Exams are festivals, PM advises students
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held his fifth Pariksha Pe Charcha event on Friday, and the first at such scale offline since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi exhorted schoolchildren to overcome any fear of examinations, reminding them of past examination successes that led them to where they were, in his first physical address to students as part of his “Pariksha Pe Charcha” event, in which he also asked parents to allow their children to discover their own “special abilities” .
This was the PM’s fifth such event, and the first at such scale offline since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Modi has used these events in the past to motivate children ahead of key examinations like the school-graduating boards.
“Do not stress yourself over what you could not prepare. Focus on your strengths. Do not change your routine at the last minute in trying anything as an imitation of others. Appear in your exams with a festive mood without any stress,” Modi said responding to queries of students about the tensions and stress pertaining to examinations.
“You are not giving exams for the first time. In a way, you are exam-proof. Thus, do not be stressed. Remember that you have successfully overcome exams before,” the PM said, before describing the “Pariksha Pe Charcha” as “my favourite programme but due to Covid, I couldn’t meet you”.
Modi was meeting an audience of 1,100 students from classes 9-12 at the Talkatora Stadium in Delhi. To a question, he also noted that the National Education Policy (NEP) announced by his government has been wholeheartedly welcomed by every section of the country, and said consultative process for it was exhaustive.
Answering questions from some students, the PM said: “Unfulfilled dreams of teachers and parents cannot be forced on students. It is important for every child to follow their own dreams. Parents and teachers should accept that every student has some special ability and help them to discover that.”
During the interaction, students asked the Prime Minister for tips to study online without distractions. Modi replied: “It is not the medium but the mind that is the problem.”
He advised students to consider technology as an opportunity and not a challenge. “Online can augment your offline learning. Online mode of learning is for collection and offline is for nurturing and doing. For example, one can learn how to make dosa online but preparation and consumption will happen offline,” the PM said.
Some students, including Vaibhav Kannaujia of Delhi and Aron Eben of Doha, asked the Prime Minister for tips to stay motivated. The PM responded by saying: “There is no injection or formula for motivation. Instead, discover yourself better and find out what makes you happy and work on that.”
He further asked the students to identify things that motivate them naturally. “We should observe the efforts and strengths of our surroundings and draw inspiration from them,” he said. He also recalled from his book titled “Exam Warrior” how one can feel motivated by writing a letter to the ‘exam’ itself and challenging the exam with one’s strength and preparation.
Erica George of Udhampur, and Hair Om Mishra of Gautam Budh Nagar asked how they should handle the twin demands of competitive exams and studying for the Boards. “One should aim to master the subject rather than study just for clearing exams…You belong to a special generation. Yes, there is more competition but there are more opportunities too. Treat competition as the greatest gift of your time,” the PM responded.
Some students and teachers also asked the Prime Minister how the provisions of the NEP 2020 will empower students’ lives.
Elaborating on the NEP 2020, Modi said the policy was not prepared by the government but by the citizens, the students, and its teachers for the development of the country. “Previously, physical education and training were considered as extracurricular activities. But now they are made a part of curriculum and are gaining new prestige. We cannot determine our development trajectory in the 21st century with 20th century education systems and ideas. We would be left out and go back if we don’t evolve with the changing systems,” Modi said.
Seema Chetan Desai of Navsari, a parent from Gujarat, asked the Prime Minister about how society can contribute towards the upliftment of rural girls. To this, Modi said the situation has changed over the years from the time when the education of girls was ignored.
“No society can improve without ensuring proper education of the girls. Opportunities and empowerment of daughters should be institutionalized. In the year of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, we have the maximum number of Members of Parliament in the history of independent India. Daughter is the strength of the family. What can be better than seeing our Nari shakti excel in different sectors of life,” the Prime Minister responded.
He concluded his address by acknowledging the importance of the “Pariksha Pe Charcha” event for himself. “I try to learn from you by associating with your generation. As I connect with you I get the glimpse of your aspirations and dreams and try to mould my life accordingly. Therefore, this programme is helping me grow. I thank you all for giving me time to help myself and grow,” he said.
He also praised the students for doing their duty in getting vaccinated.
Students who attended the event said that the tips and advice given by the PM will help them during their upcoming exams. “Following the Prime Minister’s suggestion I will revise thoroughly what I have studied so far instead of starting something new now,” said Sugandha Kumari, a student from Kendriya Vidyalaya in RK Puram.