Exams, Marks and Expectations!

So, the Class XII and the Class X examinations conducted by the Council of Higher Secondary Education, Manipur (COHSEM) and the Board of Secondary Education, Manipur (BOSEM) respectively has begun. Over 50,000 students in total are said to be appearing the exam, an examination that holds a great deal to where their future stand. And while the respective authorities are taking all necessary measures to make it a fair and peaceful examination, only those inside the examination halls and the families of the examinees will know it is going on. Of course, those who have cleared one of these examinations in the past have a good knowledge of how things are being done too. But having said that, there is no denying that pressure amounts on the students, the families, the schools and institutions of the respective students. With each passing year, the competition is only getting harder and tougher; higher marks are being scored and the competition among schools for topping the examination is only getting tougher too. Which school has topped the examination, how much marks did your son/daughter/ward get, who got what and how much marks? There are endless questions will have to be answered when the results are declared sometime in May or June. While many will be happy, delighted and over the moon to declare it all, many will not be so. And the final pressure goes to the students.

So, the question here is, it is really necessary to put so much pressure on students? To expect them to get a certain level of marks in the exam so that they are considered the ‘Educated, intelligent’ ones? Pressures and expectations is one of the biggest causes of suicide among the youths in India. According to a report in 2018, one student commits suicide every hour in India, all due to stress and pressure. According to a Minister of Home Affairs, 9474 students committed suicide in India in 2016 while from 2014-2016, it stood at 26,476. The rate is indeed alarming and what is more alarming is that suicides have been reported after results of every major exams are declared; be it the CBSE or the respective state exams. And all because of stress, pressure and expectations; some things are perhaps just too much to handle. So, what then?

“Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of mind to think.” This particular quote, which is amazingly true, has been credited to Albert Einstein, one of the greatest geniuses of our times. Only if people of this time understood what this mean, perhaps learning would have been easier with no unwanted pressure or stress. While as much as learning of facts is important, one would also be trained to use the mind to think and reason rather than just learn, it would perhaps make education more interesting. And perhaps, it is of great importance that the society, the schools and educational institutions, parents and family understand this quotation well and apply it in their daily lives. It would definitely lessen the pressure and expectations on the students and make learning more free and interesting; a peaceful and a free mind, free from all pressure, stress and expectations is always the best mind to learn. As interestingly put up in the Bollywood movie, ‘The 3 Idiots’, educational system has become a race, with no one really excited about learning more worried about marks and expectations. The heads of the students have become a pressure cooker, about to burst under pressure anytime. Therefore, perhaps, it is of great importance that students appearing the exams are freed from such pressures and made to enjoy their examination. Perhaps, it could bear a better result.

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