To Teach Our Children

It is a tough phase for high school students at this time of the year, when they have to take different tests in different branched and complicated subjects. Some adults over 40 do not realize that, as curriculums during their times were more simple.


Even though I graduated from high school 15 years ago with excellence – thank God – and received a BS degree in Engineering then a BS degree in medicine and then a PhD and became a member of the American Board – and most people realize how hard it is to study medicine especially in the US – I feel now and after 15 years that the mental pressures and the psychological suffering that I went through like all other students were unjustifiable and more intense than all the stages that followed.


Fear in itself can lead to psychological problems that might paralyze the student’s thinking process and might even cause physical conditions, and then parents suffer as much as their children and some might become hysterical and have nervous breakdowns.


One of the reasons behind this phenomenon might be the unnecessary length and complication of questions. Another factor that doubles the mental pressure, especially for outstanding students, is the realization that if a test was missed for any reason, even an illness that required hospitalization or an emergency operation, the student would have to wait to take the test with the flunking students at the end of the next semester, only a few weeks before the beginning of college, which takes away the chance to compete for the honorable grades and graduation with excellent colleagues. This also means a student would not be able to apply for colleges at the time provided with a chance to waste a whole college semester and narrow his chances for admission.


Where is justice in all that? Do we have to punish a student for getting sick? Was it his fault? Is there anyone of us who’s above and higher than sickness?


Do we have to join sickness against the student? Or do we have to strip people of their human nature and their weaknesses as human beings?


Why can’t there be a make-up test for each subject to be given in these situations, especially that the number of test takers might reach thousands?


Some might justify that by saying that such a law might be misused. My answer is that it could be protected with strict and accurate laws. The misuse of a law does not justify its deletion “and no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another.”


We have to revise some of the laws and regulations of education, and redefine the reasons behind having tests and determine the methods according to the new definition, so that our generations don’t graduate with lessons in their minds and hearts other than the ones intended.


Is there anything more valuable than teaching our children about the scales of justice and the value of human beings, even if he was one among thousands of other people?