The aftermath of examination results

It is that time of the year when the results of the 10th and 12th examinations have been declared across India and Assam is no exception and as it happens every year there is a lot of noise around the hits and misses of students and educational institutions.

One noteworthy aspect of this year’s results has been the poor show of some premier institutions mostly from Kamrup Metro in both the HSLC and HS examinations. It is for the first time in its rich history that no students from Gauhati Commerce College figures in the rank chart of the commerce stream and the century old Cotton College’ contribution in the rank chart of Science and Arts stream is only two students.  Similarly, supposedly premier schools of Assam from Guwahati Metro do not find any mention in the rank list of HSLC. This below par performance of thesepremier educational institutions is generating some strong debatesin academic circles and the student fraternity on the quality of education being imparted by these institutions but in reality the reasons may be very differentaltogether.

Looking at it from another perspective, it is heartening to see that students from across Assam including the interior parts of the state have fared well in these examinations and this actually could point at the fact that the quality of education is gradually improving throughout the state. This is a healthy sign as for the overall development of the educational sector; quality education has to be available in every nook and corner of the state. Students need to get the best possible education at their own town or villagewhich will help them to perform better and reduce the financial burden of their parents. There is some apprehension on the decrease in the pass percentage but though it may have dipped slightly, it is not a major source of concern as it is still at a reasonable level.In India, the curse of education has been that quality education is available to only the privileged few i.e. either the ones who are born in metros and big towns or the students who have the financial backgrounds to relocate to these places and study so in a way, this year’s results are a welcome change for Assam and needs to be encouraged. It would also be beneficial if the Government thinks on the lines of setting up good quality schools and colleges in various interior parts of the state instead of concentrating on only the traditionally “good old colleges”. The lamp of education needs to go to the villages and only then will society and state prosper.

In the aftermath of the results, there is the usual noise from a lot of parents and guardians on their wards not faring upto their expectations.  It is appreciated that parents and guardians will have some expectations from their wards but the “expectations” of parents needs to be in the right context and should be in tune with the modern realities. The word “results” sometimes becomes a phobia to the children for a variety of reasons like peer comparison, parental expectations etc and so it is important that expectations should not over burden the students and create pressure for them. All concerned need to take cognizance of the fact that there are numerous instancesin the past where students have succumbed to the pressure generated by results and the consequences have been disastrous.

The results of an examination are only an academic evaluation and not the overall evaluation or assessment of a child. To succeed in life, academic excellence is only one of the parameters; there are various other aspects of life which are critical for success. In today’s modern world, there are various careers for which academic criteria is not that relevant.  If the skills and aptitude of a child are identified properly, a suitable career can be built around that and that is why the expectations from a child need to be in the right context and not from only the academic point of view.

The results of 10th and 12th examinations are viewed by many as a “do or die situation” but nothing can be far from the truth. It is not the end of it but rather the “beginning.” There is no reason why a student who has not fared well in these examinations cannot do better in other examinations and tests of life.Parents and guardians need to keep in mind that the way students are handled post their results, irrespective of the outcome of the results is very important. If a student has not done well, it should not become a barrier but rather should be a motivator so that it inspires them to perform better in the future.

It needs to be kept in mind that students at this age are very emotional and hence vulnerable. Unsolicited advices and suggestions from various people will only add on to a student’s confusion and mental turbulence. So students who have not done well at this stage should not be advised by all and sundry. Professional help from competent people should be taken as and where required. Every child is unique. The needs and nurturing would need to be different depending on that child. At this stage, the role of the parents, guardians and teachers attains significance to ensure that there is proper moulding which would enable in bringing out their inherent talent and qualities.

Education is changing and at a very fast rate. Book education is getting replaced by more practical education.  Pedagogy across the globe is changing and we as a country need to adapt and move to more innovative styles and modes of thinking. The definition of the word “results” perhaps needs to be relooked at. The focus should be on assessment and evaluation rather than only on evaluation through results. Results are only a reflection of how one performed while writing and as such may not reflect the exact education standard of that student.  In today’s changing scenario, the role of parents, guardians and teachers are critical for success in academics as well as life in general. While educating our children, we should not lose sight of the most critical aspect of life i.e. “Let the child live life”.

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AUTHOR INFORMATION

Arindam Garg, Associate Professor and Head, Department of Management, Rajiv Gandhi University, Arunachal Pradesh.

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