When I heard of the publication of SLC results couple of days back, I was taking medical preparation classes. My cousin appeared for SLC this year, but I didn’t ask about his results. In fact, SLC results do not excite me anymore.
It’s not because I’ve already crossed this so-called iron gate but because I know now that SLC doesn’t have much to do with my interest, career, and my future. It’s simply like any other exam, and I don’t even understand why people call it an “iron-gate”.
I was the first girl of my class throughout my school years. I never feared exams until I passed class nine. The day I joined class 10, things were made to appear very different right from the beginning. On the very first day, I was summoned to the school office, and my teachers said to me, “Pratima, we have lots of hope from you. We are ready to help you with whatever you need, but you shouldn’t let us down.” I was puzzled and I didn’t know how to react. I was never told such things before, and yet, I was doing very well. Why now? I suddenly realized, I was an SLC candidate, and everything changed after that. In my first terminal exams, I got 88%, and the real SLC started. “Why 88 and why not 90? Why aren’t you serious?” I could hear these questions from my teachers and my parents all the time.
The fear of SLC gradually gripped me and thus, I bunked my second term exams, the first exam I had ever bunked in my, otherwise illustrious, student life. I asked myself, “What will happen to me if I don’t get 90 this time?” I was in tears in my first class after the exams, and a sense of fear and guilt was slowing biting me from within. Bit by bit, my home and my school turned into a torture house for me. I couldn’t concentrate on my studies and I would waste time thinking of all stupid things. A bold, cheerful and optimistic girl had suddenly turned into a lonely loser.
Then a feeling came inside me. “It is my life, and nobody has the right to interfere with it. I will do the things the way I want. I will study but not for SLC. Let it come and go, but I will study for myself. I will give my best, but whatever marks I get, I don’t care.” And, I started it all over again. The tough trigonometry turned out to be easier, and I was able to solve the theorems on my own. The thing that had become a burden in a couple of months, turned to be fun once again. I slowly regained my lost confidence and hope. I watched television, surfed the internet, and enjoyed everything else along with my studies. I enjoyed a sound sleep even a day before the SLC exams, and when I finally appeared for the exams, it went well. I didn’t bother to waste my time guessing my marks. I thought that it’s not the end of anything.
And, around this time, two years ago, the results were published. I would have been even more happy if I had scored just a little more than what I had scored. But those marks have been confined within my file for these two years. Except their little role during your admission in class 11 as you bargain for a scholarship with your college, marks in SLC have nothing much to do. But even that scholarship you get from your SLC score lasts for less than three months, because the continuation of it depends on your performance in your first terminal exams. The day I got my results of my first term exams, I realized that my marks in SLC were more than I deserved. The more we get, the more we desire for. But we will never be able to evaluate a person’s real ability unless we get out of these percentage and conventional grading systems.
Congratulations, all the SLC achievers! Be happy with what you have pulled off. Don’t let these marks overwhelm or defeat you. You have many mountains to scale and many oceans to cross, and SLC is just a stepping stone.
An article by: Pratima Subedi.
The writer recently completed her Class 12 from Trinity International College in Kathmandu.