This morning, one of my children checked her last term’s result on-line and behold she was rated 53rd in her class of 146.
Initially, she was downcast, because being among the best in her class as previous results attest, it was an anomaly getting that position. And, I know how hard she read for the exams.
But surprisingly, she came up with some surmises: since the examination was conducted on-line during the pandemic, it would seem her classmates did not do write the examination themselves. Either their parents or sibling helped them or they engaged in EXPO, she further surmised. In elevating words, she consoled herself: “Daddy, I am at least happy that I did the exam myself and nobody helped me in any way”. In all, she was contented that the end result was the reward for her honest efforts.
Given access to the results of her class, I laughed. The result reflected her consistent performance over the years. When she spoke to some of her classmates who are of the same rating with her, we noticed the same trend: rather than come between 1st and 20th, they all came between 50th and 70th. In most cases, the usually dull ones were the ones that took 1st to 20th positions, raising more questions than answers.
Here, I think the school made mistakes. They ought to have foreseen the decadence in the society and what some modern parents are capable of and leave the results without grading.
The only explanation to the fore-going is that many parents aided their children in writing the examination, thinking it was the “smart” thing to do since these students were beyond the surveillance of their teachers. But what is the role of these teachers? Is it not the extension of what we are supposed to do for our children at home; hence, the phrase “in loco parentis”? If we want teachers to train our children on the paths of rectitude, but end up doing the opposite by violating our own canon plentifully, whom do we blame?
In thinking they were being smart, they did not realise they were doing havoc to the psyche of these children. They may not recognize that the respect their children have for them would have withered because of that indulgence and it will remain fresh in their memories.
Appreciating that what was at stake was beyond position in class – as it presented a good opportunity to teach the young ones the virtues of honesty — I made it clear in my house that nobody should stay close to them when the examination was being taken. Happily, my wife shared the same sentiments. There are little things we do that have profound influence on our children, and our attitude in cases like this is one of them.
So help us, God.