NEW DELHI: Parents should not treat the "report cards" of children as their "visiting cards" or expect them to fulfill their unfulfilled dreams, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he interacted Tuesday with around 2,000 students, teachers and parents in the second edition of "pariksha pe charcha".
He encouraged parents to be a factor of motivation and encouragement for their children.
"I would request parents, do 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. 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," he said.
"Only when you take it in spirit and encourage your child a 60 per cent holder moves towards 70 or 80 per cent. If you only criticize and scold your child for not getting 90 per cent you will demotivate your child to start believing that they are incapable. This will take their grades further down towards 40 per cent," the prime minister added.
With less than a month to go for the Class 10 and Class 12 examinations, Modi discussed ways to handle the exam stress in the interactive session at the Talkatora Stadium where students from across the country got a chance to participate.
"Our learning cannot be reduced to exams only. Our education must equip us to face various challenges of life as well. I sincerely believe that anything that challenges us, polishes us too. If there is nothing to test us, then we become complacent. There must always be something to challenge us," he said.
Jairpeet Singh, a student based in Tehran, asked the prime minister about the need to encourage students constantly and how it makes children happy.
"Compare yourself with your old record, you are your own competition, you break your records, you will never have the chance to drown in a trough of despair if you break your records yourself," the PM replied.
"Exams are important in life, but one should not be stressed by it. 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," he added.
The prime minister advised the students to aim big in life but do not get carried away in the process of realising them.
"While aiming big in life is good, but don't get so carried away by it that your dreams remain dreams, and you become too old just thinking about it. We must understand ourselves. We must be true to ourselves, questions ourselves frequently to see how we stand periodically as compared to our ambitions and dreams in life.
"If you see yourself far from it, then you know what to do. You must break your dreams into phases and give it a time frame to achieve. You must cross one milestone at a time. Climb from a smaller peak to a larger one," Modi said.
The prime minister said technology should lead to expansion of the mind and be seen as a means to innovate, but, he also asked students not to forget the playing field.
Responding to a question about how he manages to work continuously for over 17 hours a day, he said, "We work hard, but we all go through some setbacks in life. You work 17 hours a day, how do you keep yourself motivated?"
"What keeps a mother motivated and energized through the day, doing so many things tirelessly? She does it for her family and their wellbeing. Similarly, I truly consider all my fellow countrymen as my family. That is what keeps me encouraged and motivated."