For various reasons Indians are emerging as a highly competitive society. The impact of this psychology affects our children and their education deeply. We like to compare the marks scored by children in a competitive manner and treat it as a reflection of our skills in parenting and since all of us consider ourselves as the best parents we expect our children to outscore other children.
Children are like ‘race horses’ performing for the ‘ego kick’ their parents receive from the marks scored and the number of children beaten in score. This marks’ obsession has severe long term harmful effects on our society. Let us analyze some of them.
Marks’ Obsession sacrifices all round Development
Education, like all other fields has become a highly competitive field. Schools are forced to imbibe the outlook of the parents for their survival. They are also obsessed with marks. All round development of the children gets neglected. It is common practice for schools to force children to abstain from games and extracurricular activities in 10th, 11th and 12th.
Result – sacrifice of all round development for the sake of a few more marks! The loss for the student has lifelong ramifications. That the student may score a few more marks is also debatable. I am convinced that a healthier, happier and physically more active child would score more marks. Scientific evidence also suggests this to be true.
Marks’ Obsession produces Irresponsible and Indifferent Students
Owing to this marks’ obsession practically all children take extra tuition classes, which are not required by the majority. Today we have two generations experienced in extra tuition. Often children feel frustrated at having to spend unwanted long hours in studies and thus develop an indifferent attitude towards studies, particularly aspects they find difficult. They develop the attitude that the responsibility for getting high grades in difficult subjects is that of the tutor providing extra classes. It is a sort of “out sourcing psychology”, out sourcing responsibility of obtaining marks to tutors! The tutors force disinterested students to somehow score marks. Sadly, learning is of no concern to parents, tutors or children! Actually learning is a much easier and efficient route to scoring marks and would prove reliable in life in the long run and facing any type of examination. We are thus creating an irresponsible and reactive society rather than a proactive one.
Marks’ Obsession has lowered our Ethical Values
Children would not hesitate to use unethical means to score even one or two more marks, because they know that their parents would have done that as well.
Marks’ Obsession has lowered International Rating of Indian Institutions
My personal experience shows that it is difficult to find a CBSE student who can write a decent essay, or a précis in English. The international rating of Indian institutions has fallen. Better aware and economically sound parents are sending their children to International schools and for higher education abroad.
Marks’ Obsession is making Parents lose Money in unwanted Tuition.
Parents are not only sacrificing the all round development of their children, but also losing money in extra tuition classes.
Parents should realize that good parenting is not gauged by marks scored by their children.
Responsible, ethical parents will have good children. Parents should value education and learning. Children will automatically imbibe these values.
Children learn not what we say, but what we practice.
Parents should seek all round development and quality learning from schools, including sports and extracurricular activities.
Parents should not send children for extra tuition, unless it is considered essential by the school teachers. This attitudinal change is vital for the health of Indian society.