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Thursday, May 19, 2005

The road to Gurgaon from New Delhi is paved with good intentions, rubble, undulating wires, trickles of obdurate garbage dumps, and truculent drivers of indeterminate speed and disposition. The place burns with unrequited fury, and the heat is prickly and pointed. One feels the bristly rays as soon as one steps out, like m.d and E, into the midday sun.

The return is far more picturesque, owing to a detour that passes close enough to what could be a game reserve. Anyway, the roads are laden with fruit and shade, birds twitter and there are no more surly roadsmen. Peace, at last…


Year after year, ever since I had known of a lurking danger called Board Examinations, news reports assiduously publish matter which usually reads like “ Class 10 CBSE Exams declared –Girls fare better than boys “

( 10 can be replaced with 1729, 334598 or any other number)
( CBSE can be replaced by the Motihari Educational Board, Buldhana University and the like )

The fact remains that these reports confirm that like it or not, the cat is out of the bag.

The res , which is unfathomable to me, is the second part of this statement which presupposes that the genders are at loggerheads like the Gauls and the Romans and were all eagerly awaiting this very outcome. What an infernal mystery that so many in India lose sleep over it, Who will do better this year ? Aah, such a close call…

More prosaically, how do they even get this data ? I have never seen any marksheet state whether a student is a boy or a girl. And of course, the errors that crop in the marks themselves unfailingly are limited only by one’s imagination.

What is the point ?

A cursory analysis will perhaps reveal that first or second generation learners fare worse than those from homes where both parents are literate aplenty. Maybe there is a link between factors like availability of space and time at home, kind of learning environment, income etc with marks which could adduce far more meaningful results and may actually further education. In any case, most exams are rote-oriented , but that’s another story.

So, maybe , the next time, I’d like a headline like

Class 10 ICSE Board results declared,
And the temperature in Rewa today is 42.8
Or, There were 16000 babies called Arun born this day,
Or, Space available, for details contact 684990.

But until then, boys will be scorned, spurned and scolded on the academic anvil


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