and success. The better their children are performing in school, the better they must be performing as parents. But this logic is unfortunately flawed. Parents’ obsession with academics can adversely affect the parent-child relationship. They think that academic success alone will lead to success in the real world.
Parent’s worry, pride, disappointment and happiness over their child are understandable and justified to the extent that they should accept the situation that their child is in. Again, board results are not the ultimate destiny for their child. They should think about their times. They too had taken the boards, but how much have the results affected them so far? Did their marks ever help them through the difficult times in their life? Did they make them a better or a worse person? Their anxiety is justified, considering that the competition is extremely difficult for kids today, with the ever soaring cut-offs of the colleges, increasingly tough entrances examinations and the race to secure admission into a good college – all of which is very taxing. But they need not get swayed by how much marks the neighbor’s son or daughter has secured and should not compare their child’s progress with that of someone else’s. Instead, consider the sincere effort that their child has put into studying. They should not let exam fear engulf their child. The child is more precious than the boards, the competition, the percentage, the neighborhood talks and the prestigious college seats.
A great social responsibility lies with the teachers. They are the ones who create the future citizens, who carry the world forward on their shoulders. But the ultimate goal of teaching is to create a good, moral and responsible human being. So we need to nurture the habit of acceptance in kids from a very young age. Their marks, mark-sheet, performance and exams should not be the ultimate object of their lives. Therefore, they need to be taught to look beyond such concerns and instead work for a higher purpose in life. Let not a ninety be the goal of the student, let the goal be to apply the BEST EFFORT and aim for the BEST. The ability to accept success and failures as they come should feel natural to them. So the stake holders need to encourage them, motivate them and inspire them, for they alone can create a generation of responsible, upright citizens.