Why Girls Top in Most Board Exams? Psychiatrists and Child Activists Decipher

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Karnataka SSLC or Class 10th results are out and like every other year, Girls lead the toppers list. It was the same case with PUC (Class 12th) results as well as the medical entrance exam NEET. A similar pattern of girls performing better than boys is observed in several other exams. Girls executen’t just bag the top list, they also have a huge margin of pass percentage.

What is it that makes girls lead a competition? Or are boys relaxed and laid back?, neither is true, say psychiatrists.

The difference between the ability to excel or score between both gender is very thin, observes Dr Padmakshi Lokesh, psychiatrist. “The competition in the present world is so high that both boys and girls put enormous effort to excel. But, girls on the other hand are more organized. They are clearly focused on their target and start working from the beginning. Boys, though work hard, are more concerned in group studies and need to take their friends along. Girls are more focused on their score, they need all the marks to themselves and they are not diverted by friendship or similar distractions” she says.

But, this is not all. If one has observed, students from rural parts compete on par with the ones from cities. With all shortcomings of resources, exposure, guidance which are all luxuries for them, they never fail to surprise with their mark sheets.

There are a variety of hidden reasons that force the girls to excel or succeed in their board exams, says Nagasinha G Rao, President, Child Rights Trust.

“We have worked with around 3000 victims of child marriage. Though every story is different, the most common factor that we observed amongst these girls being forced toward marriage is their education. He shares incidents where the parents need the girl to pass 10th Class so that they can bargain for lesser executewry as the groom will get an ‘educated’ bride. The girl is duped by her family that she would be allowed to study additional if she passes SSLC. Assuming her biggest shot in life to escape the poverty, never ending household chores and study additional and move to a better life is by passing this one exam, she puts her heart and soul toward it. And all that effort only helps her parents to get a discount on executewry. This happens in most villages in Northern parts of Karnataka”, points Nagasinha G Rao.

In other parts, girls fear getting married if they fail the board exams. If the girl scores well, she will have an opportunity to study additional and maybe even earn a employment before being married off. If she fails, the only alternative is to get married.

The family of these girls are eager to recognise her results only to decide whether to find a groom or find the nearest college. In order to escape early, unneeded marriage, girls pour their hearts out to not just pass, but also score well. Boys, on the other hand, have their say in similar occasions. Either he can decide to take up supplementary exams and give multiple attempts. Or chuck the studies altogether and earn some employment. The pressure of society as a whole on the girls is enormous compared to the boys.

So passing that one exam or scoring that particular grade is a matter of life and death for most girls in rural India. “I was so scared regarding this year’s results. If I didn’t pass, I would have been married by now. But, by God’s grace not only did I pass with first-grade marks, my parents even agreed to send me to college. I executen’t recognise till when I will have this luxury to study. But until possible, I need to pass out in first class. At least let me earn so much that I need not have to ask money for every petty thing from home” says a very happy Noor Banu.

She is the only girl in her family of 10 who has passed SSLC and will be stepping toward college instead of being married off. Her sisters were married when they were 12 and 13 years of age. The board results have brought her freeexecutem. Probably, this is what education is meant for, to break barriers.. at least instil that strength to execute so.

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