Sunday, March 01, 2009

The overvaluation of academic underachievement

The board exams start across India pretty soon. CBSE class 12 actually begins tomorrow. Std. 10 and Std. 12 kids are put to the test and their year-long efforts are supposed to culminate and find fruition. As is always the case the spate of media coverage of anxiety-ridden parents and children has begun. And as is always the case, the 'even if you don't do well its alright' advice is floating everywhere.

I agree, our exams put kids on the spot. One year's effort is supposed to bear fruit in exactly 3 hours. So in case one is a tad unlucky on that day of the exam, his future, is for all mortal considerations, screwed. Or so people perceive. At least all the neighborhood uncles and aunties and relatives think so. For a very long time now, talks have been doing the rounds that the system must be reformed to actually provide a more 'holistic' view of the child's learning even in case of key thresholds like grade 10 and 12. Well, I for one, never looked up the meaning of 'holistic' and this act of laziness, really hasn't mattered yet, since the system has not been touched in ages. If at all anything has changed, then it is the politics of education, that has produced the dire effect of new entrance tests being introduced, only to be repealed later and re-introduced, as the education minister at the helm keeps changing.So in the middle of all this ruckus, comes the hapless student. School, tuition classes, test series, doubt-solving sessions, home education, home work, revision, Multiple choice question speed training sessions, concept sessions, whew the list goes on. So it is understandable that the kid is under tremendous pressure.

At such a time, if someone goes on to say that marks are not the makers and breakers of life, then that comment is supposed to be a consoling factor, that actually at least rids the kids of some tension.But going totally overboard and profiling school dropouts who have made it big in business, sort of, according to me, conveys a very morbid picture. One, does it mean that marks mean nothing at all? If that is indeed the case, then shouldn't Nobel laureates and economists and social thinkers, why researchers who have met with academic brilliance all life long, feel affronted? Have their efforts all been in vain? Secondly, how well do the odds of making it big in business stack up in favor of the general population? One needs vision, genius and raw determination to make it big in business. Granted,qualifications do not assure one of big bucks. But neither does a lack of grit towards the books! I argue, that if for some reason, one quits studies, does that certainly mean that one would not quit in the face of adversity in business?

I give full kudos to acumen and a talent in a certain art or business and I very strongly feel that one must certainly follow one's dreams. But before taking the decision against studies and in favor of something else, perhaps one must just introspect for a while, and think whether the decision being taken, is out of laziness, or otherwise. For if the decision is motivated by lethargy and a lack of determination, it only forebodes a life of indigent indolence.

So I say, take up every exam, every stage as a challenge, and treat it as one that only YOU can overcome, and see the results follow. However, if for some reason beyond your control, fate stacks up odds against you, remember fate has opened up a door elsewhere, and it is only a matter of time, before you find that door.... ALL THE BEST TO NEXTGEN INDIA.


Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Siladitya said...

Did Steve Harvey copy the book title Act Like A Lady Think Like A Man

and theme from an earlier book?

Book with same title & theme copyrighted and published by Sharon P. Carson in 2003

CHICAGO, IL – Sharon P. Carson the author of the original title: Act Like A Lady –Think Like A Man, watched the February 27th episode of the Ophra show on which Steve Harvey was promoting his book of the same title. She was hoping that Steve would reveal to Oprah where he got the title and the theme for the book. It just seemed odd to her that his book had the same title and theme as her book that was copy written in 2003.

Upon subsequently purchasing the book, she found some interesting parallels and realized that it is not unusual for a high profiled person to take a great title and theme, rewrite a book and use their celebrity status to sell it. This she says happens too often to the unsung poets, authors and entrepreneurs of the world.

Steve wrote in his book that his hope was to “empower you with a wide-open look into the minds of men”. Sharon P. Carson wrote in her book in 2003 that her hope was for women to gain some insight into how men think in terms of relationships. Sharon also noted that in chapter 8 of Steve Harvey’s book titled “Why Men Cheat” he came to the same conclusion that she did in chapter 37 of her book, titled “Why would a man cheat”, and the answer was, “because they can”.

Sharon actively promoted her book before the release in January 2009 of Steve Harvey’s book, and would not like to see her promotion efforts hindered. She feels that her book has much to offer from a woman’s perspective and seeks to empower women to practice self love and tough love in relationships.

Before the publication of Steve Harvey’s book of the same title, Sharon bought the domain name: from which she has been selling her book. She has also held seminars with women at a Chicago University in promotion of her book, and can be viewed on the following youtube clip as she was being interviewed on a cable television program about her book in 2007

Mindful of all the self - published poets and authors who have a hard time finding publishers for their works, Sharon is currently consulting with attorneys regarding her options, and hopes that her book with the first and original title of Act Like A Lady Think Like A Man will finally receive the recognition it deserves for the wisdom, encouragement, and empowerment that it provides to women.

Haiku Poems said...

wow! gr8 story.
Haiku Poems