Dont make your child sacrifice his innate talents just for getting at A+

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Did you know that one of India’s most prestigious institute of educators, where only the brightest of the bright are given admission, keep their gates to the terraces closed during campus interviews and the result/report days?  It’s because they are scared that there might be a student who will buckle down under the pressure and end his precious life. If A+ was so important and if it was a sure step to success why is that we have suicides happening amongst even the most scholarly students?

A few years ago the IQ of an individual was measured on his logical skills. Many a times the society acknowledged people as intelligent if they were logically strong with a flair for math and science. Don’t you agree times have changed and hence today you can be intelligent or have a high IQ in any field or subject be it Art, Sports, Performing Arts, Creative Writing etc. Today exposure to all fields is required and so the stress on holistic education rises.

The horizon to do well has widened. One does not need to score an A+ to do well in his or her life.  Many times the suitability of the individual, his team spirit, his motivational streak, his positive attitude are responsible in shaping an individual’s life. How we face situations, meet challenges in our day to day life defines our path. A person who is average in his studies could be an original thinker, an imaginative writer, an artist, an illustrator, an orator and the list can go on. So where does it matter whether he/she scored an A+.

Let me share an instance with you…. I was attending my first ever job interview and the interview was with a leading newspaper, they wanted a ‘Response Executive’ and were offering a very lucrative salary with perks. The advertisement said they preferred MBAs and here I was with only a B Com degree. I sat there nervous amidst the MBAs and the other post graduates. To make a long story short, I was selected in the interview and given the job. The assistant manager told me I had secured the job due to my flare and command -of the language and my imaginative skills. That’s it. My degree had not mattered and neither had they taken a look at my grades, I suppose. It is the suitability of the individual that the interviewers consider top in their list. This is true in every walk of life.

Do we only go to a Doctor who has scored an A+? Do we ever check his grades? Doesn’t it sound ridiculous? It’s the Doctors passion and dedication to his/her career and his patients that eventually gives him/her success.
Same applies when it comes to little children. Why do parents put undue pressure on the child for his grades? Why do we put our future generation through this misery of competition? The only competition should be with our own selves. How much more have I accomplished since the last time is what should be measured and not how much better am I than the other. Putting in 100% of our effort in whatever we do should be the focus. If we can do this we will be more at peace with ourselves and with the world at large. And if we are at peace we can accomplish more.

If the focus is on A+ there are chances we are going to create a generation of machines and not human beings. If a student is only going to focus on getting an A+ at the expense of his happiness where is there a place for his holistic development? In the race of after school classes the child is always required to compromise on his free play with his friends. It is during this free play that a child grows holistically as he is able to play with his friends and learn team spirit, he is going to learn that it is okay to lose and still be happy for his friend who have won. He is going to understand how to deal with friends of different natures and temperaments and this will go a long way to help him perhaps to be a very good future manager.

We need to really  introspect and ask ourselves “While we strive to achieve an A+ are we in harmony with ourselves and the world around us?”  I am not saying A+ is wrong but the measures that we strive to take to earn an A+ should be carefully observed, monitored and reflected upon. It is the self-confidence and the positive attitude with which we meet challenges that takes us  a long way in life.

Asst. Prof. Trupti Jadhav

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