As the news about the results of CBSE examinations flood the air, students experience a mixed bag of emotions. The agony of the long-awaited results has finally come to an end, but the weight of the expectations of those results have begun to press down on the shoulders of the students. While those who have done well are now tensed about the selection of a suitable stream in order to plan out their future, those who did not meet their expectations are ruminating on what went wrong.
During these testing times, one must realise that knowledge can be measured by marks but the same cannot be said for education. Education cannot be reduced to a mere accumulation of knowledge and comparison of marks. As well-stated by Albert Einstein, "Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think." It is time for the students as well as parents to ask themselves, "Have I concentrated on educating myself?"
The vast curriculum designed to enlighten the minds of the students has a tendency to reduce them to mere fact-searchers. What India needs is strong citizens who can solve problems, face challenges and stand firm on their convictions. If a student has not learnt to stand firm on one's convictions and dream big, then the knowledge accumulated is just a waste of time and effort. The student should now know to the tactic to use the right knowledge at the right time and the right place. This, in ordinary language, is termed as common sense.
There have been instances when the brightest performers in elementary school have failed to solve the simplest problems of life. India's corporate sector is complaining that those who are seeking jobs are well qualified but lack the basic skill to solve day-to-day problems and the basic decency to behave. The number of talented people joining the field of education is dwindling because we do not see the value of educating someone else. Students might pass the examination set on paper, but when it comes to life, none of the values taught at school are implemented in their daily routine.
Marks and good results are not the need of the hour. The necessity for our society is human capital that can stand on their two feet when the winds of adversity blow against them. We need educated young minds that can use their intellect for the benefit of the other, instead of thinking selfishly. We need young hearts that beat for the common good of the people, rather than selfishly desiring short-term personal gains. We need young people who are sensitive to the needs of the others, who creatively think out of the box for the betterment of the world. These are the parameters of standardising good education.
As I proudly congratulate the students on their outstanding results, I exhort them to educate themselves. The job is still half done. There is long winding road ahead and the going will not be easy. During these times, it is not marks but education and values that will propel one ahead in life. May education prevail and dispel the darkness of narrow-mindedness and ignorance!
(Dr. Simi Mehta)