Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday interacted with school as well as college going students, parents and teachers in the second edition of Pariksha Pe Charcha. The PM started his address by paying tribute to former Union minister George Fernandes who passed away today morning. He asked parents not to expect their children to fulfil their unfulfilled dreams. The prime minister was taking questions from students and parents about studies and examination-related issues. He also described the town hall as a "mini-India, a place where we have in our midst the future of India". The prime minister said technology should lead to an expansion of the mind and be seen as a means to innovate, but he also asked students not to forget the playing field.
Here are 10 important points that PM Modi stressed upon:
Life is above and beyond exams
The burden of the exam will be lessened and focus will increase if we do away with “if not now then never” attitude. Life is beyond exams. Life does not stop if you score any lesser in an exam. 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 X or XII? Once you know the answer to this, your pressure will reduce.
Parents must not impose their unfulfilled dreams on their children
I would request parents not expect your children to fulfil your unfulfilled dreams. Every child has his or her own potential and strengths. It is important to understand these positives of every child. I hope parents do not make the report card of their children their own visiting cards... because if that is the aim then the expectations from children become unreal.
Aspirations are important
Expectations are important. They should act as motivation and not a burden. I want 1.25 crore people should have 1.25 crore aspirations. PM said expectations and aspirations should motivate you towards goal.
Technology has both good and bad sides
When a parent told the prime minister that her son who was in Class IX was earlier good in studies but now he is too distracted by online games, PM Modi asked if it was about PUBG – the online game fad. He said, “I will not say exposure to technology is a bad thing for students. It is good students are getting acquainted with new technology. It should be used wisely. Technology should lead to an expansion of the mind and as a means to innovate. Parents should discuss technology as part of dinner table conversation. We are converging due to technology and are becoming narrow-minded. This should be used for our expansion instead.”
Set an aim which is reachable
Aim for larger targets. If you fail for the aim, it is forgivable but not if it the aim is too low, said PM. Set an aim in such a way that it is reachable but not within the reach. The aim should be clear and based on self-assessment and not expectations of others. Make a bigger aim and smaller targets in the way for self-assessment. If we keep in assessing self in shorter targets, it would help us achieve the big target.
The nation is my home and citizens my family
When asked by a student what keeps him motivated throughout the 17-hour daily work, the PM gave an example of a mother and said that a mother works 24X7 hours, handles the house and still remains tireless because she looks at the house as her own. Likewise, the nation is my family, the countrymen are my family member. I do not feel tired while working for my family members.
Exams are an opportunity to learn
Exams are not bad, it is how we deal with them. If you treat exams as an opportunity, you will learn and enjoy from it. Exams give you an opportunity to assess your own strengths. But do not live for the sake of exams. Do not run behind marks, aim at acquiring knowledge and marks will follow you.
Streams beyond STEM also have a scope
Science and maths are important but this does not mean the rest of the subjects are not good. We need to bust this myth, said PM. Do not choose based on pressure, make an informed choice based on your own judgement. Start conversations with your parents and teachers
Students lack proper guidance
Students lack proper guidance. Firstly, assess what is your interest and passion. What is that you like to do? Take help from your teachers in making an informed choice. In the late 70s, I used to ask students in Baroda, and most students wanted to attain a degree and did not know about what to do. Once during my visit, a student said I want to rule, hence I want to become a bureaucrat. It was his clarity which made him reach his target later. Have clarity of thoughts and faith in your conviction. Follow the conviction with a character to act.
Do not ignore early symptoms of depression
When a student from Agra asked the PM how should students staying away from home deal with homesickness and depression, Narendra Modi said, students, do not have a platform to express themselves. Parents need to talk to students based on their students so that even if a child is staying away from home, they can talk to their parents about issues in their life. Timely intervention is necessary in cases of depression. Do not ignore early symptoms. We can fight back. If smallest of symptoms of depressions are found, take your child to expert. Do not shy away from counselling. It is wrong to think about 'what will people think, what if this gets leaked?' Experts can help a child address their issues better.