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The Parental Greed

At first I am surprised. It seems parents aren't happy that the Xth class Board exams have been scrapped.

A while later, I figure it out. I ain't surprised anymore. The answer is steeped in the concept of the 'Extended Self'. The concept states, 'Possessions reflect the identify of the possessor, and in turn these possessions contribute to that identity. We must understand these possessions in terms of the meaning invested in them by the purchaser.'

Parents tend to live out their desires through their children. Kids are seen as vehicles that contribute to achieving an identity parents haven't been able to, on their own. Their 'desired selves' can only be achieved through their kids. And so the marks (grades) the kid brings home is not necessarily seen as a reflection of the child's learning, but more as a vehicle for social status that they desperately seek. Show me a home where a kid's marks aren't compared to another's, if they are low (leading to dismal levels of self esteem), or a home where the kid's marks aren't bandied about at social gatherings, if they are way at the top, and I'll show you a kid who's being raised right with a healthy psyche.

For parents, marks are about Egos. 'Did you know my kids scored a 100', is a good way of gaining a great deal of respect within social settings. 'My kid's flunked' is a sure passport to days of going underground. If parents were really concerned about competition, that too the healthy kind, they would embrace the grade system and tell their kids that life's not just about scoring marks, that its about collaborating as much as competing.

Note to parents who are desperate about keeping the marks system alive; For God's sake, the least you can do is watch the Tom Peters video (listed above). And maybe, just maybe, I hope there will dawn some good sense.


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