“When I was 5 years old, and I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘Happy’. They said I didn’t understand the assignment. I told them they didn’t understand life.

John Lennon

Author Note: Reader Discretion Advised. I might get a little graphic on this one while I rant with great vigour. Please note, these are my personal opinions about the system. I myself sadly did go through with it and did well at it. For any kids reading this, I am just another frustrated guy, ignore me and go study. 

Boards – the reason for more grey hairs on our generation than a rebelling teenage daughter or a drunk father or a late puberty (this can be worrisome I’m told. I wouldn’t know).

What are boards? Boards in essence are the various committees that are made in India, that have a bunch of old dudes sitting around discussing their flaccid penises and discussing how to stick to others with said penises. There are various boards. The most common duo in this are “The Central Board of Film Certification”( mainly because they’re garbage) and “The Central Board of Secondary Education” (mainly because as their name suggests, education is secondary).

Right on the money, yeah.
This isn’t false. They really are idiots.

The topic of discussion for today is the CBSE and individual State Boards (too many abbreviations for me to bother). My question is a very simple. How the heck are they still a thing?

Year in and out, kids grovel around wasting away their early teens worrying about why India was (and frankly is) so bad politically, why Hitler did what he did, why lizards have colourless blood and a billion other things that are of mostly no use after the exams get over. But that’s fine. At least it boosts their general knowledge. Maybe one day they can use those tit bits of knowledge as pick up lines, who knows. That’s not my prime concern. It is the exams.

The exams known as the 10th and 12th boards. They are like this deadbeat uncle that hangs in your house because he has no where else to go. They are like a tattoo that you got when you were drunk and now you’re stuck with it.

Science, bitch.
What I ask kids now, and asked myself back when I was there.

Boards are systems that define your entire life. They are like an arranged marriage mixed with a blind date. You grill yourself, study what you can, luck out with the questions, score if you do, moan if you don’t, and once the exams are done, you enjoy a vacation, come back and then and there, you are handed a card which pretty much defines your entire life.

Those two weeks of exams define your entire god damn life after that. If you mess up, every interview you sit for, every exam you give, every placement company clearance, even your actual matrimonial candidate; they will all ask you one question “10th aur 12th me padhai nahi kiya tha kya”. (Didn’t you study for 10th and 12th?)

After 10th and 12th,  marks define who you are, marks are like a ticket you can have or not have. They are like this night club bouncer, that just won’t let you in because you just aren’t good enough.

It doesn’t matter if you were late on the uptake and ended up being genuinely knowledgeable on a later point in time, it doesn’t matter if you had a personal tragedy and couldn’t prioritize, Nothing matters. Marks matter.

This Calvin and Hobbes piece pretty much nicely sums it up –

Calvin and Hobbes is spot on, as usual

Education shouldn’t be about deciding your entire future based on how a couple of months go for you. It shouldn’t be about how much you can write in a three hour period. It shouldn’t be given so much power as to decide your entire future for you. This is wrong, it is morally wrong. It is like we are cutting the wings off of a chick before it can even attempt flight.

Sad truth

As I said earlier, I got nothing against the education system itself, but it is the exams. I refuse to accept that they define who I am now. What if I was so bad at biology that I barely got enough marks to clear it, I don’t want to become a doctor. What if I was so bad at maths that I couldn’t add without writing it down first, guess what, I own a calculator now. What if I was bad at geography and did not understand where we can find corn, here’s your answer.

The ghosts of the past need to leave. Boards exams should not be this  skeleton in my closet that I need to live in a constant fear of. It is wrong and that’s my thought for the day.

Giving exams aren’t something I have qualms against. They analyse you, to an extent and decide whether you are qualified to go to the next grade. That’s fine, but it shouldn’t put a stopper on your future prospects. Especially on your future prospects.

Someone needs to make the uptight bastards in the boards understand. Pass the word around, maybe one of them will die and we’ll get lucky, who knows.

I will sum this up by quoting

Everybody is special. If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life thinking it is stupid

Albert Einstein

Wittingly yours

S. Narayanswamy