Why organizers of the 2020 Olympics Games give gold, silver and bronze medals instead of ‘certificates of merit’

Oh, Oh, you are still upset, abi? I knew you had found another subject to ‘fight’ about when your son returned home from a debate involving his school and five other schools, where instead of calling him the winner and giving him the prize, he deserved, when the exercise ended, he was given only a certificate of merit, like the other contestants.

I am glad you remember that disturbing episode. The explanation that they want to protect the self-esteem of the child is nothing but a lame excuse. Telling all the participants that they are all winners is correct in a sense but going ahead and giving all of them the same certificate of merit, as reward/award, is unfair. What would the Olympics Games currently taking place in Tokyo, Japan, look like if there was no instrumentation for differentiating and rewarding performance?

The Olympics Games is part of the real world, my friend. Those education policy administrators behind the certificate of merit scheme belong in another world. In that world, there should be no cut-off marks for students who sit for the University Admissions exam. Every student who sits for the exam gets automatic admission because they have already been prequalified by the ‘merit’ of participating in the exams. Every job applicant to any organization or establishment, should receive automatic employment in their organization of interest because they have already been prequalified by the ‘merit’ of writing an application or appearing in person for an interview. Any individual that dresses up in the uniform of an airplane captain/pilot should be give access, on request, to the cockpit, to fly any commercial airplane already filled with passengers. Likewise, any individual who dresses up in the robe of a surgeon should be given access, on request, to the operating theatre of any hospital, to perform surgery on any waiting patient. But this is not what we find in the real world. Any individual who wishes to have a property of his/her own should be allotted a plot anywhere he/she prefers because he/she has been prequalified by the merit of simply making a request to any mortgage institution. Any individual…

That’s enough. I believe we have made the point

Maybe but the thing has become so annoying. Why are we deceiving our children and young people and lying to them that when contestants take part in a contest, all of them deserve the same reward, the socalled certificate of merit, when that is not what they will encounter in real life? Why issue all the contestants the same certificate of merit when at the Olympics Games for example, they will be differentiated by gold, silver, bronze and nothing? Besides, would the Olympics Games not die a natural death if that were the case? What’s wrong with differentiating the certificate of merit if we cannot afford any other gift for the contestants?

That’s the most painful aspect of this contraption called ‘certificate of merit’ ideal. Look around you at the complete display of dissonance in almost every aspect of our lives. Many children don’t know what to believe again. We tell/show them one thing behind the four walls of a school and they encounter

another when they step into the ‘real world.’ I’m not denying the self-esteem issues some children face but we must find another way to encourage our children who are not top finishers. We set the rest of society backwards by holding down everyone to the barest minimum when there are others capable of much more. Doesn’t nature itself show that strengths and capabilities are in degrees, levels and layers? Do all plants and animals in nature have the same capabilities? Aren’t they differentiated already by certain parameters? Should we now compel the cheetah to run beside the snail? Or the other way round? And give both of them the same certificate of merit as the only award for competing in a race against each other? It’s just not fair what we are doing to the children.

Thank God the Olympics Games came just at the right time for you to push up your argument.

After the Olympics, nko? And for those who might label us intolerant because of this position, can they honestly say they subscribe to the ideal of the certificate of merit orientation if they were passengers in that airplane and were told that the flight would be manned by a pilot whose only qualification is a certificate of merit given to him for attending a flying school? If we are so finicky and fastidious about certain vital things in life, why make children feel they shouldn’t be as finicky and fastidious when those are the demands placed upon everyone by most of life?

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