Taking time to celebrate all types of success

For the past month, ever since VCE exam supervisors last uttered the phrase,“Time’s up”, 47,000 Victorian students have waited nervously to receive their results.
Nanjing Night Net

For 35 young people around the state, that wait ended in elation: they received the highest possible ATAR of 99.95.

One diligent Bendigo student is among them.

But for every student awarded a “perfect” score, there is a dozen or more young people for whom just receiving their Victorian Certificate of Education is a milestone achievement.

They too deserve to be delighted today.

It is a shame the intangibility of their success, unable to be pinned down in numbers, makes celebrating their performance more difficult.

How does one know that the teenage girl who scraped an ATAR in the mid-50s did so despite a crippling case of anxiety?

What about the young man who worked two casual jobs throughout the entirety of his senior schooling yet still made time to cram for exams?

Consider the arts student who spent hours in Drama, Music and Visual Communicationclasses despite having already won a spot in a prestigious design course.

Their efforts are just as perfect as any ATAR.

We can be sure teachers and principals willacknowledgetheir efforts; it issomething schools are doing better and more often than ever before.

But it is also important the rest of the community follows the schools’ lead.

We must not measure a young person’s worth on two years of academic performance.

An ATAR exists purely for the purpose of university admission, not to eternally pigeonhole its recipient as “smart” or “stupid”.

There are those whose scores did not threaten the 90s that will go on to transform the world we live in.

And there are high-scoring pupils who will change university course, or make mistakes. And that’s okay too.

These are young people aged just 17 or 18.

Their lives have barely begun, so we certainly should not be writing their legacy just yet.

They have a long time left to make their mark on society and when they do, you can be sure no one will be talkingabout their ATAR.

– Mark Kearney, journalist

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.


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