(The result of this year’s School Leaving Certificate exam is out. This year too, over 50% of students have failed. That’s over 200,000 students.)
SLC, short form for School Leaving Examination, is a lie. It’s a lie so well cooked and polished that almost every parent of students appearing in this annual mockery believes that ‘distinction’ means social prestige.
The schools claim their bragging right when their success rate is 100%. There’s a hierarchy within the 100 per cent too – 100% distinction, 100% first division, 100% pass. This madness goes on.
In a couple of days, there will be tikas on the students’ foreheads. There will be garlands around their necks. There will be photos in the newspapers. There will be banners in the school’s main entrance. There will be scholarships for the students with ‘distinction’.
Parents will celebrate. Schools will celebrate. All the while exaggerating this lie: SLC is the biggest hurdle in a student’s life. SLC is the iron gate. SLC is your future.
Worst of all, students believe this lie. (I did too, once.)
And in the same world,
Students those who didn’t get distinction.
Students those who didn’t get the first division.
And, 213,071 students those who didn’t even make it through the pass marks.
They will curse their incompetence.
They will mourn their fate.
They will lament their insignificance.
SLC is a lie. It is injustice.