Airports are so different from reality. They are so posh, glossy, beautiful, neat, and tidy, very well organised, secure and safe for all. I was waiting in one of the lobbies and was simply observing the whole new world and people. The line that caught my attention was written in white on a red background, “Our ground work takes you to sky heights’ ‘. I read…reread to feel it completely. How true? If a set of people do not work properly at the ground level then no one can ever reach the height. After understanding, assimilating it well, I started correlating with all the day to day activities. How important is the ground work, it may be those fundamentals, basic facts or may be like foundation. This is so applicable in every field of life. If I talk about the students appearing for the board exams as my friend Dr. Pragya Kumar Mathur explained in her very elaborate write up in the Sunday’s Insight. It was all revolving around how the basics can be made strong in a pre planned manner to get the best result. This can be in terms of marks, satisfaction, happiness and confidence.

For students, learning, understanding and application can be the basic part of their preparation. Most of it could be the written practice, memorising, drawing, analysing, and putting up the gained information as per the question asked. Interpreting it correctly and then answering it according to the marks allotted, neither too less nor too much. Then, writing the answer to the point by using the keywords and terminology. Making the final presentation neat, clear and at least readable. Certain age-old practices are true even today. Students now feel that studies also should be like reels of a few seconds containing all the chapters, content, and concepts. All of it should be crisp and interesting, spicy and entertaining. But then those who wish for long term knowledge and know the importance of hard work and want to stand tall will give a patient hearing to the minute details and tricks. They must change their habits. Getting up early in the morning, having fresh home cooked healthy food, avoiding junk and packaged food. Maintaining personal hygiene both physical and mental. Students can start the day by talking to their parents, grandparents, and having positive discussions to solve some problems or confusions. They can be a bit spiritual to get that extra strength with cosmic energy, to appreciate the noble soul within. Some may also take up some hobbies to just freshen up the tired mind.  Be it listening to the music, playing some instrument if known, solving puzzles, preparing some snacks or even writing a diary to give yourself a vent. Helping someone may be a sibling, parents for sometime also makes your mind more positive, energetic and releases happy hormones. One feels happy about self and is prepared well to take up studies from a new perspective and vigour. Do…redo…undo…still redo till you are at your best. Do not lose heart, hope. Keep doing because every exam is like a level crossed to reach the next like in any video game and every new level gives you some handful of gifts in terms of growth, eligibility, ability and accomplishment.

Groundwork for the parents is to keep the atmosphere in the house healthy, happy and favourable for fetching the best result. Spend as much time as possible at home with the child or make some alternate arrangements. Have regular, casual visits to the place where the child is studying and preparing. Keep the gadgets away or use them minimum, so that the child also does not get the temptation to. Read books instead, have motivational talks, and remind the child about his /her previous achievements rather than someone else’s. Crack some jokes, laugh together, eat together, avoid outings, and talk about your own childhood days and some inspirational stories. Let the child feel that the whole family is together and all are backing and supporting. Let us face together till the exam gets over. Let the child feel this physical, mental, emotional support which is more important than the financial support at that point of time.

Teachers can take regular updates, call those who were underperforming to boost their confidence. They can have some online meetings to discuss, clear improve their answering skills before exams and let them know we all are together. Give them some tips, tell them to prepare from that portion which carry maximum weightage and is easy to learn. Most students are facing the problem of retention of knowledge, concepts when it comes to bulky things, thanks to gadgets. But nonetheless, we won’t give up….we will face it all…Our ground work will take them to sky rocketing height…..All the Best!!!

– Sandhya Deshpande,Nagpur

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