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On Top of the World … Without Straight A’s

by Eddie Rayner

Steve Jobs finished high school with a 2.65 G.P.A. (which is bad if you are trying to get to college); J.K. Rowling graduated from university with roughly a C average; and Chinese business magnate Jack Ma took four years to pass his college entrance exam. So does this prove that straight A’s are unnecessary for a successful career?

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“It does! Good schools provide multiple pathways to tertiary education for students of all abilities. We see a great demand in universities for students that have completed BTEC courses, and, even with traditional A-level grades, there are a wealth of opportunities for students to gain access to good universities with less than perfect grades.”

Brendon Fulton, executive principal at Dubai British School Jumeirah Park

“We all know someone who has a way with words or can charm anyone with their charisma. These natural skills are not learned and do not require a university degree. The rise of awareness of ’emotional intelligence’ in the workplace now means that it is not only a degree or grades that get you a job, but your ability to lead, work as a team, and deal with confrontation. Personality trumps intelligence!”

Heather Heatly, a French and English teacher at Falconcity Nursery

“As teachers, it is vital to understand that each child is different when it comes to both learning and pace, while some may be quicker to grasp concepts than others, they may not necessarily be smarter or more intelligent. Pressurising children to do well sometimes does just the opposite of that.”

Dr Heena Rachh, principal at Global Indian International School Abu Dhabi

“Grades don’t impress us as much nowadays because the curriculum has so much more to offer. This means enjoying a high-quality education and developing values while focusing on all-round development, creativity, and entrepreneurship.”

Ms Ashwini, parent of student at Global Indian International School Abu Dhabi