Never take the shortcut, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his message to students on Friday, cautioning that cheating may help them in an exam or two but not in the long run and asserting that exam results are not the end of life.
The prime minister also advised parents that they should not pressure children due to social status, and asked students to focus on their work to come out of any such burden of expectations.
Responding to questions from students during the sixth edition of “Pariksha Pe Charcha”, his annual interaction with students on issues such as exam stress, at the Talkatora Stadium here, he said they should maintain focus on their work.
“Life cannot be successful with cheating. You may clear an exam or two but it will remain questionable in life. Hard-working students should not despair at the temporary success of the cheaters and said that hard work will always benefit them in their lives. Exams come and go but life is to be lived fully,” he said.
Giving the example of people who cross railway tracks to go to another platform instead of taking the foot overbridge, the prime minister pointed out that shortcuts will not take you anywhere and said, “Shortcuts will cut you short.”
He also noted that some schools or teachers who run tuition classes strive for unfair means so that their students excel in the exams.
“Students should refrain from wasting time in finding ways and preparing cheating material and spend that time in learning. Secondly, in these changing times, when life around us is changing, you have to face exams on every step,” he said as he noted that such people can only clear a few exams but eventually fail in life.
He cautioned students against excessive use of gadgets and asked them to believe in their smartness and not of their mobile phones.
The prime minister also advised students against boasting about how well their exam went to avoid stress.
“Don’t consider your gadget to be smarter than you” is the advise PM Modi had for students to avoid addiction to online games and social media which result in distraction.
“Technology fasting” at regular intervals and a demarcated area as a “technology-free zone” in every household will lead to the enhanced joy of life and help children come out of the clutches of slavery of gadgets, the prime minister suggested.
The prime minister took a swipe at critics of the government’s handling of economy, saying his dispensation was mocked as full of “average” talents but the same India considered “average” is now shining in the world and seen as a ray of hope in the post-pandemic era.
Modi said it is natural for family members to have expectations but it is wrong if they are linked to consciousness about social class or status.
“Exam results are not the end of life. There is nothing wrong with family expectations. However if these expectations are due to social status-related expectations then it is concerning. It is not good to be bogged down by the surrounding web of expectation and one should look inwards and link the expectation with one’s own capabilities, needs, intentions and priorities,” he said.
Giving the example of the game of cricket where the crowd keeps on rooting for fours and sixes, he said a batsman who goes out to bat remains unperturbed even after so many people in the audience plead for a six or a four.
Drawing the link between the focus of a batsman on a cricket field and the minds of students, the prime minister said the pressure of expectations can be obliterated if you remain focused.
“Parents should not burden their kids with expectations and asked the students to always evaluate themselves according to their potential. However, students should analyse the pressures and see if they are doing justice to their own potential. In such a situation these expectations may spur better performance,” he told the students.
“One of the reasons for stress is boasting about how well we did in our exam. Parents start believing in what the children say and start telling this to people around them. Avoid giving a wrong impression about your performance in exams,” Modi said.
Underlining the need for students to expand their horizons, Modi advised parents to give their children some money after classes 10 and 12 exams to travel to a few places and ask them to write about it.
“Students should be encouraged to go and meet people from different strata of society. Students should not be bound by many restrictions. We should allow them to expand their horizons,” he said.
The prime minister advised teachers to welcome students who ask questions.
“When a student asks questions, that means he or she is inquisitive. This is a good sign,” he said.
A record 38 lakh students registered this year for participation in “Pariksha Pe Charcha”.
The number of registrations is at least 15 lakh more than last year, according to Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
The first edition of the prime minister’s interactive programme with school and college students was held on February 16, 2018.