Some 368,678 students are appearing for the SLC examination this year. There are 1,186 centres countrywide and 11,860 security personnel have been mobilised to maintain order. The good news is that for the first time the questions for all 55 subjects are set only on the basis of grade ten syllabi. Earlier, the students had to prepare for both grade nine and ten course materials. The decision to cut short the course has certainly come as a big relief to the examinees who until now were under heavy pressure. It is good that the government understood the futility of over-burdening the young minds and making SLC a tough test. Although the effectiveness of the decision will be known after the results are out, educationists believe it will help increase the pass percentage.

Fortunately, various agitating groups and political parties too have made the commitment to ensure peaceful environment during the SLC examinations. Even the Madheshi Janaadhikar Forum, which earlier boycotted the meeting called by the education ministry to request all concerned to refrain from holding strikes and bandhs during the test period, has agreed to halt all its protest programmes in the Tarai. Given the deteriorating law and order situation, security of students should be accorded high priority. It remains a challenging task for the government to see to the successful completion of the SLC examination with no let and hindrance throughout the country.