Every year when the results of the Std.X examinations would be announced, my heart would go to those students who secured low marks or failed in the exams. This year the jubilant, smiling faces of state toppers adorned the second page of the newspapers. But on the third page there was a poignant news item about three girls who took the drastic step of committing suicide after their poor performance in the Std.X exams.
Two girls, in separate incidents resorted to self-immolation. One of the girls died on the way to hospital. The third girl consumed medicines. The condition of those two girls was said to be stable. But sadly, the next day, I read that the same girl who set herself ablaze had succumbed to burns. I empathised with their parents who must have been mired in shock and grief.
I assumed those three girls must have had fragile self-esteem. Their sensitive hearts must have been battered and bruised by the declaration of their poor academic performance. Their family too might have admonished them with harsh, hurtful words.
I believe if any one of their family members gently embraced them and wiped away their tears, it surely would have injected a strong dose of resilience into their hearts. What about the other students, who are all set to write the Std.X special supplementary exams in failed subjects? Would their respective schools and teachers come forward to coach and encourage them with uplifting words? The answer is a big NO! Schools bestow awards and shower laurels on students who triumph in the Std. X exams. But they have no regard or concern for students who fail in the Std. X exams. Society and even relatives and close friends will not boost the confidence of these students with uplifting words.
Not the end
No one can be a failure forever in life. Poor performance in Std.X does not mean a student will not be able to script a successful chapter in his/her life again. It is not the end of the world. Many high school dropouts have become successful entrepreneurs and self-made millionaires.
I wish success and good luck to students who're ready to battle their Std. X subjects in the second attempt. You'll still find the true purpose in your life. You'll carve out a niche for yourself in society.
Anjoo has completed a B.A. in English Literature at Nirmala College for Women, Coimbatore