Overall Development v/s Marks, Marks, Marks – Riya Talwar


Don’t run behind success, run behind excellence….success is surely going to follow.

– 3 Idiots

Marks aren’t the only things in life. Overall development of the personality is also a necessity in this world and you have to develop it from the beginning itself.


Life of students these days is enthralling. Do you know what makes it so fascinating? I am sure you do! It’s the scoreboard which there lives have turned into, where they are knowingly or unknowingly competing with each other day in and day out, to get higher marks. Isn’t it captivating? For those out there who think it is, it’s time to change your mindset, because its better late than never! For others who are sheer hypocrites, pretending not to be part of the former crowd so as to be in your own self-defined good books yet constantly indulging in these scoreboard practices, its high time that you also stop getting involved in this. For the rest who aren’t part of this game’s scoreboard-either as a participant or as the team of the participant, I truly appreciate and respect you all for this and I hope you never intend to become one over the coming span of time.

Some of you or rather most of you stand there puzzled as to what I am trying to portray by this game scenario. Well, right from the day a child’s schooling starts, this game which I have been referring to begins. With the child being a participant who is either willingly participating or he is just acting as a representative of his team consisting of his teachers, parents or guardian. And, as per the rules and regulations of the game, the participant who scores the most will achieve the topmost rank on the scoreboard and will be declared as the winner.

That’s exactly the vision we have been trying to infuse in the students since ages. We are convincing them to believe that if you want to secure your future and career, you ought to run behind marks. And for students with all those expectations tied up, the race to get higher and higher marks seems never ending. Right from the beginning of schooling to graduation – at each step they are being told that ‘ it’s all about grades!’. When they are forced to think in this direction, more often than not they tend to mug up what is being taught. We can’t really blame them for this! What else can we expect them to do when our education system itself is designed in such a manner wherein emphasis lies on rote-learning. Even the examination pattern has been shaped in a way wherein it tests a student’s ability to mug up things rather than actually testing their knowledge. The system in fact demands students to run behind marks by defining these so-called crucial stepping stones such as 10th board exams, 12th board exams and entrance exams to get into renowned universities, graduating from which they will finally be able to get a good job. This system is solely responsible for dragging the students and their parents into this vicious cycle of education where foremost importance is given to Marks, Marks and only Marks!

People around , as a consequence of this underlying education system are becoming so judgmental these days that they keep judging a student by his or her marks irrespective of the knowledge they possess. On top of that, the students continue struggling to cope up with this constant pressure of competence and comparison. They try their best to fulfill the dreams of their family. At the same time, they even have to match the expectations of the society. As a result, students start neglecting their own mental and physical development. They end up accepting the system the way it is. Those who are able to adapt to this education system manage to get high marks and enjoy their years of glory and pride till graduation. Since their teachers, family and the society are all content with their performance. Apparently for them there is a direct relationship between performance and marks. But this glory is transient! After graduation, when these students sit for interviews they happen to face the reality. It is then when they come to know what actually the recruiters are looking for in them. The recruiters do consider the grades of the graduate but it is surely not the only thing they value. They expect much more from a graduate! They are looking for enthusiastic, curious, persevering, intelligent, creative young minds who also have the ability to showcase efficient leadership skills and also knows how to work in a team. So, basically they consider the overall personality of the person. But, this is where these students lack. Their young minds have already been so exhausted with mugged up facts or the theoretical stuff, that there is hardly any space left to originate ideas and innovate. Many even fall short of self-confidence and regardless of they being asked something they are very good at, they hesitate. Some panic, have a nervous breakdown, some aren’t able to fluently converse in English and express themselves. This doesn’t surprise me anymore and neither you should be astonished by this. Since all this while their marks were sufficient to speak for their intellect but now all of a sudden they get to see a drastic change wherein someone keeps their mark sheet aside and starts interacting with them directly.

Thus, what needs to be equally focused upon is the overall development of students. Overall development of a child involves intellectual, academic, physical, language, emotional and social development. For students, schools are ‘A home away from home’. Hence, schools play a vital role in influencing a child’s overall development. Schools ensure that children meet their full intellectual and academic potential. But apart from academic performance, they should also encourage participation of students in extracurricular activities.

Extracurricular activities can foster lifelong appreciation and interests, preparing a young person for life in ways that beyond academic success’

Students should be given the freedom to team up and form clubs so that they can pursue their hobbies and passion. This will indeed provide platforms for their hidden talents. Also, it will help them discover their interests. Schools should also organize healthy competitions to develop competitiveness amongst students. Taking part in elocution and debates will enhance their oratory skills. Involvement of students in sports is essential to maintain health and physical fitness. With establishment of student councils, class monitors, group leaders, club representatives, schools develop leadership skills in students. Schools provide an environment for students to mingle with peers. Such interactions establish social and emotional maturity in students.

Students who get involved in such activities have greater opportunities to develop character, critical thinking skills, social skills and talents. They learn the importance of teamwork, responsibility, commitment and hard-work.’

Having said that, if every school starts investing for the overall development of a young child, it will surely maximize their future well-being.

Its easier to build up a child than to repair an adult.’


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