Measure of Success: Is it only exams which make it or break it??

In yesteryears it was the dream of each parent to see their adorable son or daughter to become a successful doctor or engineer. The same was inculcated in the mindset of the children so well from a tender age that it seemed sacrosanct to opt for sciences as soon as the results for class Xth examinations were out.



Lucky were considered those who could make it to the cut off and the ones who couldn’t, often shifted schools where they could get science with the current mark sheet which couldn’t make it in their respective school. Then again began a rat race to make it to the IIT’s and other premier engineering institutions which seemed to have provided stable careers to their alumnus year after year.


Then there was another lot who despite having a good percentage which in some cases was way above the cut off for science stream, chose other streams like commerce or fine arts to tread on the loss less, rather road seldom travelled. They were the ones who made teachers of the alternate stream believe that the subjects taught by them are also important when being compared with teachers teaching elite subjects like Physics, Chemistry and Biology.


But for this lot, marks were way more important to get into the dream college of their choice, especially when it came to making into premium colleges of Delhi University. But the story didn't end here. There was another lot who scored marks which somehow catapulted them into the next standard and it is here, where started a new chapter of their lives. While their peers from previous class were busy with experimenting with prisms and where exactly did the image of pins refract through them, and how a random salt given in chemistry lab was so important to be tested pinch by pinch through different set of chemicals ranging from indigo blue to pale yellow, these were the ones who followed their passions in cricket grounds, home science labs or commercial art classes.


Their journey led them on paths which made some of them even bigger stars than all others when they proudly brought laurels to their schools at district, state, national or even international levels. Some went on to become the finest chefs, some distinguished lawyers and some celebrated artists whose paintings now adorn the main walls of offices run by IIT’ians, doctors and leading accountants. But the sad part sometimes was that due to lack of some marks were these genius minds guided (ignore forced)to take up streams which led them to the search of their passion. Indeed some of these if given a choice could become a biologist or a physicist had they would have not fallen sick a week before their main board exams or had that mishap of losing a dear one which badly affected their mind and soul would not have happened.


Had the principal shown some leniency to their pleads to take up accounts instead of fine arts would they be sorting financial problems for leading firms instead of preparing the smoked salmon for the next order or giving final touches to the vegetable lasagne and olive oil sautéed vegetable with marinated cottage cheese in the much celebrated chef’s hat at the five star across the posh neighborhood street.


Talk to them and you can see that smile of content from the bottom of their hearts which you might not be able to see even if you meet fifty IIT’ians struggling to figure out that next path breaking software to mechanize robotics for day to day life. When we look with awe at the success of developed countries and the growth done by them in such a short span of time we need to understand the fact the curriculum followed by them allows their young ones to excel at what they want to excel at and not what everyone else wants them to excel at unlike the case which sadly exists in our schools and society.