Recently all the social media, TV channels and a couple of networking sites in Bangalore were flooded with images of a high school girl, who actually didn’t go back home after she faced the fear of getting low marks in mathematics. The petrified parents approached the news channel causing this news to go wild. The parents were confused and everyone were trying to pour help. On one side it is amazing to see the power of social media, and various other networks to help the parents resulting the child to be found; returning her to the safe zone of her family.
While we take the focus away from the girl, now as an educationist and being in the field of helping parents to get over such issues would ask a question here, to you. Who would you blame for this situation to occur? The girl for not going back home? Just to say she was not courageous enough to face the consequences. Would you blame the school? Who couldn’t manage to teach the child how to face failures, to overcome the challenges and the difficulties in scoring good marks. Would you blame parents? Whom she couldn’t face due to the high expectations of the parents or any other reason as such. Or, would you blame competition? Where she couldn’t compete with her peer group. Do you blame the society? Who is behind marks and who is always defining success of children based on materialistic gains and not the size of challenges overcame by the children. “WHO WOULD YOU BLAME?”, we really don’t know who has to be blamed in this system. But one thing is for sure, if each one of us today, ensure that we consciously go behind concepts and marks to be a reflection of learning with a growth mindset, then the whole world for everybody is going to change.
How do we view marks? It is high time that we understand, that marks are to be seen as a benchmark or as a feedback of two things; how much of teacher’s teaching is realized into the child and how much has the child understood of whatever has been taught. We must not associate marks with anything else than these two. This is how a growth minded person looks at marks and help children grow. One of the chapters in my upcoming book ‘Straight A+’ talks about act and react. If the child is surrounded by people who act, who are; the schools who act by providing counselling and help to the child; the parent who acts on the marks by saying things like ‘come sit with us, let’s work-out things, together’. Even if the child acts by taking measures to do better in the future. Or all of them could be reactive. The school might be reacting, parents might be rude and harsh with the child which eventually crushes the child’s self-esteem down. Friends might ridicule the child and the whole confidence could be washed off. Which would result in a similar way the girl reacted as shown in the NEWS, which is actually not necessary.
I urge everyone who are reading this, to start acting towards children and not react. This small step would change every child’s world. Instead of blaming the system, let’s make the changes in the system to make a difference, so that, one day the system standing in front of us is a changed one. People do need to go behind marks but to take them in a right way is absolutely necessary. It is time that children move away from silly memorizing process and rote methods of comprehension to concept based understanding and application of the same, including synthesis of the challenges and evaluation of the concepts than staying at a basic level of asking questions and giving answers in order to mark children for these. Isn’t it true?
I personally wish that no child goes through the face of not being able to face their fellow human beings. A newspaper article reporting this issue informed that the father stated in the end, requesting his child to come back home and that he will not even ask the her what happened. While the mother urges her child to return through social media and also assuring her that they will be happy no matter what her scores are in the near future. Do children need to push their parents to this limit in order for them to learn a lesson? Taking this as an example, we as parents should learn a lesson and make sure that we prevent this, instead of taking a medicine after the damage is done. We can prevent these by taking the right action way before such incidents occur. Nobody in this world can actually express the amount of pain the parents would have gone through when this occurred and with the number of things happening in the society towards teens and especially girls.
The whole purpose of the education system is to bring out the good inside a child, if that is not happening then we as parents and adults are needed to make a difference in the education system. Let’s ensure that our children live in a safe, healthy environment and challenge themselves to the next levels.
Pass your VIEWS!
Transcribed by Touheed
Edited by Pushpa Rao