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Monday, April 9, 2012

Don’t let your High School scores squeeze you into a box

The results of the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) are out. Jubilation and disappointment fill the air in almost equal measure. Some parents feel like they have received the greatest of the expected rewards from their children by virtue of good performance. For others, the results seem to be an indicator of lack of honor. The happy parents are up and about telling all and sundry about their impressive performance while the parents of students who did not perform as well could be tempted to hide their faces from society due to the self-instilled shame and disillusionment.
It seems the pressure to perform well in the national examinations seem to be gripping the parents even more than the students. No wonder, parents wait for the results with more anxiety than the students. The reason could be that the students imagine at the back of their minds that regardless of their performance, the parents will scratch their way to getting a way past the exam results.

Not all parents however get through this season unscathed. We have overheard parents tell their children that if they perform poorly in the national exams, they should seek for other persons to call mummy or daddy. This clearly indicates that for some parents, their attachment and love for their children is highly dependent on the results of the exams. In other words, some parents’ love is conditional. You perform well, you are my child; you perform poorly, you call another person your mummy or daddy.

This can be height of great levels of frustration among the candidates who fail to perform well. The irony however is that in some cases, bright students perform poorly in national examinations due to the tension they experience as they sit for their exams as a result of the pressure piled on them by their parents. Such students get into the exam room under threat and easily leads to loss of memory or concentration. 

Our education system has placed more premium on the passing in national examinations even when the playing ground is not fair. Some students undergo learning experiences in more endowed environments than others yet this is never a consideration when setting the national examinations since the national examinations are set based on the expected ideal situations.  

This is hence a perfect time for parents and students to take a break and reflect on the life past and the life ahead. With the grades in your hands, what can you make out of them? Remember that the grades should never be a determinant of your future life as a student, whether they are impressive or not. The exams could just have served to indicate that you are not wired for the academics. Since the verdict is out, seek for vocational opportunities or creative arts that you could be best wired for. Dare I mention that the fact that you have scored the highest of the marks does not necessarily mean that you squeeze into the box prepared in advance for you by the society. Getting an ‘A’ does not necessarily mean you can make an engineer or a doctor. There is more to career choice than mere KCSE grades. 

The grades could simply be a sign that you can remember what you learned. Your personality and interests matters in career choice. Open up your world and explore the limitless opportunities that exist. Thank God for KCSE and seek guidance from professionals as you make the next move. It might just be what will eventually determine your satisfaction for the rest of your life.

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