1. Why do we stress over these marks that are not used anywhere?
2. Why do we make our children go through a dozen coaching classes that some of us can ill- afford, some kids lose precious sleep over in the last year of their school for marks that are not considered anywhere?
3. What are our children expected to learn in the voluminous syllabi of 11th and 12th when the stress is on marks and not on learning? Isn't education a life-skill rather than a marks statement?
4. How do kids with lateral intelligence like music, dance or arts or those who are into sports big time get past this impregnable fortress wall?
5. If these marks are just to flaunt our kids' prowess haven't we failed as parents, for putting our kids through a system that squeezes them to showcase them? How can we then rightfully take credit for it? For providing the required environment?
6. What is the point in this kind of education where rote learning takes precedence over common sense, intelligence and presence of mind and they all take a backseat as one traverses through life? Where is the higher order thinking skills like logical reasoning, critical thinking and analytical aptitude in the so-called race for marks?
7. The end-purpose seems to be more for our kids to join the rat race. Why on earth are we bringing up kids to turn them into rats? Or are we rats bringing up rats?
8. We as parents have shifted our focus from bringing up happy, cheerful and well-adjusted kids to ones who always want to be one-up! Where is the concept of healthy competition?
9. We constantly compare our kids to X, Y and Z. Have we ever wondered what would happen if our kids compared us to other parents?
10. We have become morons whose sole vision seems to be marks! I will get you Xbox if you get 90%, a PS4 if you get 95%; instilling the concept of bribery early on and then blaming external factors like influence of movies and media. We have regressed to the era of barter system in the name of 'incentivising'. Do we realise that?
11. We had a happy childhood climbing trees, scraping our knees, playing gilli-danda or slush football, cycling around happily, eating whatever we fancied with absolutely no pressure on us to study. Yes one may say times are changing, so does that mean we put blinkers on our kids or pack them into sacks with no breathing space to be sold off at the competitive market? Are we preparing them or sealing their fate?
12. Parents, please let’s ask our children if they are thankful to us for all the pressure we put on them. You may say they would thank you for it at a later date but wouldn’t we forever be guilty of taking away their happy childhood by filling it with pressure instead of happy memories?
13. What of those children who give up their hold over life itself as they find the ‘other side’ a more peaceful place than the one they are living? Is this the realisation that we are aiming for?
14. Finally where is the concept of enabling our kids to achieve on their own, for their sake, motivating them to get motivated, to make them strong individuals who take on life and living, meet challenges head-on and finding their happiness quotient amidst living a life?
As Khalil Gibran said, we are merely instruments through which our children have come out. They didn't ask to be born. But having brought them into this world, let's remember, we don't own them, we owe them. To give them a happy world is a given. But how many of us truly realise that? We ought to try being our children for a day just to know how much we pack into their lives with the unrealistic expectation of marks at the end of it all. We pack our unfulfilled dreams, the frustrations of our present lives and the hopes for our future into the back-packs of our children not realising how much we are burdening them.
I am no one to tell us anything, but we do have a lot of introspecting to do, if we want for our children a happy, memorable childhood.