I don't know why I am writing this but.....
I see India’s education system as a stumbling block towards its objectives of achieving inclusive growth. Millions of people join workforce but most of them lack requisite skills and the mindset for productive employment. There are numerous fields in which one can make his career according to his interests and aptitude but in India the number of 'respectable' fields which provide financial security are limited. Majority of parents force or brainwash their children to choose (and like) subjects which are related to these prestigious jobs. Somewhere general Indian education system is result of this widespread, generalized thinking, it offers selected subjects at Primary level, Secondary Level and Senior Secondary level. After school there are a lot of options in which one can make his/her career but very less people opt vocational courses like Security Services, Fine Arts, Garment Stitching, Dairy Farming, Retail Marketing, etc. Everyone wants to be an Engineer, Doctor, Manager, Accountant, Banker, etc. Indian education system follows mainly 10 + 2 + 3 pattern.
10 = High School (common syllabus),
+ 2 = Intermediate (where student opts for streams with subject combination of his/her interests like Commerce Stream, Biology Stream, Arts Stream, Mathematics Stream. There are many Regional and 2 National Boards CBSE, ICSE (ISC) for education till Intermediate.
+ 3 = Graduation (4 years for Engineering courses)
+ (followed by different Post Graduate Courses of varied nature and durations)
To be a desirable and eligible candidate the Certificates, Degrees, Mark Sheets. etc related to each of these levels is very important. A "throughout first division" term is used for people who manage to score 60% or above marks in their academics at least till graduation.
In High School subjects offered (5) were Mathematics, Science (Chemistry, Physics, Biology), Social Studies (History, Geography, Civics, Economics), English, Hindi. I liked General Knowledge, Current Affairs, Reasoning, English & Hindi literature, Art, Sports, Computers. Unfortunately , majority of things I loved were not covered in my school syllabus or were Grading Subjects which were not added in our total marks. Classes of Grading Subjects were very rare and casual. Nobody bothered about these subjects. There were 54 Students in my class 10 – A2 (English Medium), other popular medium was Hindi. The A1 batch was original English Medium batch of RLB Vikas Nagar Sector 3 Branch and we A2 section were transferred from other primary branch Vikas Nagar Sector 6 of the same school. Most of us in our batch were classmates for years. I got admission in the school in Class 6 when my family moved from Agra to Lucknow.
After passing class 8 the secondary school level was whole new and challenging thing. My academic performance was average and I was happy initially that I am not in the spot light for right or wrong reasons. The aggregate marks of students in Quarterly Unit Tests, Half Yearly Examinations ranged from 35% to 80%. Though, in Board exams (10 Finals) organized by CBSE the marking was lenient in comparison to school exams. I scored between 55% to 65% in these exams in the final exam of class 9 I scored 70%. Though, ranks were assigned to top 15 students out of 54. If ranks were given to all (which were informally calculated by us) my rank was always in the bracket of 20 to 35. But I still was in spot light because of my extreme and contrasting performance. I remember more than once that I scored highest in a subject and lowest in another. My marks fluctuated from 80 to less than 35. Amazingly, My aggregate score was always around 60%. Teachers...confused how to handle rare cases like me tagged me under 'Careless Students', 'Weak', etc.
I'd a crush on a girl in my class. In primary years we were unknown to each other. Finally, we talked a few times in class 9. Unfortunately, I was super shy and she initiated all the little conversations we had....and then arrived the villain "The First Unit Test" of class 9. I scored 59% (failed in a subject and scoring more than 80 in other two) and she 72%. Instantly, I found myself out of her league. An unsaid gap kept me away from her....It was not insecurity because I knew that I am good in few other things and everything differs from person to person.
Regular comments on my marks and work by teachers reminded me of this gap whenever I wanted to approach her. I remember there was a General Knowledge Quiz contest in which I wanted to participate. My teacher called me and shouted in front of whole class "first, you learn to pass in my subject..." Whoa! I studied hard suppressing my hobbies like comics, books, music, sports, etc but it was too late I scored 80% in 10 Board Exams to fill the gap....but she scored 87%. Gap was narrowed but not filled. We are on Facebook and other Social Networking sites (not friends) with many common friends but the gap is still there. Maybe in future.......
Mind you, I am as they say "throughout first divisioner". :)