It’s clichéd; but could not be closer to truth. The future of every nation lies in the hand of its youngsters, especially students. Students of today are our tomorrow’s nation builders and every little investment, either intellectual or financial, can yield immeasurable returns for the individual and eventually, the country.
But to be truly great at some task, job or work, one must get to love it first. Sadly, that is where the problem first begins for Pakistani students. There’s a Damocles sword hanging over almost every child born into a marginally educated household in Pakistan. And that is a sword called “become–either-a-doctor- or- an-engineer”.
There’s a Damocles sword hanging over almost every child born into a marginally educated household in Pakistan. And that is a sword called “become-either-a-doctor-or-an-engineer”.
The pressure is immense and everlasting. Not only are youngsters forced to kill their fondness for other fields of study for the pursuit of a medical or an engineering degree, they are expected, and often pressurised, to do wonderfully well while they do it.
This parental pressure causes a rather irreparable damage to the personalities of some students, manifestation of which is the rising number of youth suicides being reported from all across the country. The rate of suicides among university and college students is increasing alarmingly, and the reason for this rise is often an immense pressure of poor grades and a mountain of parental pressure placed upon the poor student’s shoulders.
It is often observed that parents put a lot of pressure on kids to get good positions in tests or high grades in exams. It’s okay to encourage a child to tray to be the best, but pushing a child to the point of breaking is another thing altogether.
It is understandable that every parent wants their child to standout in studies and succeed, but the load of expectations parents place on feeble minds of children are often out of sync with reality. Not all children are alike, and not every child dreams of being a doctor one day. Parents often disregard the desires, dreams and liking of their children and what they want to make of their lives.
Contrary, children are always pushed into things they have no interest in. The notion that failing to achieve set goals would make them a loser and a failure in life is drilled early on. This constant drilling not only makes children fearful of failure, but also makes them fearful of even attempting anything to the best of their effort for fear of eventually failing. This parental pressure leaves students terrified and unable to perform any task in a proper way.
Most parents would justify their pushing by saying that they just want “our kids to be happy and successful” and “we know what is best for them”. That’s a lame excuse. According to professor of psychology Brad Bushman, “Some parents see their children as an extension of themselves, rather than as separate people with their own hopes and dreams.”
Parents often want their children to be what they could not, and that is extremely uncalled for, and bad for the child’s mental health. Also, the constant pressure to perform may leave a child to resort to other means to please his or her parents.
Short-cuts, cheat sheets, rote, copying in exams appear to be the only way for a child to salvage his or her pride when the focus is only on top marks and high grades. Learning and understanding can take a hike.
But on the flipside are the ones who do not utilise unfair means, but find it hard to get to the top through sheer will. This is the vulnerable lot and the kind of students that suffer panic attacks, burnouts, low self esteem, and diminished willingness to continue trying.
Applying the right amount of pressure can mould raw talent into a reliable and wonderful personality, but excess pressure can damage the item and the raw talent would be lost to his or her near and dear ones, as well as the society
Or lack Of It?
That might be the reason that kids of this age have lost all colors of life and lost interest in little things of joy like spending time with parents, going out to the park, engaging in sports and gossiping with friends in the street.
It’s always either school, tuition, homework or test prep time for students, who move from one day to the other like manic robots chasing after a far-off goal set by their master, err, parents. Per estimates, one in five children’s learning is compromised by stress or peer pressure or expectations from others.
It is parents who need guidance and need to change the notion of educational excellence as being the only tool to measure a student’s efficiency and capability. It should be the foremost duty of parents to make sure that a child doesn’t have to go through any kind of academic stress and make him or her realize that and exam is not the end of the world.
What would you rather have your child become as an adult? A healthy, positive and confident individual that is able open to challenges and does not fear failure as well as being able to make ends meet decently?
Or a troubled soul that has been left scarred for life only because he or she could not achieve a certain grade, in a certain exam at a certain point in his or her academic journey.
I would swear by the former, every time.
The views and opinions expressed in the article are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views and policy of The Academia Magazine.