We are born, looked after by our parents, go to school, and spend years getting educated without having even the slightest idea of what its all about! By the time we realize its true worth, the opportunity is gone.
We get to appreciate our education only when we are asked to apply it somewhere! And all the schooling is wasted on the undue prominence on marks. In the rat race to obtain the highest all learning takes backseat and instead any means employed to enhance scores are encouraged.
And the sensitive child who ideally must feel friendly with his peers looks upon them as rivals. This could have a profound impact on their attitude. They look upon better performers as enemies and cultivate deep feelings of insecurity & hatred. In fact, these days I have come to observe that during my childhood when I used to be good performer, many friends had hard time with their parents.
They were subjected to embarrassment because they couldn’t perform as well as me. This has created a deep rift in their minds and they feel a sense of sadist pleasure when they finally see that they are presently in a much better materialistic position than me.
The point which I want to emphasize is that their happiness is based more on my failure and not their success.
Throughout my years in education, not even once anyone told me emphatically that the real purpose of education to be more informed, more balanced and create some value in the world, and marks are only the indication to outer world that you know something. Of course many people used to keep telling me this including my parents, but the bottomline was success must be guaranteed.
Henry Ford once said “Any customer can have a car painted in any colour he wants so long as it is black”. Indian parents seem to be very much in this line. Once in a while they would engage in some copy-paste wisdom of corporate world; but yes, you MUST succeed. Anything else is negotiable unless and until the performance itself is non-negotiable. And performance strictly translates into MARKS. Real freedom includes freedom to make mistakes. A freedom that excludes the freedom to make mistakes is no freedom at all.
I’ve known a person, who all the time used to philosophize in similar vein, used to give us lectures that any profession is okay etc…but finally when it comes down to his own son, goes panicky and cancels his official tours, supervises his son’s study personally and makes sure he get decent marks! Who is to blame?
System or parenting? Its kind of complex! They are a series of interactions amongst them, and the result is invariably unfavourable to child.
In the humdrum of gaining more marks, a child stakes all his chances on a single dice, and thus if bad; suddenly feels vacuous. He feels that is the end of road. The obsession with numbers doesn’t end here.
Once you show some talent, somebody remarks that such children must not be left alone and must be coached for some hi-level exams, adding that when all kinds of mediocrities manage to make it, it must be a cakewalk for you child.
And here begins the royal road to hell for the child. Parents take such advise seriously and invest huge amounts of money (often exceeding their limits) to make sure that the child gets enough exposure. And from here on begins his Herculean ordeal. He struggles relentlessly all day skipping sleep and works towards his goal.
Parents are not deterred least when the child doesn’t put up good performance, and such optimism is dangerous. He keeps on adding more stress to child in vain hope that he must outdo his colleague’s son etc. In few fortunate cases it clicks! Otherwise it breaks down.
This is carried on to the next level- job. Fancy salaries are so much a vogue these days that parents almost judge their level of success through the packages of their children. Their feeling of underperformance due to lack of opportunities is avenged through their child’s “victory”.
During my schooling, I was deeply interested in history and Maths (strange combination?). While in Maths, teachers were compelled to make allowance for my unconventional approach because I invariably arrived at correct answer; in history it was their turn to “correct” me. I used to read many other books and used to write some points which were relevant to the question but “out of syllabus”. Once, I questioned my teacher’s way of correction, he came out with a key (prepared by him) and told me blankly that if I don’t write that which doesn’t match with his key, he would be constrained to award me lesser marks.
’s system is the one which remarkably rewards mediocrity. Look at where India shines! IT industry! Amongst all my friends in IT (90% of them are in IT)! Most of them confess that their work is nothing better than donkey-work albeit with sophistry of modern world. Nobody even remotely plans to go for a startup and of all my friends, only one (who used to do coding right in 11th class; who in my opinion is truly qualified to be a IT man) is now an entrepreneur. India
These people work for their European and American bosses and most seem oblivious to the fact they earn because they are considered cheap labour by the west. Even in this regard,
is fast catching up and once English speaking graduates increase in world, Indians would lose much! China
All professions are not same. I admit. Even a mediocre failed actor of bollywood would be a known face and in all likelihood earning more than well-educated and skilled professionals. But what a professional elsewhere won’t lack is due regard and respect within his circle and also a appropriate compensation for his work. This is what is lacking in
Often my father used to compare few guys around who used to be toppers and used to implore me to justify his high investment on me, whereas others with far lesser investment were racing ahead. Infact I once argued with him, that few of them belonged to lesser known colleges where competition would be less intense; and since I was in good colleges, competition is more intense and subsequently my intelligence wasn’t enough to be a topper. He used to brush aside these saying “Where there is will. There is way.”…
Way for what? In one instance there were only few guys who got placed in college, and those unplaced were asked “See, they got placed…If they can, why not you?”. I immediately replied “If I got placed, then they would have remained unplaced…Overall it doesn’t matter The percentage of those unplaced remains same…issue is not resolved…Issue is that still a lot of population is unplaced….and that is more relevant”
Parents want super-successful professionals, child progenies and geniuses. Nobody wants a good decent child.
Parents often punish themselves severely for the non-performance of their children raising the pressures to unseen & intolerable limits! They feel that they have committed a sin for having begotten a child who’s mediocre. A more frequently seen abnormal behaviour is cutting off all social connections etc. And they indirectly punish their children too!
Very soon, the child gets the message pretty clear staring blankly into his face: BE SUCCESSFUL! Everything else is pardonable! But not this!
Why? Is it so bad to fail sometimes? Is it an unpardonable sin?
What I find most amusing is that parents narrate how they used to undergo so much hardship to get education! And how much they loved school!
I think its partly poor memory and partly diplomacy! Firstly what they have undergone was perfectly normal those days! All were subjected to similar environment! And love school? Haha
I think a child might get used to school, surrender his soul to it, get adjusted to it and might just overcome his feelings of hatred of school…but love school? Never…nobody does that!
Infact that is genuinely a compensation for loss the beautiful childhood!