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Meet these people to discover that marks don’t define success

HT’ s Manraj Grewal Sharma studies a handful of success stories from the region only to discover that marks don’t define success.

education Updated: Jun 01, 2017 11:34 IST
Manraj Grewal Sharma

Of the 10.9 lakh students who appeared for the CBSE Class 12 exams this year, only 5.8% managed to score above 90%. But such is the buzz surrounding high marks that you want to believe that anyone scoring less has no hope in hell of being successful. But real life is different. HT’ s Manraj Grewal Sharma studies a handful of success stories from the region only to discover that marks don’t define success.

Samar Singla, co-founder, Jugnoo (HT Photo)

SCHOOL TAUGHT HIM THE ART OF SURVIVAL: SAMAR SINGLA,CO-FOUNDER, JUGNOO

Singla, who founded Jugnoo in November 2014, says he was an average student at school in Sangrur.

“I flunked in maths in Class 11,” he says. He also scored poorly in Class 12 but managed to crack the joint entrance examination (JEE) because he “enjoyed taking the exam”.

Back to school

This IT geek, who did his schooling from Gen Gurnam Singh School at Sangrur, says he was never a great student. “I used to get thrashed quite often. But I never really cared about what others thought about me. In that sense, my school taught me the art of survival.”

Life lesson for students

Singla says it’s parents who need advice not students. “Students know what they want to do in life. Parents should chill out and stop forcing their ambitions on their children. Kids will do a lot better if encouraged,” He recalls how his parents wanted him to crack the civil services. “I told them ‘which world are you living in’ and they finally gave in.”

Gurneet Tej, deputy commissioner, Rupnagar (HT Photo)

ENJOY WHAT YOU STUDY, CULTIVATE MANY HOBBIES: GURNEET TEJ, DEPUTY COMMISSIONER, RUPNAGAR

Marks don’t matter in the long run, says Gurneet Tej, the girl from Chandigarh who stood second in the civil services examination in 2006. Now the DC of Rupnagar, she says the education system needs a revamp. “Right now, the sky high cut-offs in colleges force students to be marks driven.”

Back to school

An alumna of St Anne’s School, Chandigarh, Tej admits she was a mark chaser all her school life. “Quite study driven, I was among the okay students,” she says, recalling how she scored 85% in Class 12. She was fond of reading and writing. “It’s important for a student to have many hobbies and take part in extra-curricular activities.”

Life lesson for students

“Your success in life in not incumbent upon your marks. There are many other factors at play,” says Tej. Her advice for students is simple – “Understand your subjects well. Be regular at school and pay attention during class.”

Harkamal Sohi, IRS officer (HT Photo)

FOLLOW YOUR HEART, KNOW YOUR STRENGTH: HARKAMAL SOHI, INDIAN REVENUE SERVICE OFFICER

This girl from SAS Nagar says it’s important to follow your heart when selecting your subjects. “My father, an army officer, wanted me to choose either the medical or non-medical stream but I knew I didn’t have it in me to slog so much,” she says. So she stuck to psychology, which finally helped her make it to the civil services.

Back to school

Harkamal says she was a happy-go-lucky student at DAV Public School, Amritsar. “I remember scoring 75% in the Class 10 board exams and being quite satisfied with it.” Looking back, she feels bad for all those classmates who tried in vain to become a doctor or an engineer. “It’s important to know your strengths and weaknesses or you run the risk of getting frustrated.”

Life lesson for students

“Anything that interests you will take you far. School is school, whatever you land up doing in life does not depend on your grades,” she says.

Bharti Singh, the comedienne (HT Photo)

DON’T CRAM, LEARN ENOUGH TO BE SELF-SUFFICIENT: BHARTI SINGH, THE COMEDIENNE

Raised in Amritsar, the comedienne who shot to fame with the Great Indian Laughter Challenge, 2008, says she barely scraped through her exams. The reason was her preoccupation with rifle-shooting and archery. Bharti, a student of Kanya Vidyalaya, won gold medals in both the sports.

Back to school

Bharti says she remembers studying just enough to pass. Keen on rifle shooting and archery, she opted for physical education and geography in Class 12. “I chose these subjects because I found them easy and scoring,” says Bharti, who scored 75%. “But today I regret not paying enough attention to my studies in school. Sometimes I have a hard time in the industry all because of poor education,” she says.

Life lessons for students

“Pay attention in class. Learning matters, especially in the long run. Cramming is of no use, but do learn enough to be self-sufficient. That is the purpose of education.”

Nikhil Mittal, Nik Bakers (HT photo)

‘SPORTS TEACHES LIFE SKILLS LIKE LEADERSHIP, TEAM BUILDING’: NIKHIL MITTAL, NIK BAKERS

This well-known baker from Chandigarh doesn’t remember being a great student. “I got around 60% in Class 12. My grandmother didn’t speak to me for a month when she learnt I wanted to become a chef.” Parents, he says, should encourage children to follow their calling instead of being obsessed with grades.

Back to school

Captain of the cricket team at Stepping Stones, Mittal says it was cricket that taught him leadership and team building. “Sports also made me fearless because falling down and getting up again wasn’t a big deal.”

Life lesson for students

“Do what you want to do, don’t let parents or others affect your ambitions.” Parents should trust their children. “I was in Class 8 when my father said ‘you are grown up, take your own decisions now’. That just made me more responsible.”