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Are grades everything?

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As a student, I find that the perception of people around me about intelligence is that they think students who get good grades are intelligent. If someone gets excellent marks just by cramming the entire syllabi, he is termed to be more intelligent than the one who gets 5 marks less but actually understands what he studies. I simply don’t understand this mentality.

My board examinations are just around the corner and while people around me say, “Study for your exams and stop writing your blog”, I consider it more practical to write a blog instead of going through the same things over and over again. I would rather expand my knowledge rather than cramming the same things again and again. Rote learning has no use. As I have already mentioned in one of my previous blogs , children don’t remember what they have studied the previous year. All they care is about exams and marks.

Now, parents especially in India find marks to be of utmost importance. Minimal regard is given to hobbies and extra-curricular activities. A budding footballer is not allowed to pursue his dream just because people think that here in India, pursuing sports will not lead to success. One of my friends isn’t allowed access to internet just because his parents say, “Internet is a distraction and would lead to a fall in marks.” Little do they know internet has more knowledge potential than the outdated books that we cram. In this world, access to internet and phones is really important. We can learn much more from the internet than what we can from our textbooks.

Agreed that exams might check what you have learnt in school. They can check your determination towards getting marks. Moreover, I am not saying that not studying and always partying, watching movies and hanging out with friends is of any use (You are just wasting your parents’ money by doing so). When people say,” Bill Gates was a drop-out too and thus education isn’t necessary” , I tell them that he is just one of thousands of successful people out of whom most received formal education. Also, he dropped out of Harvard University and not from some average institution. Nevertheless, I think having a productive hobby is really important along with your studies. Write a book, read novels, play some sport, participate in olympiads. Just do something. Just studying what is taught in school will seldom lead to success. Go beyond your own textbooks and research more on subjects you love. If you love physics, research on black holes and supernovas. If you love programming, learn new programming languages. So, go beyond your textbooks. Don’t limit yourself to formal education.

Now let me talk about my personal experience. I was always hungry for grades until grade 5. But then I realised marks aren’t everything. Now, I feel more satisfaction in having my article published in a magazine than getting good grades. I feel more happy studying for quizzes and olympiads than studying for exams. Talking to my friends about the latest happenings in the world gives me more delight than studying about different types of nouns and verbs. Learning how to file taxes is much more important than knowing who wrote “Julius Caesar”.

Now, getting good grades is not a bad thing but there are a lot of things that are much more important. People say that you won’t get admission in colleges without grades. I tell them that there is no point getting admission in colleges when you don’t understand what you study. You won’t be able to perform your job after college if you cram things and not comprehend them. Moreover, getting into prestigious universities is not only about grades but also about co-curricular activities. So don’t limit yourself to formal education and always try new things.

Over and Out.




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Views on issues

The mentality regarding career streams in India

“Take Sciences. The commerce and humanities streams are only for failures” These are the words of the parents of a typical middle class home in India. So the aspiring architects are forced to become engineers and those who dream of becoming actors are forced to become doctors.

Now, why do parents and the society around us think sciences is the only stream meant for “intelligent” students? They think that only doctors and engineers can earn good money and others struggle to even find jobs. This is a mentality that does not allow India to produce good artists,entrepreneurs and architects.Obviously there is a reason that no Indian film has won an oscar yet. Nor has any Indian won Nobel Prize for literature since Rabindranath Tagore.

I am going to quote an example here which shows that how the society decides what will a child do in the future. I have a friend who was a budding cricket player. Now the society filled all sorts of things in this kid’s mind that sportspersons can’t be successful in India. Now that the society has scared him, my friend has chosen to take Sciences. Though I do agree that there is indeed some corruption in the sports arena in India, but nobody can stop the best players to show their talent and compete internationally. If you’re one of the best in your field, no one can stop you from earning recognition worldwide.But the typical Indian society simply does not understand this fact. What I want to tell them is that there are engineers who are driving taxis and there are doctors who are unemployed and there are freelancers earning millions.So choosing a certain stream doesn’t ensure success. It is your passion and drive that can ensure that you become successful.

So when I announced that I was going to take up Commerce stream, my friends were shocked! They think that those who get good grades can’t take up commerce or humanities stream and vice-versa.The people around them have shaped their opinions in such a way that they have started thinking that one stream is better than the other.This then creates a vicious cycle as such children will grow up to tell their kids the same thing. Another stereotype prevalent in the society is that boys can’t take up humanities.In this era of modernity, such thinking is still present in the society. We talk about how men and women are equal, then why do we as a society think in such a way! It is an important issue to ponder upon

Another opinion of the elders around us is that parents should decide their children’s future. According to them, parents should choose their children’s careers. They think that children are supposedly not mature enough to decide for themselves. I tell such people, maturity does not only depend on age . Moreover, myriad of times parents do not know what is their ward’s passion. So how can they decide for their child. Parents should understand that its their child’s life and not their own. I am not saying that they should not guide their children but what I am saying is that they should not force their children to accept their opinion.

So to all those students who still have to decide their stream, don’t succumb under the pressure of the society and do what you like.Don’t care about the comments of negative and stereotypical people around you. Don’t stop the society from preventing you from doing what you like. Just believe in yourself and do whatever your want to but put your heart into your work. You may end up being the boss of the most intelligent kids in your school.

Over and out.

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Views on issues

My hatred towards “Tuition”

In India, we have a trend of going to tuitions along with going to school and I am totally against it.

When I see 4th graders going to tuitions I wonder is the syllabus of 4th so hard! Personally, I have never gone to any tuitions and I still get decent grades. So all those parents who think without tuitions their child can’t get good marks, I am sorry but I have to burst your bubble and tell you that your thinking is totally wrong! If tuitions were so good, everyone going to tuitions would get excellent grades which is not the case in most situations!

Now, why are tuitions so bad? Tuitions are organized loot where children’s parents pay the tuition teacher to teach what they are being taught in school. Now there are some people who say that they go to tuitions for a better understanding of topics. I tell them that they are paying the school they are going to money for teaching them. It is their right to ask their teachers whatever question they have in their minds. There is no need to go to tuitions when your query can be answered in the school itself. Even if they don’t like the way that they are being taught in school, they have the internet. The Internet can tell you much more than what your tuition teacher can tell you.

Now, some people tell me that they use tuitions as a way to “socialize”. So basically what they are doing is paying money to make new friends! You can socialize in parks, online, playing sports but using tuitions as a way to socialize is a very queer and impractical idea to me.

Not only are tuitions a waste of time, but they are also a waste of money as well. It takes on average 10 minutes to reach your tuition and 10 minutes to come back home from your tuition. Added to this is the cost of petrol that is used in vehicles. This cost might seem small in the small run, but if we look at the larger picture, say 5-7 years, this cost would come out to be huge.

If the students have already studied what is being taught in the class in their tuitions, they create a nuisance in the class not allowing those who have not studied to learn. This forces the other students to join tuition as well creating a vicious cycle. Such students who disturb the class think that they know what is being taught, they can do anything going to limits of even forgetting moral values. I ask them if they are dependent on tuitions for education, where are their manners? Education if just not studies, also include basic moral values.

I would recommend you to use this tuition money elsewhere. Use it to learn new skills. Put it in fixed deposits or other funds where you will actually get something worthwhile in return unlike tuitions

I have nothing against tuition teachers. I agree they also work for their money but I am against this whole system of tuitions.Tuitions are just a tool to waste money and time. Try self-study and I guarantee you that you would feel having much more time to learn new things besides studies and would get much more leisure time

Over and Out