Introspections and Assessments

Lucky Sapam *

Declaration of result by  Council of Higher Secondary Education, Manipur (COHSEM) on May 12 2016
Declaration of result by Council of Higher Secondary Education, Manipur (COHSEM) on May 12 2016 :: Pix - Shankar Khangembam

The recent news of appreciations, acknowledgments and sending congratulatory notes from the academic circle especially from the education board of Manipur including from that of Education Minister himself for the success of 65.5% pass percentage in the 12th Board examinations is amusing and saddening. The statistics don't lie and it gives the scenario that almost 35% of the students who had appeared for the exams are struggling to pass the exams. That's a disturbing fact and somewhat alarming too. One may argue that the pass percentage this year is good enough given the perennial volatile nature of Manipur and the environment.

But can that be a valid argument for the student's failure? Failure in anything is not nice and it decreases the morale of an individual and has many other adverse effects too. The strategy for coping up with failure differs from person to person. Some people take failures as the stepping stone for brighter things ahead while others take failures in a very serious way extending up to the point of contemplating suicide.

Come what may, be it struggles, revolutions or agitations there is nothing wrong for the student community to participate and give a helping hand to it. Having said this, can the students, though forget their academic duties by whiling away their time and blaming their entire predicaments on the struggles or on the agitations? And hence, there lies the question of morality and rationality in this regard. The leaders of any pressure group have to be absolutely sure of their agendas and demands.

A concrete plan and a clear cut roadmap should be given and told. Will any pressure group take any responsibility for the failure of the students now? Again here, one can argue that failing in the exams has got nothing to do with the movements, agitations or so, but deep down, we all know the kind of environment it has created. Keeping aside the arguments of involuntariness and voluntariness, it is the students who are the ultimately the sole sufferers, futuristically speaking.

Could the reasons for the low pass percentage be something else also?

10th class is a crucial junction and it lays the foundations for the future. We always care about the future, don't we? This period of 10th class is the 'assessment period' where parents, teachers and elders need to play a big role in it. The assessment includes identifying the student's weaknesses and strengths, their choice of interest, etc.

Blindly making a student to follow a stream which is decided by the society while stepping into 11th class is wrong and it's not fair to the student. Yes, it's a difficult task for the parents, teachers or guardians as the student will always try to choose and recommend the subjects of his or her interest which requires less effort and less competition. So that is why, assessment is imperatively necessary.

When I am talking about the streams, I am talking about the streams of science, commerce, arts etc. There is a notion that academically bright students should take up science stream and the academically weaker students to take up other streams, this notion is wrong. In one sense, we can relate this instance to that of how India in the beginning of telecommunication revolutions chose to follow the path of GSM module rather than the CDMA module. Yes, we do use both GSM and CDMA but GSM outweighs CDMA in terms of number of users.

People generally think and have an opinion that GSM is better than CDMA but the fact is that both GSM and CDMA modules are good and it's just a matter of choice of the people and we blindly followed what was more prominently displayed, showed or talked about. Likewise is the case for choosing the stream.

The 12th board exam is one of the turning points in life they say and they couldn't have been more correct. In a world where nothing is free, not even the non-transferable vote, there is a strong layer of competitions for anything we want to do. Plain academically speaking, in order to get into a college of our choice, marks do matter a lot and that's a reality.

Nobody wants to be left behind not even the minions. The world is not a bed of roses, sooner we realise that better is our prospect for preparing and getting ready to embrace any change. The level of competition is very high as well as tedious and hence the base or criteria for admission to any colleges is always somewhat related to the efforts and results of the 12th board exams significantly. Therefore the pass percentage of mere 65.5% is not a good sign, if we were to look for the career prospects of the other remaining 35% of students.

And now with the results out, there are hectic preparations going on for stepping into the higher education. The exodus of student community from Manipur will start as this has been the trend for long. Make no mistake here, this is not wrong and it is right and just in many ways. This development of people migrating to other states is not surprising at all.

If there was a minimal environment of seriousness or earnest in the state, I am sure people would have given a thought of staying back in Manipur, well that's not the case I guess. The situation currently is rather gloomy and directionless. But ultimately in the end, it is the preference of an individual whether they want to settle down in Manipur or in some other state.

We should not be judgmental about that. The perception about the world is our own, different people have different views and opinions. We can either steadily sail on a single boat or launch a fleet of boats with a belief that the wind will catch up someday.

There is hope, I guess, it drives people forward all the time. While people are complaining about the poor quality of life and poor standard of living in many areas, there are also people who have already started working towards its eradication. While unemployment situations are reaching sky high and people are turning to the government for a solution, there are ordinary citizens who are becoming entrepreneurs and providing jobs for many people.

While every Facebook post which addresses the ground realities and truths are being looked down, dismissed, ridiculed or condemned, there are also people defending these posts and respecting one's opinion.

While thousands of people are migrating to other cities to secure a better job and a better life, there are also people who are quitting their high paying jobs in these cities and returning back home to Manipur and starting an arduous yet a viable endeavour with a belief that one day they can contribute a part to the state building process.

* Lucky Sapam wrote this article for
The writer can be reached at sapamlucky(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was posted on May 18 , 2016.

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