Secondary Education and Success Measures


I woke up early in the morning to the sound of cheering and people exchanging blessings: the "Thanaweya Amma" (secondary education) final results had been announced. I recalled the day of my results many years ago, and how I was sad to not receive a score that would qualify me to join the Faculty of Engineering—a top faculty.

Success Measures

A top faculty, money, prestigious career, and happiness; all are measures of success as seen by many. These standards cannot be endorsed or opposed because the differences between people play an important role in determining their measures of success. The society also plays an important role in determining those metrics; a person may find themselves required to please his/her community before thinking of what would please him/her.

The Legend of Top Faculties

There is no definite reason yet for describing some faculties as "top"; some attribute this to the rise in status of some jobs in the middle of the 1990s, and how the general public perceive them with respect and appreciation. Most notable are, of course: doctors, engineers, pharmacists, and lawyers; although the Faculty of Law is not considered now a top college for an unknown reason. The financial compensation could be another reason for having that attractive title.

Societal Constraints on Youth's Thinking

The views of the society on the measures of success cannot be neglected completely. Yet, one cannot put aside one's own ideas and standards, and consider the views of the society only; first and foremost, it is one's life and s/he is the one who will succeed or fail.

Often, students suffer in a faculty because they have to study what is not of their interest. They will, thus, become what they never wished to be, just to meet the desires of those around them, or what their high school grades had qualified them to; without considering their tendencies. Another widespread phenomenon in our society is pursuing a career in a field different from the one studied at university. This is due to several reasons, one of which is the graduate's unwillingness to work in that field, which s/he was somehow coerced into studying at the university.

That is why everyone must set his/her own measures of success; there is no wrong scale. Perhaps your measures of success do not fit others. Those who are seeking wealth may not pay attention to the academic degree, and those involved in their field of interest may disregard the financial return, eminent position, etc.

This is not the end!

"Secondary school is not the end" is a sentence that resonates in my ears, and I feel it now after more than 15 years since my graduation. I look where that has gotten me and those of my age, who are in their mid-thirties. I find doctors, engineers, accountants, housewives, artists, writers, and others; yet, how much is each one of us satisfied with their path?

The strange thing is that those who suffer most from poor work environments and low salaries are usually graduates of “top faculties”, while those working in a field related to their talents, such as illustration, photography, among others, feel better and more satisfied by their careers than others. Secondary school results should not be the end of the world; choosing a major does not reflect the extent of your success in the future. Success has several measures and high school results are not necessarily one of them.

Cover image: Professor teachers photo created by master1305 -

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