Asking parents to steer clear of “unreal expectations from children”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Tuesday they should not treat their children’s report card as their “visiting card”.
Interacting with 2,000-odd students, teachers and parents from across the country at his “Pariksha Par Charcha 2.0” townhall at Talkatora Stadium here, Modi said parents should not unfairly expect wards to bear the burden of their unfulfilled dreams.
Saying that expectations are essential since we cannot thrive in an atmosphere of despair and unhappiness, the Prime Minister added, “Every child has his or her own potential and strengths. It is important to understand these positives of every child. Parents often treat the report cards of their children as their visiting cards and that adds extra pressure on them, which is very unreal and unhealthy.”
In response to a question on high expectations, the Prime Minister cited a Gujarati idiom: “Nishaan chook maaf, Nahin maaf nichu nishaan”, to state that while missing a target can be condoned, there can be no excuse for setting the target too low.
With board examinations around the corner, Modi also shared tips to help students handle exam stress. Responding to a query, he cited a poem by Hindi poet Gopaldas Neeraj.
“Kuchh khilaune ke tootne se bachpan nahin marta hai (Childhood doesn’t end if some toys break),” said Modi. “I cannot say, ‘Do not be totally relaxed before an exam’… But ask yourselves if this an exam of your life or is it just an exam for a particular grade like Class 10 or 12? Once you know the answer to this, your pressure will reduce.”
The interaction also saw its share of lighter moments: When a UPSC aspirant from Kerala asked him a query, Modi responded by first complimenting him on his fluent Hindi. When Madhumita Sengupta, a parent from New Delhi, complained about how her son in Class 9 is neglecting studies due to online games, Modi shot back with “Is it PUBG?”
On technology, the PM said, “I will not say exposure to technology is a bad thing for students. It is good (that) students are getting acquainted with new technology. Technology should lead to expansion of the mind and as a means to innovate. The PlayStation is good but never forget the playing field.”
On depression among students, Modi said, “In a nation like ours, the subject of depression is very worrying. Our culture has mechanisms to cope with this. The more we talk openly about aspects relating to depression and mental health, it is better. We must always express, never suppress.”