TOPICS: Testing time

The SLC (School Leaving Certificate) examination, which had been held till 2072 in Grade Ten for 83 years (but in Grade Twelve from now onwards) is considered the highway to further education in Nepal.

Commonly called the “Iron Gate”, the SLC examination is said to make or break one’s future. The SLC exam is held to test the achievements of a student’s 13 years of schooling.

But preparations were not easy last year. After the devastating earthquake, many parts of our country were entirely flattened.

It wasn’t easy for us to turn our minds to schoolwork. School started in the Kathmandu Valley about two months later than the normal time. The tale of the Grade Ten students of the quake-hit districts was certainly one of greater woe.

As we were just starting to move on with our courses, as if the devastation was not enough, another calamity, though man-made, of similar proportions struck us -- the trade blockade along with the agitation in the Terai.

Tens of thousands of students like me experienced the difficulty of waiting for long hours to find a proper vehicle to and from school. As an SLC student, I had to stay for 12 hours at school (6:30 in the morning to 6:30 in the evening), like most SLC candidates.

Students in some places didn’t even get half a year to prepare. I always thought how lucky I was that I did. Our courses were conducted in a hurry. It was difficult to understand things in such haste.

It was a huge relief when we took our SLC examinations on time. It seemed like we could go through anything if we had gone through that testing time.

Two months of holiday completely refreshed our minds, and we got our results. The results came out under the letter grading system as planned.

The new result system has removed the pass-fail system. It has made nearly 90 per cent of over the six lakh SLC examinees this year eligible to study in Grade XI.   After the results, I realized that it was difficult to choose a nice school for Grade Eleven.

Every school has been claiming to offer almost the same facilities and say the same things. But with a little research, I could find a school that suits me the best.

I think the SLC Batch of 2072 is unique because it has experienced two huge disasters. It also saw the introduction of the letter grading system, ending eight decades of numerical evaluation system.

And we have become the last batch to take the nationwide SLC exam as the Iron Gate, which has now been broken down, with Grade XII set to mark the school termination examination nationwide.