“We were told our son wouldn’t get admission in college”

Amidst the frenzy about tenth standard exam results and top scorers, what happens to the children who get average marks? In this conversation with Citizens Live, parents of Chiraag Shetty who scored 59 percent, talk about the pressure they face, the struggle to get college admission for Chiraag, and how the system could change

A couple of weeks ago, Vandana Katoch’s post on social media went viral. This mother-of-two from Delhi was celebrating her son’s score of 60 percent in board exams. It made news because her son’s score “wasn’t a 90%”. While we applauded and celebrated her sentiment, the question is how easy it is to be supportive of your child who has a normal score.

I can tell you from personal experience that it is difficult to practise what you preach. My niece cleared her PUC exams this year as one of the top-scoring students from Mangaluru. But another niece has struggled with academics, and it has been challenging for us all to accept this.

What does it take to accept and applaud your child who is not an overachiever making the news? The majority of our children fall in this category. Many of us are constantly torn between the reality of our child’s academic capability and what the system expects of them.

Our guests this week is a family from Bengaluru – Mamatha, Gunasheela and their son Chirag Shetty who recently cleared his tenth standard board exams. Chirag scored a modest 59 percent, to which Mamatha and Gunasheela had diametrically opposite reactions. While Mamatha locked herself up in a room and cried, Gunasheela celebrated his son’s score with a public post on social media (albeit one which did not go viral).

“I quit my job six months ago to stay home with Chirag for his exams. I was upset about his score, not because it reflected on my son’s capability, but because of what it would mean for his future. College admissions were weighing on my mind, and I’d be lying if I said scores didn’t matter,” says Mamatha.

And she was right. “We have been going to colleges to get applications. The security guard at the gates ask us what our son’s score is, and then tells us he won’t be getting a seat. There is something seriously wrong with that scene,” says the mother.

Gunasheela, however, could not be more happy. “He’ll succeed in life. I have no doubts about that, because my son is capable. If this score is a hurdle, then I am glad he hit it early in life. He’ll do better next time.”

But both the parents have one piece of advice for all other parents, “The pressure of being a parent isn’t something your child needs to feel. Let them be.”


  1. sudhr says:

    We should never pressurize our children to study and excel in academics. My wife and I just let our daughter do what she wants. She has been excelling in her studies without any pressure from us. We just let her choose the subjects of her choice. She has had her debacles in terms of the choice of colleges. But that hasn’t stopped her from moving on.

  2. S Rajan says:

    I completely agree with Gunadheela’s celebration. Reach human being is a complex and wonderful creatiion of God or unknown Science( for the rationalist or atheist.
    Love your children for what they are, for the wonderful joy and happiness they have brought to our lives. Each child will have their strengths. Rejoice in them. Strive for their happiness and encourage them to be good human beings- not judge by our stupid education system. Teach them to LIVE life which is the biggest TEST and does not go by text books or marks. – A Happy Parent of 2 wonderful children.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Similar Story

Mount Carmel College turns co-ed: Students allege mismanagement

Students say they learnt about the decision of the college on social media. The management says campus safety won't be impacted.

The theme for Mount Carmel College's Platinum Jubilee last year was ‘Herstory'. However, starting from this academic year, the college will not entirely be 'hers' since Mount Carmel, which has been a women's college for 75 years, has opened admissions to boys. Dr. Lekha George, principal of Mount Carmel College, says this decision was not taken overnight. "It was in discussion for a few years and the management took a call to start it this year." Mismanaged communication The students have expressed disappointment over the way the announcement was made. “It was posted on social media, even before we, the…

Similar Story

Mathru school transforms lives of special needs children in Bengaluru 

Mukhta Gubbi, founder of Mathru Educational Trust, focuses on the holistic development of students while easing parents' burden.

Mathru Educational Trust for the Blind and Other Disabled, established on January 15, 2001 by Muktha Gubbi, emerged at a time when her life was marked by various challenges that almost led her to despair. She met with a freak accident, in which she lost half of one foot and a close relationship ended, thereafter.  Witnessing a young mother struggling to take care of her blind toddler inspired Muktha to start the Mathru Residential School for the Blind in her time of adversity. Since its inception, the school has empowered countless visually impaired students, who have meritoriously passed out of Mathru school. Mathru now…