Bring it down:The overhyped SLC

We believe it is cruel to stress out young minds by inflating the importance of SLC out of proportions. Eight days of three-hour exams is a poor measure of knowledge gained through years of hard work.

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It´s that dreaded day for the schoolers again, something they have been bracing themselves for over 10 years. As if the whole of schooling is geared at clearing the Iron Gate, which is possibly one of the most horrendous misnomers invented. Ever. This year, more than half a million are stilling for the annual SLC exams in nearly 1,800 centers across the country. The start of SLC is a matter of great tension for the harried parents who have to not just make sure their children are well prepared for what the parents have been conditioned to believe as the defining examination in any Nepali’s life; they are equally concerned about the health of their stressed-out wards. God forbid if their son or daughter catches fever or is hit by a bout of diarrhea on the D-Day.

In recent times SLC exams have come into news for all the wrong reasons. One of the regular fares has been the amusing sight of parents fighting with the invigilators that they be allowed to pass on the cheats to their poorly-prepared children; when force has not worked, many have resorted to palm-greasing. Likewise, every year there are hundreds of instances of fake examinees, a few instances of leakage (or rumored leakage) of question papers, but worst of all, of suicides by the students who believe they have brought great shame to themselves and their parents by failing.

As always, the Office of the Controller of Examinations assures that it is prepared for any untoward activity during the eight days of the exams. Harsh measures like 100,000 rupee in fines and up to six months of jail for anyone involved in cheating or leakage of question papers have been announced. Fake examinees will be barred from studying anywhere in Nepal… Much ado for what are no more than annual school exams.

Thankfully, the whole system will be junked post 2014 when the school-ending exams will be pushed to the end of the 12th grade instead of the end of 10th grade today. We believe it is cruel to stress out young minds by inflating the importance of SLC out of proportions. Eight days of three-hour exams is a poor measure of knowledge gained through years of hard work. It isn’t surprising that those who mug up whole books often get better marks rather than those who apply a bit of nous to tackle the hackneyed SLC questions.

We also hope that in due course the unreliable marking system is replaced by a more fair grading system that is in practice across most of the world. For those headed to exams centers today (not that we expect them to be reading newspapers), take it easy. It’s no big deal

source: Editorial(2012),"Bring it down:The overhyped SLC ", 20 March 2012, republica

2012-03-20 | EducateNepal

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