Nepal is currently exploding with the results of much hyped School Leaving Certificate (SLC) results. Nepali students of 10th grade (around 15, 16 years old) have to take these exams before they can choose a faculty and go off to college. This exam alone is needlessly glorified to such a great deal that it’s called ‘iron gate’ in Nepal. They even published and gave too much coverage to the country toppers until not so long ago. Since then, because of unhealthy competition between every schools wanting to produce toppers, they have removed the system officially. But it doesn’t stop the schools from publicizing their results and using it for advertisements. This happens because unfortunately a lot of people do not have faith in government schools and send their children to English-medium private schools. It’s safe to assume that majority of children in the cities in Nepal go to private schools.
I don’t know where to begin to express how flawed this whole thing is. First off, I am against grading system with numbers and that also in a mundane educational system where everything is about mugging up and writing as fast as you can in the exams. Anything might happen in those timed exams, someone with slow writing skills might not even finish all the questions, someone with cheating skills (very common in that part of the world) might score higher not because they are smart but because they were able to cheat. So many things severely make no sense. So you go to school for one whole year, study 8 different subjects half of which don’t even interest you, and you have to go through a final exam that demands you to spit all you know in the paper in 3 hours?! Never mind the class attendance, the actual understanding of the subject, the evaluation through frequent, small tests. Just one final monster (iron gate) to decide it all. Ha.
Also, besides the whole incompetent educational system that only produces half-cooked, confused students who end up lagging vastly behind in the world standards, there are so many things wrong with the show-off culture too. Many students distribute sweets to the entire neighborhood + teachers+ family+ yada yada after the results. The unfortunate ones who couldn’t get through sometimes go through suicidal thoughts and even actually carry it out (not uncommon in Nepal). The parents like to boast about the marks their children received and every Tom, Dick and Harry (Ram, Hari and Shyam in Nepal) is suddenly interested to know about the student’s marks. All for what? For boasting, judging and showing off, of course.
Funnily, at 15 years old, your 88% is hardly going to help you conquer the world. Neither your 40% is going to throw you into the pits of eternal failure. It accounts to nothing. Like they say, ‘don’t judge a fish by counting its abilities/failure of climbing a tree’. Only when you go to college, and choose a stream that interests you (or doesn’t), you gain the knowledge you need over time and gain skills for whatever you’ll need to earn a living. A lot of reforms have to be made into the failed education system before bashing or glorifying a bunch of teenagers based on their marks from an unfair theoretical exam they were compelled to appear on at the end of the school year.