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This article was originally submitted by Ayesha Ilyas
Nowadays, outside every coaching centre, there is a long line of students. Obviously, parents pay heavy amounts in these coaching centres along with expensive school fees.
Students also study and serve their time at school as well as in coaching centres and in their homes; which makes them very tired. The reason behind doing all this is just to get good grades. Today, people are running behind grades as if they are literally a key to paradise.
A common misconception!
The mindset of our society is that those who get good grades are very genius; they will get good jobs and all the luxuries right away. However, those who get lower grades are not intelligent; they cannot do anything and their future is over. If that’s the case then so many of our famous and successful personalities; such as Mark Zuckerberg, Thomas Edison, Bill Gates, Albert Einstein and others, would not currently be in such high positions.
Similarly, many of the toppers would not be roaming jobless. In fact, Mark Zuckerberg said, “I was never a topper but the toppers of the best universities are my employees today.” However, people fail to understand these things.
This society’s mindset has put such a huge burden on students for good grades that a national study of 10,000 students found that approximately 7% had abused “study drugs” which are prescription stimulants often misused by students. Usually, they take these study drugs to focus and stay awake to study.
Many of them believe that these are harmless or they think they will just use them once (like to get through finals).
However, study drugs can be just as addictive as street drugs. Over time, people who overuse stimulants can become dependent on them. In addition to this, for grades, children don’t even care about their health which should be our first priority.
Even after so many sacrifices, if students don’t get grades, according to their expectations, they become depressed. In a recent study published in Depression and anxiety, one in four students reported being diagnosed with a mental illness and 67,000 college students from more than 100 institutions, one in five students have had thought of suicide, with 9% making an attempt.
Suicide means to end one’s life; to put a full stop. As of now, we absolutely need to put a full stop on the heavy emphasis on grades because on getting fewer grades, kids may commit suicide and end their lives.
No doubt, we have to move with this society so yes, grades are important. On their basis, we can get scholarships. Admission can be found at a good college or university and maybe get a good job too. But is that all? Getting less grades does not means that now we cannot do anything or it’s the end of our life because life never stops.
In fact, this world is much bigger than we thought it would be.
Recently a 17-year-old high school student discovered a new planet. This is certainly something which we have not even thought about; an example that shows that there is still a lot to discover in this world. But unfortunately, we have restricted our thinking to just grades.
There is a Hadith that to get knowledge even if you have to go to China, then go. Here, knowledge is preferred, but today we are focusing more on grades than knowledge. For grades, we have made our children literally “horses of a race”; who run but don’t learn anything from that race. As a result, today our kids are running behind grades but they are not learning.
Education teaches us to distinguish the good from the bad; it gives us awareness, but nowadays, our educational institutions focus more on rattafication. That’s the reason so many “illiterate educated people” are roaming around in our country. Believe me, there is no advantage of such numbers because even a parrot can also memorize the text.
If we will study with understanding, anytime, anywhere even a little thing can help us in life.
One of the main reasons why Pakistan is lagging behind other countries is that we have just engaged our children on getting good grades while other well-known countries; for example, Japan, focus more on their children’s learning and skills than their grades.
I repeat, grades are important because we have to move with society; but a hundred times more than the grades matters our knowledge. We don’t go around with our numbers, we are identified by our behaviour. If we will study for grades, our minds will be burdened with the fear of getting bad scores. In such a condition, we will never be able to give our best and due to this fear, many students suffer from test anxiety; they remember everything but forget about it when giving the exam.
It is on our own hands to overcome this fear of grades. We must focus on our studies with all our concentration but not for the sake of grades, but in order to increase our knowledge to be a good human being. We should give our best but when preparing for the exam or giving the exam, we should keep in mind that getting fewer grades isn’t the end of the world. Life is all about moving on, and, we all have heard that when one door closes, another opens. We should never let grades dominate us.
When we will have such thoughts, our minds will be relaxed and work in a better way. Then, automatically, we will get good grades. Our knowledge will increase, we will become good humans, and the most important thing, our country will prosper. So open your eyes because it is never too late.