SSC results are out and Latur is in the spotlight again. After all, a state topper with 98 odd percent never goes unnoticed. What's more interesting here is that Mumbai is the third last among the eight divisions in Maharashtra with a pass percentage of 78.66%.
Read the newspaper and you'll see figures and comparisons, interviews and quotes from toppers, teachers and principals. And don't forget the 'special' kids - Down syndrome, night schools, you name it. But what really takes the cake this time round is Kapil Sibal's announcement about scrapping Class 10 board exams altogether. That is some news!
Eyebrows are being raised over Mumbai's dismal performance this time. It is believed that students with Marathi as primary medium have fared poorer than those with English. That does not indicate anything. What is credible is, as the principal of a Vidyalaya in Dadar says, is that children in cities are more focused on 'all-round development', not as much on academics.
Now, that 'all-round development' term is synonymous with 'distraction'. It is plain - children now are much more distracted than say what we were, six years before. I don't say that we 2003 passouts were a very studious lot. But, a peek into the lives of Mumbai teenagers today, and you'll say that's a lot stuffed in there.
There are coaching classes. And that too, 2 or 3 of them for each.With a school duration of 5-6 hours and 1-1.5 hours for each coaching class (or private tuition), there's not much time left even to have a proper meal. I recently taught Mathematics to one SSC student, (I went to his place and taught twice a week) and I was his third Maths teacher after the school teacher and a Private Tuition teacher. I was required for "additional guidance" in Maths, and that too from June! Allegedly, the student was not "motivated" enough in Maths. He had to appear for two Prelims in school, weekly tests in each of his 3 private tuitions (Maths-Science, Hindi-Marathi, English) and "additional guidance" from me and one other. WTF! The student had lost all interest in life and constantly fought with his mother in whatever little time he spent at home.The student was in such a bad condition by January, I just quit. I told him, "Dude, you have 2 months. Go for a vacation!"
Who's to blame for all this? Sshhhh!
I called him up yesterday to ask about his results. Don't worry, he had not committed suicide! He had scored 75% overall, with a "not-so-good" 100 out of 150 in Maths and 78 out of 150 in Science.
"Yet, you managed 75%".
"Yes, 147 in Social Sciences".
"Whoa! Great! Good going! So what are you planning to do?"
"I am not. Mom is."
My father was SHOCKED on hearing the 98.61% aggregate of the topper in the news. Calming down, he said it's all a part of the liberalization by the state board to keep up with the other boards.
"No, dad, look! That's Latur, not Mumbai!"