School Leaving Certificate (SLC) examination always manages to create a stir across the country. After all, it’s considered the “Iron Gate” for 10th graders who’ll be bidding their school life goodbye. And although many, who have passed through this once highly dreaded examination, have realized it isn’t as huge a milestone as it was supposed to be (including me), Nepali parents still have the same impression their own guardians had years ago. But the education, studies and passing with flying colours aren’t exactly my agenda here.
You may have noticed yourself that every time this nationwide board exam takes place, there are always some weird incidents happening. All related to the test. For this year, it commenced on March 20 (Chaitra 7) and boy, have I been surprised by the crazy stories that have been coming up on the news!
Okay, the first SLC news I caught in the newspaper was of unregistered schools whose students couldn’t appear for the examination. Yes, this happens almost every year and even though many youngsters’ academic credibility is being at stake here, no one seems to be doing anything to avoid such a mayhem. Poor parents have no idea when to start suspecting a school if it’s been registered or not and the government, well… they don’t seem to have time for anything important! I really hope the authorities take some serious measures against it. Just imagine… You study your butt off throughout the year and when the time came to show, you’re hit by a big disappointing blow!
Another surprising, more like annoying, incident was of a fake examinee being arrested for sitting the exam on behalf of some other student. One Sahitya Lama was held at a School in Rautahat. He’d appeared under the name of the Constituent Assembly (CA) Lawmaker Prem Bahadur Pulami who’s said to be a Maoist CA member. Last time I remembered, we used to only joke about doing something like that, with twins… And does that mean we have a CA member who hasn’t even passed SLC? Wow… some under-educated lawmaker we have. I hear there’s a provision of up to six-month jail or fine up to Rs 100,000 or both for such an attempt but I doubt that’s going to happen when politics is involved.
And here’s the saddest of all stories. A sixteen-year-old student, who had come to attend the SLC examinations in Baitedi, was gang raped by two men. One was proprietor of a local photo studio and the other of a book store. The incident came to light only after the girl was found not to be normal as told by the victim’s relatives. She was staying at her relatives’ house for the examinations. Good to know they’ve both been arrested and that investigation has also begun.
Well I got a lot more of such events to share like an examinee giving birth while taking test. Yes, it happened this year as well. But I’m going to stop it for now. I’m going to give you some time for everything I said to sink in first.