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In My View

Times they’re a changing

P.C. Punnen

The results announced in the general examination of the schools in Kerala speak a lot of the good effort made by the government, the administrators of the schools and the teachers. In short, it speaks a lot for Kerala and its credentials.

The results of the government run schools in the tenth standard and the 12th standard as well as the centrally held teaching institutions did come as a surprise. For the students from these government run schools could perform better than the private school students.

It indicated one thing: the change Kerala has witnessed, and I as a senior citizen, have seen in the past 60 years. The change has been such that we, as students 60 years ago, have to say something about it. Times they're a changing. The saying has been proved right, no dispute about it.

It is because in a certain context to the progress India has seen since Independence. Things have changed dramatically thanks to Jawaharlal Nehru’s vision, one can say. He changed the country upside down only with his weight and foresight. Let that pass.

Kerala's standards in education have improved a lot, the nature of teaching and that of the taught have also undergone a sea change which is invisible to the people busy with their day to day affairs. But a lot more needs to be achieved so that the students are fit enough to compete with those in the outside world: not just academic pursuits but make them confident in other areas too like sports and soft skills like communication. The schools should concentrate a lot in preparing the child to face the world after the school education.

Previously, a poor man or woman couldn't attend primary school which was started by European missionaries and later by Catholic missionaries. Even if the poor could attend primary school they failed to enter high school, such was their poverty, believe it or not.

But all that has changed and education in Kerala is more inclusive today.

Gone are those days which I have witnessed. People who studied with me in Chettithiru Primary School could not enter the secondary school either because they failed the test or because they were very poor. Some of them didn't have clothes or electricity at home or couldn't understand anything about what the teachers said. That was because they were without food, clothes, or proper healthcare. The government has been spending money for these basic needs and with Keralites’ helping hand in meeting their dire needs, things have changed dramatically. Keralites today are assured of food and healthcare and primary education thanks largely to the governments we have had. Education and health care have been two areas given thrust by the Kerala government for long.

This is where the Christians who started education for all despite the ban on certain castes of the region have failed the Bible and their beliefs. Hats off to them for having started the change, but as a community, the Christians have failed in their duties ; today they are more interested in making money as other people are. Sorry to say.

The exam results announced have been good as usual.  Let us have a look at the Class Twelve exams. Girls have outshone boys in performance.  The western region has topped with 99.76 percent.

In the CBSE, Kerala division has done exceedingly well and has topped the country’s list.

Kerala’s SSLC results showed a slight increase than last year. The percentage is 84.73 this year against last year's 83.75 percent. Because of the model code of conduct of elections, Minister C. Ravindranath could not attend the announcement of results. The exams resulted in 3,11,395 students declared eligible for higher studies . The number of students who scored full marks is 183. The minimum eligibility for higher studies in any subject is 30 percent marks.

The highest pass percentage was recorded by Kozhikode and Pathanamthitta district recorded the lowest. Kottayam recorded a slight improvement as far as percentage goes. It has 85.22 percent victory compared to last year's 84.18 percent.

In short, the higher education schools and colleges run by private agencies have lost their importance, it seems. Gone are the days when they were a cut above the rest. Now government schools are gaining people's faith. But come admission time the old tricks adopted by the present leaders of the private institutions will continue. Whether it is admission or teaching, a high price has to be paid. People have no complaints it seems. This is a shame.

This has to end or the state has to take appropriate action against this practice.  The state government won't take any action despite their election oriented speeches. Considering the votes the owners dictate. The Christians at least should follow the principles the Bible teaches. Wishful thinking?

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The views and ideas expressed above are those of the writer.