My mind has always associated ‘results’ with a day when my name was never called out first… and came after the top 3 had stolen all the applause from the class. I always did well, but the charm of having done well was lost when all I had to do was to walk up to the class-teacher and get my report-card.

It was the same scenario every year. After the top three came my name with a small remark, ‘Arvind Passey, he has stood first in English and has the highest marks in Drawing!’ No one clapped. No one whistled. Even the teacher announced this as if she were in a hurry to get over with the protocol. My class-mates too wanted the distribution to get over fast… and I was always left wondering at this injustice. Fuming, I must say.

Once I even told my teacher, ‘Why can’t results be announced in alphabetical order? Those who have stood first, second, and third will come to the class as a surprise. And as my name will come somewhere at the start I’ll get some clapping for my marks in English and Drawing.’

‘You’re a dreamer,’ I was told and no further thought was given to my idea or my emotional state.

No wonder then that the moment I read the news about IIT-D junking score hierarchy at their convocation, I was thrilled. I actually got up from my chair and applauded. The news elaborated: ‘For the very first time in 50 years, the four letters (CGPA) will not turn up to haunt students of IIT-Delhi on their last day at the institute. Breaking  tradition, IIT-Delhi has decided to not call students in the order of their CGPA – from the highest to lowest – to collect their degrees on the day of their convocation.’

The day I read this news, I muttered a saying I had read somewhere: ‘Life is like a mirror, we get the best results when we smile at it.’ I’m sure the students of IIT-D are all going to go out with smiles on their faces. No tense moments for them and their parents to discover that their ‘brilliant’ son or daughter is LAST in the class of the BRIGHTEST in India! Imagine the paradox here… you’re the best and the worst together!! Our results-announcements have been shameful up to now.

This is one trend that needs to be adopted by all universities, colleges, schools and other institutions at the earliest. Make your students feel special, because they are special. The reality of their having passed, completed, been successful, or achieved something has always been overshadowed by something draconian, unpleasant, and a terror like hierarchy of results! Doing well is REAL… and so it is time we stepped out of the real fiction of results and made the success of every student a bit more applause-worthy!

The Education Post_ 20 August 2012_Down with score hierarchy

The Education Post_ 20 August 2012_Down with score hierarchy


Arvind Passey
Written on 17 August 2012
Published in ‘The Education Post’  20 August 2012