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Tuesday, Jul 16, 2019

‘Stop relating marks with a successful career’

Is the pressure worth it? Not just campus stars but average students too excel in various fields, say educationists.

education Updated: May 20, 2019 13:26 IST
Rajeev Mullick
Rajeev Mullick
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
There is no dearth of students who scored around 90% and still cracked all India level competitive examination.
There is no dearth of students who scored around 90% and still cracked all India level competitive examination. (File)

Over- emphasis on a perfect or near-perfect score (close to 100%) in each subject in the Board exams has led to a skewed and limited viewpoint that high marks culminate in career success, says educationists, suggesting that parents should not put undue pressure on their wards for scoring cent percent marks.

“Getting 100 per cent in subjective papers has resulted in the ‘dumbing down’ of meaningful education (the oversimplification of the intellectual content of education). Fortunately, there are numerous opportunities for students with varied aptitudes and interests,” said Amrita Dass, educationist and career consultant.

“Those who don’t wish to pursue undergraduate academic degrees can choose from a range of professional programmes in management, defence services, law, hotel management, travel and tourism, culinary arts, mass communication, fine/applied art, design, animations, social work and elementary education for a bachelor’s degree,” she said.

There is no dearth of students who scored around 90% and still cracked all India level competitive examination.

Gunjan Dwivedi of Lucknow had secured ninth rank in the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), the result of which was declared last month. She passed ISC in commerce stream with about 91% from Loreto Convent in 2011 and graduated with political science (honours) from Delhi University’s Daulta Ram College.

“Marks are important but not the only parameter to measure one’s academic excellence. What matters is how you fare in all India competitions like UPSC and JEE Advanced,” said Gunjan who did not even clear the first stage in her previous two attempts in UPSC but got 9th rank this year.

Miss India 2016 second runner-up and Lucknow girl Pankhuri Gidwani had scored 97.25% in the ISC examination 2017. A student of La Martiniere Girls’ College, Lucknow she could not appear in the board examination in 2016 because of various reasons.

Principal of La Martiniere Girls’ College, Lucknow, Aashrita Dass said, “While I am glad students are making us proud by securing high grades, I firmly believe that those children who are not in the 90% bracket are also achievers.

There are so many children out there who have been average in academics but have outdone themselves in various fields,” she said.

“I feel success should not be measured by ‘all that glitters’. True success lies in compassion, empathy, persistence and love. May we raise our children to be passionate and to give their best,” she said.

While commending the outstanding achievement of toppers, Amrita Dass said, “I want to reassure students who did not get high grades that the Board cut-off eligibility percentage to appear for most competitive exams ranges between 45% (eg CLAT) to 60% (eg 5-year Integrated Management Programme at IIM, Indore and Rohtak). Here you are tested for your general mental ability.”

Also, many renowned universities globally had started taking into consideration the co-curricular and other beyond - the - classroom accomplishments of students rather than just the Board results. Some even had a separate extracurricular and sports quota for those who excelled in these, she said.

Prof Geeta Gandhi Kingdon, president of City Montessori School said, “It is regrettable that exam boards have been inflating marks in the name of ‘moderation’. While it is important for education policy makers to ensure a fairer assessment system, it is also important for parents to understand that many people with seemingly mediocre marks go on to attain great success in life.”

“Schools must provide an education which not only narrowly consists of academic learning that is assessed by board exams (the visible part of the ‘iceberg’), but also a broad-based experience that leads to personal development – the major portion below the visible tip of the iceberg,” Kingdon said.

First Published: May 19, 2019 09:01 IST

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