The class X and XII results are out and it is time to celebrate. Over 40 Project Why kids have cleared their boards and I am proud of each and every one of them. I am proud of the ones that got the sought 90% but also of those who just passed! It is true that marks make a difference in the present education scenario and that if you are not in the top percentile you may not get access to higher education in the college of your choice but have you ever thought of how unfair the grading system is to the child! Only those who have the ability and capability  to learn by heart can accede to those high marks. But does that mean that those who can’t are less capable?  And more so the child is judged on her or his performance on the five days of the examination! Do you call this fair? I don’t.

I recently came across a post on social media, that said the following:

Congratulations , for getting that 90% and more marks….

Congratulations for getting 60 % and more…..

Congratulations for getting 33% percent and more….

Congratulations for getting less than 33 %….

It’s an exam of education not LIFE…..

Please celebrate whatever results your kid has got. 

These words were a real eye opener as one does not realise how hurt a child can be if he is constantly reminded of his poor performance and also as the author says that this is just an exam of education not of life!

Another social media post is a letter written by a mother to her son who had secured 60%! A lesson in parenting indeed. She wrote: Super proud of my boy who scored a 60% in Class 10 board exams. Yes it is not a 90, but that doesn’t change how I feel. Simply because I have seen him struggle with certain subjects almost to the point of giving up, and then deciding to give his all in the last month-and-a-half to finally make it through! Here’s to you, Aamer. And others like you – fishes asked to climb trees. Chart your own course in the big, wide ocean, my love. And keep your innate goodness, curiosity and wisdom alive. And of course, your wicked sense of humour.” Every word rings so true. No education system should rob a child of his innate values.

Do we realise what we ask children to give up just to reach those hallowed marks! I think this is something we should mull on. We ask them to give up all that is fun in life, all that makes them children, all that makes them creative, curious and unique. It is a lot to ask.

I have my battles with my darling Utpal who tells me stubbornly that he does not like to learn what he does not understand, that we wants to skate and paint and read books and dance and volunteer at Project Why. He never got high marks in his class X but on the other hand developed so many skills and talents in the last two years and above all learnt compassion. I know he will do his best in class XII and that is all I should ask of him as I celebrate every step of his journey.

It makes one wonder about what one truly needs to teach a child in order to make him or her a good human being. We need to teach compassion and tolerance above all and that is not found in school books. We need to teach leadership and the ability to work and live with others; we need to teach problem solving and thinking out of the box. This is what is needed to succeed in life.

Today I celebrate every Project Why student who has passed her or his Boards  as I know that each one did its best. Every child is unique and that is what we need to celebrate.

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