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Sorry Buzzfeed. Failing at School is not cool!
Before I start, let me tell you that I was never a topper at school. I was an average student who struggled with some subjects, was moderately good at a few and may be was good at one or two. I happened to see the below video from Buzzfeed. I felt the video tries to misguide school/college goers a great deal. Below are the aspects I feel the video has got horribly wrong:
1. The video tries to glorify being an under achiever at school: One of the parameters at doing well in school is getting good marks. Other parameters being good at arts, craft, sports and the works. Most of the people who are featured in the video have nothing to boast about regarding academic scores. They even sound a bit proud about it. What is the glory in getting bad scores?
2. Getting good marks at school involves hard work: Anyone who has scored good marks in school will tell you that it did not come easy to them. There is a lot of work that goes in to scoring good grades. It is an indication of the consistency of hard work that a person can put in over a period of time. Come to think of it, it is this consistent hard work that helps people become achievers in life – be it in the field of art, sports or corporate.
3. Is the video promoting the culture of being dumb? In 100 meters race, the parameter that is used to judge the winner is time that is taken to cover the 100 meters. One can argue that it should be the poise with which a person runs which should be made the criteria. Similarly, marks indicate a person is bright. Marks alone doesn’t indicate intellect. But it is one of the parameters. The video tries to say that marks doesn’t matter at all. It is evident from the video that except Sonia (the lady in blue) no one else had good marks in school and they are quite proud about it!
4. What have these people achieved in life? I don’t mean to be mean or judgemental. I am just asking an objective question. Other than making 5 minute videos that people watch and forget forever, what contribution have these people made to the real world? Also, these 5 minute videos are a fad which aren’t going to last forever. If these people are going to focus their energies on doing just this, how will they have a career? More importantly, if they don’t have the discipline to get decent marks in school, will they be able to consistently deliver good scripts for videos like these?
5. Not everything is easy or enjoyable in life: Gaining knowledge, landing a job from tens of thousands of competitors, reading books, making money are all difficult aspects of life. The video somewhere sends out the message that the difficult things in life can be done away with. It hints at the fact that rigour is not needed.
I understand the fact that the video is trying to point out flaws in our education system (I hope so, at least). But this is not the way to go about it. This video is just being populist and lazily appealing to a bunch of people who don’t work to work hard in life at all. Then how do we show flaws in the education system? I do not know! Then why do I criticise them? Because I do not sit with multiple social media platforms with the sole aim of making videos and listicles. It is not my day job. But it is the day/night and full-time job of people at Buzzfeed! Hence the criticism.
So guys and girls at Buzzfeed, there are people who have given their blood and sweat to achieve the marks they got in school and college. There are people who work 9 hours a day in a corporate job trying to make meaningful contributions to the economy and the society that they live in. They are as cool as you guys who make fun videos. Do not dumb down life.