I have a few things to say and I am gonna say them here ...
| Inas will soon appear for her last school exam of her life. This will be so as she is in her last school year and will move on to college if she passes in her board exams of the Secondary School Certification Board (the SSC board). These exams would be held in March 2006. Depending on the percentage of marks that she secures for herself, she will gain admittance to the best Junior Colleges in the city of Mumbai.
This is because in our country, we haven't moved on from the Marks system to the Grades system. Cut-throat competition between rivals leads to great problems in the society, including depression, suicides and so on. In the week preceding the board exams (where over 500000 children will simultaneously appear), there will be at least a dozen children who will crack under pressure and be unable to withstand it. They may go into depression or even try and end their lives. The grim tales of lives snuffed out will continue as the exams come upon the students. The insecure child may, on learning in the evening that he/she made a mistake that may cost her precious marks, hang himself/herself from the ceiling or try and slash his/her wrists. After the exams, children have to wait for nearly three agonising months before they learn their results - almost in mid-June. Hence, there are even more casualties.
Inas, my elder daughter, is stoic, and I have always trained her not to miss the wood for the trees. So what if she misses College X by three marks? So what if she cannot garner enough marks to be a doctor? So what if she misses a ranking by ten marks? I have taught her that although it is desirable to get those marks, they are NOT the ONLY thing that one should desire.
I hope that she remembers this message and remains cool through the next three and a half months.