There’s not even a fortnight left for the SLC and this guy here is running after football or wasting time on the facebook! God, I wonder, whatever shall he write in the exam!’ bleated Ms. Dhungana from next door. And this is repeated almost every hour. Her son Naresh keeps as heedless as her husband does of her holler for he goes to the pub every evening. And it’s not Ms. Dhungana alone being eaten up by the torment of SLC. Ms. Bumzon across the road as well is heard worrying in the same way every now and then, only the subject of her worries is a bit different though it is about the ensuing SLC exam again. She is worried about her son’s overworking for the preparation but failing to do well in the hall. ‘See him all the while stuck to the books but he never passes the exam until second or sometimes third attempt. Should not you go out for a while and refresh yourself so you can think of what you’ve just read?’
Yes, the fast approaching SLC exam has been a matter of everyone’s tension. The parents whose children are sitting for it are simply in tension just as much as the children themselves are in an unending pressure. The principals on the other hand, especially those from private or boarding schools, are no less tense in the face of cut-throat competition among the private schools. Each of them is compelled to overtake the other in the number of candidates as well as in pass percentage. Nowadays first division has been mere dalvat for them, so everyone is after as many distinctions as possible. And for this they are bound to accomplish whatever required from coaching the students more than eighteen hours, cramming them with a number of materials to do whatever sam-dam possible in the exam hall according to the available national culture. On the other hand, the exam conducting agency i.e. the SLC Board and its allied staff from up Sanothimi to down the exam centres throughout the country—the superintendents and the invigilators-are all in greater tension. It’s natural too for them to be in tension when the whole national scene is crammed with so many hazards and handicaps. There may break out strikes of any kind any time from the transport sector to the teachers who should be assigned invigilation. Besides, there is the dread of ‘question-out’ always lurking as Damocles’ sword dangling overhead to drop any time. The misconducts in the exam hall is the bulk of all worry related to this test. And its ugliest aspect is the naked interference from the political leaders and their sycophants in different forms. The greatest mockery will be the scene when the parents and staffs conducting the exam themselves in special league begin to supply outside aid of openly dictating the answers, guide books and loose-papers and so on to the candidates.
But this is not the end of tension related to this milestone test of the national education (and national education is the means and medium for successful national life.). For SLC is the end of every student’s preparatory base on which h/she builds the tower of his/her career that should stretch as high as the base. Not only that, this being the part of his/her teenage period, which is again the foundation of an ideal citizenry, the importance of this level of study and test is beyond ordinary speculation.
So the tension even after the exam remains haunting the concerned ones in the form of how the answer-papers shall get checked and the results are prepared. Another tension it follows is the tension of choosing a college for further studies after passing the SLC and capacity to afford the institution of one’s choice.
But it should not have been a source of tension; instead it should have been an occasion of buoyancy and joy. How one takes a thing or an event depends upon the trend of the society and understanding about it. Also public outlook about anything is shaped by the available national situation i.e. social justice, physical security, economic soundness, professional regularity, regard towards humanitarian values and sense of national aspiration and vision for the future. The SLC is an occasion of harvest as well in the term of farming. H/she is going to reap the crop h/she including his/her parents and associates has painstakingly sowed and tended for ten or more years employing most precious of time, resources, energy and most of all a hope and dream for a grand future prospect. Therefore, it should be taken as an occasion of great satisfaction and pride as well as time of special care and workmanship.
The tension of our students and parents regarding the SLC cannot be said unjust when our whole national life and the trend of security to everything is so precariously maintained as many people love to give their vent saying ‘Pasupatile bachaeko’. There is tension not only about the SLC but about everything most of all on the availability of cooking gas to drinking water.
Because of this lack of responsibility in every one there are many kinds of loop-holes everywhere entailing failure. For example, if the students have not studied and they are not trained properly about the contents of the texts and the techniques for writing the answers, naturally they can’t do well and in such a situation what can they have if not tension? This is the source of all tensions in all people because when students are not competent, naturally they incline to look to sideways assistance though improper means. There are reasons for why students are incompetent. Of course, it is obvious that there is no supply of textbooks on time. Schools can’t work all the working days because of different kinds of bandas. Even when they work, the work does not go punctually, regularly and sincerely for several reasons. Secondly, people including the students have stopped believing in work but in immoral ways, both inside as well as outside the exam hall.
Therefore the ultimate condition for the end of tension, if we really want it, is in our own hands but separately divided in all concerning persons according to the part in the job. In other words, if everyone works competently in his/her job, there will not remain anything lacking or insufficiency. That in turn will not have unhealthy or improper effect upon any other person or variable. As a result, all the works of the nation will run smoothly with the natural warranty of positive results and in turn all round success and happiness. If there is anything to be done, it will be the jobs to do, its preparation and accomplishment that can never be a tension but a source of joy as the saying goes ‘work is worship’. When shall we begin working for tensionless life?