KCSE 2017 RESULTS: Exam results don't determine success in life

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Dear Parents/Guardians,

Demanding qualifications open doors to higher study and to fulfilling lives Photo: Alamy

The over-emphasis on exam results leads to a “pressure cooker environment” with students finding it difficult to cope, says Rod Bristow

The exams are over and school is almost out for the 2018 academic year.

Your children will bring reports home this week. I know you are all really anxious for your child to do well.

What's the meaning of "doing well?"

Please do remember, among the children who sat for the exams, is an Artist, who doesn't need to understand Maths.

There's an Entrepreneur, who doesn't care about History or English literature.

There's a Musician, whose Chemistry marks won't matter.

There's a Sportsperson, whose physical fitness is more important than Physics.

If your child does get top marks then great. But, if he or she doesn't, please don't take away their self- confidence and dignity from them.

Tell them it's OK, it was just an exam. They are cut out for much bigger things in life.

Tell them, no matter what they score, you love them and will not judge them.

Please do this and if you do, watch your children conquer the world. One exam or a 90% marks won't take away their dreams and talent.

And please do not think that doctors and engineers are the only happy people in the world.

Be happy for them when they come home with those reports this week. Encourage them to do better. Motivate those who were not successful. There's beauty in going back and giving it another shot. Don't judge them. They expect of you, their mother, their father, most of all to understand and to still believe in them.

Failing a grade can never make your children failures. Their destinies lie locked up in far greater things.

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