A+ is the highest GPA status, only awarded to students who receive at least 80 percent marks in every subject up to the intermediate level. Informally called “Golden A+,” this GPA is the most honourable academic achievement—a source of pride and glory in today’s society. A flawless GPA is undeniably commendable, but this widespread obsession with it comes at a cost: A+ recipients are applauded, but students who don’t receive top grades are lambasted by their parents and belittled in society. They feel discouraged from these, which eventually takes a toll on their mental health—and we should note that young lives have been tragically cut short from this in the past.
This essentially pollutes the atmosphere in our educational institutions by harnessing crude competition that pits students against each other, and in turn, fails to teach students the importance of friendship and empathy. Adolescents forget about the world outside the confines of their classrooms, and avoid learning anything valuable in the real-world.
The harm in all this is not the students’ mindsets, but rather a systemic, social problem—parents and teachers condition students to chase grades as though it is the ultimate goal in life. It seems they often forget that a Golden A+ doesn’t make one a “golden human being,” but kindness and integrity does.
Hasan Tasnim Shaon, University of Dhaka