New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday advised students to give up any stress, compete with themselves and not with others, and take examinations as an opportunity to realise their own potential.
Addressing students preparing for board and competitive examinations on his "Mann ki Baat" programme on All India Radio, Modi gave them some tips to perform well, stressed the need to move positively ahead in life without feeling any undue pressure and urged them to convert "festival of examinations into a festival of joy".
Referring to performance-related stress among students and even reports of suicides, he, in his over 25-minute address delivered in a conversational tone, asked students not be "worriers" but "warriors".
The prime minister, who has taken up on several issues in his radio talk including drug use, said that the "situation of tension (in examination) is not good". "Never feel stressed. There should be a determination to do good, the morale should be high but examination should not be a burden. It is not a test of your life."
Modi confessed that he himself had been a very ordinary student with "bad" handwriting and jested that he sometimes passed his exams as the teacher could not read his answers. He also asked parents not to compare their children with those of their relatives and friends and not see their ward's performance as a way to earn reputation. "This insect in your mind puts pressure on your child," he said.
"The life is huge. Can't you connect the child with that. If you talk to children, talk of grand dreams, of flying high and you will see that change has begun," he said. He also noted that for a person's self-development, competition with others does not give so much inspiration "as competition with ourselves".
"Compete with yourself to do good, to do fast, to do more and reach new heights. Tomorrow should be better than yesterday, focus on that and you will see that this spirit of competition will give you so much satisfaction and happiness that you cannot imagine," he said, referring to Olympian Sergey Bubka who had repeatedly broken his own record in pole vault.
Modi asked boys to learn from girl students who "do well in examinations despite helping their mothers in household work" while he stressed desire to achieve something should not waver in a student. "Desire plus stability is equal to determination. Determination plus hard work is equal to mastery (siddhi)," he said.
"Put yourself totally in the task. Keep your resolve positive. A person who daily competes with himself, no challenge is big for him. We should take our own examination daily," he said, terming examinations an opportunity to realise one's own potential and not prove anything to the world. He asked students to have confidence in themselves and not to worry about results.
Modi also suggested that teachers should organise "examination festival" once a week every six months where there could be satire and poetry about examinations as well as cartoons and declamation contests. He said there can be lectures on psychological aspects of examinations to remove fear and suggested that it can be part of syllabus.
Stressing he wants every student going for the examination to be happy, he said: "Make examination a festival, go in a happy mood and take pleasure from each day's achievements and change the atmosphere. Parents, teachers, schools, every one should do it and see how it brings a change." He also conveyed his best wishes to students.