Performers against the backdrop of the virus The race starts now

The Class X exam result is out and one can surely expect the freebies to come flying out from the stable of different and competing private schools to attract what they think are the best students. A matter of debate it would be to question how such measures will help the students in the long run, but the freebies will be there and the students who have excelled in the Class X exam may be said to have earned it. It is also on record that the freebies will come after a break of one year, with the virus which causes coronavirus having played spoilsport since March 2020 and leading to the cancellation of the Class X and Class XII board exams. So it is that after a gap of one year or 365 days, students now know who is on top, meaning who have secured a place in the top 25 positions and those who have come lower down the ladder of ‘meritocracy’ as understood via the prism of annual examinations. The Sangai Express joins the rest in congratulating the toppers and those who have put in their best efforts, though their names may not feature in the top 25 positions and so it is that after a gap of one full year, interviews of the toppers will hit the page of this newspaper on July 10. With 76 percent of the students clearing the exams, this is the best performance dished out by young boys and girls in the last 10 years and this coming after the global pandemic, which is again on the rise in this part of the world, is noteworthy. A brief look back at the performance in the last 10 years may just give an inkling on the importance of the 76 percent figure. The best after 2022 was the 74.69 pass percentage recorded in 2019 and just after this is the 73.18 pass percentage in 2018-And this was before the global pandemic and students were free to attend classes, not to speak of the different coaching and tuition classes ahead of the Class X exam. Despite the face mask (which can be very uncomfortable when the temperature shoots up), the online classes, the restrictions on offline classes, not to speak of the suspension of coaching and tuition classes, students this time went beyond the expected to register a 76 pass percentage and this is where it becomes all that more significant. If at all anyone looks back to the Class of 2022 (Matric batch and Class XII batch), the exams being held in the backdrop of the global pandemic will surely be remembered.
As usual and understandably so, 90 percent of the top performers are from schools located at Imphal and what is worrying is to see the continuous absence of students from schools in the hill districts coming in the top 25. Why this is so is a point which hill based student organisations and civil society organisations should start studying. Monopoly by schools located at Imphal should be challenged and this is the only way to ensure that some sort of a competitive spirit can be bred amongst the young students. It should also not be forgotten that Class X is but just the starting block in the academic life of a student and all those who have excelled in this year’s exams should acknowledge that they have just started off the block and they have miles to go before they can sit back. Next in line is the Class XII board exams and preparations for the same can start now. As for the numerous private schools, which have made admission in Class XI some sort of a competition amongst themselves, let it be clear that offering freebies may not just be what would be prescribed. Sure acknowledge the performance of the students, but in the process it would serve the purpose of education all that more if they can take a 70 percenter student in the Class X exam to a 90 percent student in the Class XII exam. Making a topper in Class X top the Class XII exam may not count for much but making a 70 percenter student come out tops in Class XII should ideally be the yardstick of a good school. Looking forward to the day when schools can highlight such an achievement when they go about publicising the performance of their students.