Whenever board examination results are announced, everyone starts discussing percentages. Pupils, schools and even teachers are rated on the percentages obtained. It is a sad state of affairs and all of us who are running in this rat race are to blame. Soft skills are ignored. Everyone is not equally adept at memorising and spewing forth in a few hours. What about truly inclusive schools that have admitted and worked hard with weaker pupils and got them to pass? Is life all about physics, chemistry, english, maths and social studies? What about the musicians, the storytellers, the dancers, the sportsmen? Just because some students do not achieve an 80 or a 90 per cent, it doesn’t mean we can write them off. Will they not be successful in life? Why are they being ignored and not celebrated? The newspapers and news channels are filled with so called success stories of how so and so got a 99 per cent and how hard they worked to hit the jackpot, not to mention which colleges are falling over themselves to grant them admissions with scholarships. In my 35 years in education, I have seen that those pupils who may not have done very well in school and are late bloomers, are now atop the food chain so to say. Today they are entrepreneurs, owning companies and are running companies for others. They are success stories personified and proud of the same, despite the fact that they were often ignored in school for not being good enough and not scoring high marks in their board exams. You may not get a medal or have your name on the honours board, but you can still make it in life. It’s about time we started thinking differently. Better now than never.
- The reader is an executive principal of a Dubai school