Thankfully, asking someone about his/her salary in this day and age is considered at odds with socially acceptable behaviour but I wonder when the same rationale will be applied towards the results or grades of students.
Recently, an aunt asked a cousin of mine about her exam result in front of many guests. I could almost see everyone’s ears perk up as the room fell silent and everyone’s attention was on her. Finding herself in the spotlight, she replied quietly, “It hasn’t been announced yet.”
Being a student myself, I could sympathize with her and how she would have felt if her result had come out and her grades had not been good enough to announce before an audience. Aren’t exam results and grades as personal to a student as salary is to an employee? Then, why can’t people stop poking their noses into someone’s academic results just like they do in case of somebody’s income?
Asking a student about his/her result openly has its repercussions. It can make a student feel humiliated if the grades are not ‘good enough’. It can shatter a student’s confidence and make them feel that others might think of them as unintelligent. It can also put unnecessary stress on them to do better JUST to keep those nosy people from talking and humiliating them. I mean, let’s face it…all students are NOT the same; all students cannot do well in ALL subjects; and some are better at extracurriculars than they are at academics.
Failing an exam or receiving low grades is already a bolt of shock for a student. We don’t know what kind of admonishment he/she might have already received from the parents at home. So, someone asking about it, especially in a public setting, is like rubbing salt on the wound. And if you think, sympathizing remarks like “Koi baat nahi, you’ll do well next time” and “We know you tried your best” are re-assuring and supportive, think again.
Because the damage has already been done.
So, just like most people prefer not to shout out their salaries to the world, students also would rather not announce their results openly. If a student WANTS to share her grades or achievements with the world, trust me, she will do so at her own volition.
And here’s some humble advice for parents too – DON’T ask other parents about their children’s results. Just because your child is a born genius or high-achiever, does not give you the right to embarrass anybody else!
Be kind. It’s not so hard.