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Success Celebrated, Failure Ignored | Are Kashmir students prepared to handle failure?

Class 12th results highlight societal bias
01:40 AM Jun 10, 2024 IST | Syed Rizwan Geelani
success celebrated  failure ignored   are kashmir students prepared to handle failure
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Srinagar, June 9: After the Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education (BOSE) declared the result of the class 12th annual (regular) examinations, the whole focus shifted to the achievers, particularly the toppers.


Amidst the appreciation and celebrations for the successful candidates, a stark reality has emerged in society that none of the stakeholders talk about those students who could not pass the examination.


This emerging trend has become dangerous for the young student community particularly the average performers or those who do not pass the exam in their first attempt.


While the stakeholders and society at large pour praise and attention on the top performers, there is a deafening silence surrounding those who do not pass the examination.


This has raised a serious concern, particularly about the way children are being brought up.


A question being raised is: “Are we preparing our students to be strong enough to cope with the failure?”


A few days ago, the BOSE declared the result of the class 12th examination with a pass percentage of 74 percent.


Of the 93,340 students who appeared in the exam, 69,385 qualified.

Girls outshone boys, securing the top three positions in all streams - Science, Commerce, Home Science, and Arts.

The pass percentage for boys stood at 72 percent while girls achieved a 77 percent result.

On the day of the result, while stakeholders were busy celebrating the success of those who passed the exam, a female student in south Kashmir's Kulgam district died of a heart attack, moments after the result was declared.

Later, a male student from Srinagar committed suicide after he failed to pass the exam.

Such episodes serve as grim reminders of the immense pressure and competition students face in contemporary times.

The parents have put the students in a rat race at such a tender age.

The celebrations and jubilations for the successful candidates reflect a societal truth that “success has many fathers while failure has none”.

According to the experts, the overemphasis on class 10th and 12th results as life-defining benchmarks has created a toxic culture of cut-throat competition among the students.

“Post-results, the air remains filled not just with celebration but also with added stress for those who could not make it. Such an environment has dire consequences, pushing some students to extreme measures," said Prof Arshad Hussain of the Department of Psychiatry at Government Medical College (GMC), Srinagar.

He advocated a change in mindset and suggested screening of films like ‘12th Fail’ in schools not to glorify success but to sensitise students to failure and the resilience it demands.

“The movie has aptly and sensitively dealt with failures. The concept of restarting and rebooting after failure needs to be taught to every young person and that is the essence of life,” he said.

Prof Hussain pointed out the dangers of making success in class 12th a pedestal for celebration saying that such trends make students impulsive and vulnerable.

“Qualifying class 12th should not be given such hype that we start celebrations after the results are out. Unfortunately, class 12th results have become part of celebrations and it gives an impression that failing in class 10th or 12th is a failure for life," he said.

Instances of suicides and extreme steps taken by students unable to cope with academic pressure have been reported in previous years as well.

A 19-year-old student from Sopore committed suicide in 2019 by jumping into a river after failing the class 12th examination.

Also, a female student from central Kashmir’s Budgam district committed suicide after cutting a sorry figure in the class 12th examination in 2019.

A woman committed suicide in 2019 after his son failed in class 12th examinations in the Samba district.

In 2023, a woman died in the Kokernag area of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district after she came to know that her son failed to qualify class 12th exam.

In 2021, a 12th-class student committed suicide under mysterious circumstances by hanging himself in Nonath village of Samba district.

Meanwhile, Prof Hussain urged to embrace imperfection and prioritise mental well-being over the relentless pursuit of grades.

“We should nurture resilience, instil a healthy perspective on failure, and create an environment where every student feels valued, irrespective of their exam outcomes,” he said.

Noted academician, Zahoor Ahmad Chatt who served as former Chairman of BOSE and former Director of Colleges J&K said that instead of celebrating the success of toppers, the focus should be on encouraging average performers.

"Celebrating positions does not encourage or motivate the average performers, it rather discourages them. Our focus should be on failures and average performers," he said.

Chat said that as per the National Education Policy (NEP)-2020, the policy of awarding marks and positions has to be done away with and grades have to be awarded in exams.

“Issuing merit lists and celebrating the success of merit holders should be discouraged,” he said.