Exams are nearing and children appearing for the board examinations are feeling mounting pressure from peers as well as parent to perform well and secure high marks. The stress is taking its toll right now and will show its effect at the time of declaration of results. News papers as well as TV channels every year report cases of suicides by young children who fail to live up to their parents’ expectations.
However, studies show that merely IQ (Intelligence Quotient) and marks in the report card is not enough to succeed in life and neither it’s an indication of a person’s intelligence, though it makes it easier to get a good break initially.
What is far more important is EQ (Emotional Quotient). A 'Record' of student's progress, the course mastered, the part's neglected or failed to grasp, along with special aptitudes, competencies and enthusiasm— would be far more valuable than a degree or a report card.
F. Abraham Principal of Lamartiniere Girl's College in Lucknow city endeavours to counter to the convention of the day. Her insights on education are radically different from the traditional conditioned response of the teaching community. She has done away with the bugbear of examinations till the junior level. She says this is done to eliminate fear of examination and performance anxiety from young student’s mind. Her staff diligently prepares 'assessment sheet' that makes parents aware of their child’s unique abilities and also actively involve them in enhancing their performance.
Studies suggest that when the distinction of "pass" and "fail" disappear children would perform better and in time there would be a dip in suicide rates too.
What the student really loves to do may not fit into the plans of parents or society, but it's an important part of understanding oneself and consequently of education.
A constant theme in J. Krishnamurthy declaration of the aims of education is the freedom of the Psyche or spirit.
If we dominate a child, compel him to fit into a pattern, will he be free at the end of it? Famous American feminist, educationist and philosopher, Nel Noddings has argued for many years that if we want children to care, then we must care for them.
(Eram Fatima is a research scholar at Lucknow University)