Since last few days after the results of 12th and 10th standard were declared, one question has been haunting me “Is this worth? Today morning I read that two children gave their life just because scores may not be good enough to take science stream. Every time something like this happens the debate on current education system starts and ends without any positive conclusion. Is the present parent generation so helpless under their burden of their own expectations that they can not see the suffering and struggle of their children.
The moment child enters 9th class, his/her whole world is turned into a tsunami of expectations. The school, parents and the society has few sentences to say i.e Now you have to study hard, forget about playing, Concentrate , do not waste your time. People in their lives expect them to turn into marks machine. Parents think that if their child does not get into science stream it is end of world for them. The teachers think that students not scoring above 80% are not good enough for taking science. The relatives and friends think that as if the child has some intelligence deficit. It is vivacious circle of unjust expectations for which children pay the price.
Majority of parents think that if their children become engineers or doctors , that means they have done their best. They do not bother to find out their child’s aptitude or his/her talent. Why are they afraid to look below the surface ? Why they do not let child have freedom of thought and be his/her natural self. No doubt it is parents duty to guide the child for choosing the career. Every parent wants to see their children progressing. But today it is more about their expectations then the child’s welfare. Why we are so insecure as a parent generation ? Why can’t we explore more avenues and opportunities instead of limiting their choses.
The school and the teachers are the equal contributors to this sorrow state. The moment they see less than or more than 80% on the mark-sheet, the student’s fate is decided. Their only agenda is result. Who says a child scoring average marks is not intelligent enough to study science or vise versa. Why is a student not given freedom to choose his stream/subjects irrespective of marks he/she scores in 10th standard ?
If the parents and the teachers give enough opportunities to choose from, there are better chances of having a progressive future generation. And most important when there is no fear of being judged on the limited criteria, they would perform better.
“Opportunities are exploration of interests
Right to choose the path and walk on it
Is what freedom is all about.”
Appeal to all parents : let the children study without fear of failure and we may leave a legacy of fearless society
Fear -PART III
‘We are not afraid of the darkness but the fear of not able to see anything‘
We talk about gender equality. Have we ever thought from where this inequality comes from.? When a child is born, does he/she starts behaving according to the gender. When hungery does a boy cry differently then a girl, or smile or laugh differently. No, it does’nt. It is the parents or other people who make differentiation. Blue for the boy and pink for the girl. If a baby boy is dressed in pink, do you think he will protest or vise-a-versa. The grown ups give dolls to the girls and cars to the boys. Slowly the distinction start getting more and more marked
Right from the early years the boys are made aware that they are strong. Don’t weep when you fall down and get hurt, because you are a strong boy. And poor child in the fears of appearing weak, puts on a brave front.. When he comes crying because some other child beat him or he lost while playing, what is parents response? Oh, you are a boy, be strong and next time fight back and give him nicely.
So by the time child is ready to start schooling, he is well aware of his superiority and expectations attached to it and he is constantly under pressure to behave accordingly. Through out the school years he is pushed to go for sports and other things which will make him strong and masculine. Poor child just because of fear he may do things which he may not enjoy or like. But who has the time to ask him what he would like to do, be it parents, teachers or others around him. Even if they know, it may not be a good idea in their opinion.
By the time he reaches age 20, it is cemented in him that he has to earn a living and take the responsibilities of family being male member. And he is constantly under the pressure to perform well. For the fear of upsetting his parents, he would choose the career according to their expectations. After all as a son he is duty-bound. Do we realise the plight of a young man, who has fear of not being successful. He may have different aspirations and expectation from life but most of the time he would not dare to venture. What if it does not work out? He may become a subject of radicule among the society. As he goes further the fears keep increasing, to perform better. After marriage to be an ideal husband and a father. Poor thing , he dare not think about himself as an individual. Is’nt ‘rooted in fear’ says it all.
Fear has a crippling effect on not just body but mind also. We associate fear with only external factors but it is more to do with our own self. The question is how to remove it? First of all, we need to acknowledge it and then try to get over it little by little. If it is too late for present generation, we can make a conscious effort to set our children free from the burden of expectations. This may pave the path towards living without fear of failure.
This is in continuation on of fear series PART – I & II
Copyright (c) 2017 Namrata D Prabhakar
All rights reserved
FEAR – Part II
‘School is a temple of knowledge’ I read it somewhere in my growing-up years. I wonder how true is this in today’s context. I am not generalizing but where are those temples? The children go to school for learning, by learning it means not just the bookish knowledge but the social values, the skills and harnessing their talents and developing their personalities.
As in my earlier post Fear part -I, here also I would like to say that Fear is limiting the children’s limitless abilities. The pressure to take good marks and perform well in all activities instil fear of non/under- performance in the children. How is it humanly possible for every child to take above 90% marks? Every one is unique and talented in their own right. Instead of finding out their interests and helping them to enhance them, the school i.e teachers try to discipline and curtail them. As they go to higher classes the fear of failure grows more, and by the time child reaches 12th standard, he is a bundle of confusion lost in the sea of expectations of parents, teachers, school, society ,list goes on and on.
Fear is the worst enemy at any stage of life, but more so in the formative years. Instead of being result-oriented if the institutions become skill-oriented, they might get surprised by the final results. The conditional approach is more of a deterrent then fruitful, the moment sentence starts with ‘do…….else ‘, the child gets defensive. Then inspite of his best efforts and hard work the outcome may not be good. Let children work according to their own capacity. After leaving the institutions the students remember and thank the teachers who supported them regardless of their % or marks scored.
These days the debate is getting stronger and stronger on the relevance of sending children to the schools. It is not un-common to hear the word depression and other stress-related problems being associated with the adolescence and young children at career development stages. Unfortunately, the word suicide is being heard frequently. Why? Just because of not scoring good marks.
Our duty as a parent or as a teacher is to give child right environment to perform and not become judge and jury for his actions or inactions.
“A seed grows up to be a fruit-laiden tree
Only when it has the perfect environment”