Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday floated the idea of holding weeklong “exam festivals” in educational institutions twice a year and said such festivals could help end the tension surrounding examinations and go a long way in destressing students.
“Can’t we hold a weeklong exam festival twice every year which has satirical poems on exams? Can’t we have a cartoon contest on examinations, or somebody lecturing us on the psychological effects exams have, or debates? This hype surrounding examinations will end then. Exams will become a festival,” Modi said in his Mann Ki Baat radio programme. He added that he feels that there should be a subject in the syllabus to explain what examinations are.
This edition of Mann Ki Baat was exclusively for students preparing for board and competitive examinations. “You are going to get good results, you are about to succeed. Turn exams into a festival…experience enjoyment in taking exams…the entire atmosphere will change,” Modi told the students.
He also said that the way one approaches an exam determines his/her performance. “I have seen a majority of people think of an exam as an important event of their lives. They think that world will sink if they don’t perform well,” Modi said, asking students to not consider examinations a burden. He also asked parents not to compare the performances of their children with others, saying it creates undue pressure on students.
The PM further said: “Compete with yourself, compete to do well, compete for speed, compete to do more, compete to achieve newer heights. Focus on doing better than what you did yesterday,” he said, citing the example of former Ukrainian pole vault player Sergey Bubka who had broken his own record 35 times. “He used to take his own exam,” the PM said.
The PM also highlighted how girl students, despite helping their mothers with household chores, continued to perform exceedingly well in examinations. He also asked students to live in the present during exams and not bother about the past or the future. “Live in the present, connect to the present, struggle with the present. Victory will walk alongside,” he said.
Modi said he was an ordinary student who never secured good results. “In fact, even my handwriting was very bad. Probably I passed exams at times because teachers were not able to read my handwriting,” he joked.
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