“You haven’t heard, Mr. Sharma’s son got 95% in boards. And you, just 90%, how will you get a good college like him?” Mr. Patel exclaimed to his son after the results were announced sitting at the dining table for breakfast. “But Papa, I am the fourth topper of my school.” His son replied not daring to look at his father. “So what, he is second.” His father said in a louder voice.
The above conversation is of the Patel family. So, what about the Sharma family? After all, his family member has secured the second position. Let’s see.
“From last three years you’re the topper of your school then how can you be so negligent towards your studies at the time of your boards.” Mr Sharma said to his son. “But papa, I have stood second and the topper has scored just 0.2% more than me…” This was the reply from his son. His father looked at him in the way which was enough to make him quiet for the rest of his life.
Oh! If his son is not the topper and is upset for that then maybe topper’s family would be happy. Let’s go and check out what’s happening in their family.
“The state topper has secured 98% and you? Just 95.2%, do you think you will get as good rank as he got at the national level?” The topper’s father said. But this guy is not as brave as the other two were. He dares not get into crocodile’s mouth by saying anything.
Hmmm… if the ranker’s families are not happy and satisfied I wonder what the failures family would be saying now. But guys, don’t you think the words like first, second, third and fourth remind a marathon more than education?
Now-a-days, education has become a marathon. From the very first day of the school, parents instruct their children to go and stand first, overtake your classmates. And every student is busy in comparing percentages with the other students. Nobody talks about what they learnt. But everybody talks about what they scored. The score becomes the reason to show off for the parents. You wanna see how?
“My daughter has scored 94%” one mother will say. “My son has scored 95%” the other will say. And the mother whose child had not touched the 90s will sit quietly.
If a student says, “I love science.” That doesn’t mean he wants to invent something new. But it means he just scores well in science. For example, we read about matter. We read that matter is made up of particles and write that in our exam. After that what happens? We forget everything. Do we ever wonder the chair on which we are sitting have small, small particles? No. That is all because we are only concerned about science marks not the science subject.
Every time when exams get over everybody gets keen to see who stood first, second and third in the race. Nobody bothers to know what they learnt. The moment they receive the answer sheet they see where the marks have been deducted. I know, it is important to see where you have made a mistake. But it is more important to see why you have made a mistake. What kind of mind you had to apply which you didn’t? And why you didn’t? Nobody cares about that. ‘Cause everybody is busy running the marathon.
I am not saying the toppers don’t study the way they should. But maximum toppers study for marks, not knowledge. And they should not. After the announcement of results parents start comparing their child with the others. And that is absolutely wrong. Everybody constitutes their own place in the world. Can you compare Abhinav Bindra with Sushruta? Can you compare Narendra Modi with Sachin Tendulkar? Can you? Can you? Can you?
No? No, right? If Abhinav Bindra would not be there who would have won gold for India? If Sushruta would not be there who would have been called, ‘Father of Indian surgery’? If Narendra Modi would not have been there who would suggest the cleanliness drive? If Sachin Tendulkar would not have been there who would have made 100 centuries? See, everybody has its own place. Here, we’ve taken example of people from two different professions. We cannot even compare people from same profession. Like, Shahrukh Khan has given romance to Bollywood while Aamir Khan has given 100 crore, 200 crore and 300 crore club to Bollywood.
If it is unfair to compare them then why do we compare children? They have their own space, own place.
It’s time for us to understand that education is really not a marathon. But a window through which a child learns at the pace which is right for him.