Exam Season – Not the Time to Panic or Put Pressure on Kids

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Exam time is a season for parents/teachers to extend moral and spiritual support to their children and students.

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By Nigar Ataulla

So it’s back to exams for school and college children for the next few months. The exam season seems to be a very “serious” time for youngsters. Often, parents get extremely tense about their children’s academic performance and transfer their tension onto their children. Some teachers also do the same. Youngsters are told that their performance in exams will play a crucial role in shaping the rest of their life. It is drilled into their young minds that if they get good marks, they can take admission in a ‘good college’, to study science and computers and so on and thereby become a ‘successful’ doctor or an engineer and earn ‘name and fame’ for themselves. If their performance is below average, they might have to buy a seat in a mediocre college, that is, if their parents are rich enough, and study History or Sociology. And if they fail, they are made to think that it’s the end of the world!
Unfortunately, youngsters are rarely, if ever, told by their parents and teachers that this world is like a giant exam hall, where, at every moment of our lives, from cradle to grave, we are being tested. How we perform in this “exam of life” will determine our eternal future, in the life after death, just as how we perform in our Class 12 exam may crucially determine our career-paths for the rest of our lives. Our careers will, of course, one day come to an end””with the onset of old age, retirement, and, finally, death. But the ‘career’ of the life after death will never cease, carrying on forever.
Exam time is a season for parents/teachers to extend moral and spiritual support to their children and students. Encouraging their children positively, with constant assurance that they need to hard work, is of course important, but at the same time they need to assure them that ‘red marks’ on their report cards are definitely not the end of the world. In the life they might face ahead, youngsters will have to contend with many challenges, including spiritual, moral, emotional, economic and social, and it is the responsibility of parents and teachers to guide them in learning how to handle them. It is simply no use if youngsters become toppers in class with mind-blowing grades, which may get them entry into “prestigious” educational institutions across the world but if, when faced with real life challenges, they end up becoming mental wrecks.
Exam times, then, are just the right time for older folks to stand by their youngsters and lend them moral support to handle not just the “paper exams” but also the exam of life ahead.