Scholastica's O' Level Graduation '08
Graduation Ceremonies are always made up of a lot of memories, bundles of screams and shouts, stacks of words of appreciation and fortitude, many pictures, heavy hearts and a few drops of silent tears as the graduates move on to the next stage of their life. School and college life are supposed to be the best time of a person's life… and that time for many Scholasticans just officially ended on the 29th and 30th of June.
Scholastica celebrated the graduation of its O Level class of 2008 candidates on the on the 29th of June with the program being held at the STM hall where the students, with red ribbons wrapped around them, were handed over certificates by Ms. Wasima Parveen, Ms. Madiha Murshed and Ms. Shabnam Sobhan among others. With over 210 students graduating from the O' Level batch, it took quite a while to get through the long list of sections from A to G!
A mixed presentation titled “Tribute to Great Leaders” was performed to inaugurate the ceremony with the apparent intention of inspiring the graduates. With students dressed up as Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. (with his famous I Have a Dream speech), Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa, the audience almost got a taste of what these great men and women would be like if they Bangladeshi born. If this didn't keep the audience from yawning, a final pre-planned “surprise” dance sequence with “Dham Dharaka Dhishting Dhishting” music was sure to keep the audience wide awake.
Other than graduating certificates, awards relating to Debate, Drama, Community Service, Newsletter, Perfect Attendance and Outstanding Academic Achievement were also given out and several students grabbed a handful of them. The Valedictory speech followed next where it was officially acknowledged that Scholastica did manage to turn the lot from a “macher bazaar” to (nearly) Homo sapiens.
The final speech delivered by Mrs. Wasima Parveen talked about the accomplishments of Scholastica, what a school and college means to a student's life, her hopes for the graduates and requested all students who are leaving abroad for higher studies, to come back and contribute to a developing Bangladesh, in any way possible.
It is really difficult to bring about such an abrupt end to so many fond memories with the school and college. Nonetheless, one thing's for sure; the memories (both good and bad) will live on, sometimes haunting, sometimes bringing tears and sometimes conjuring laughter to the lot. A heartfelt congratulations to all the graduating students!
By Adnan M. S. Fakir
Unprecedented result in SSC: A Debate
The results have been published, and all records have been broken. Newspapers all over the country has reported that this year, an excess of 70% students have scored passing mark or more in all subjects, an achievement that had not been observed in the recent past. There is also an unprecedented increase in the number of GPA 5 holder. Let us look at the statistics of the current year. In 2008 a total of 10,06,569 students have written the SSC exam in all boards (including Madrasa and vocational) and out of them a record 7,26,563 have secured passing score. The number of GPA 5 scorers are 41,917 which is up from last year's 32,646 (source: various news papers). Also according to the sources, this year, there were 50,000 less students who appeared the exam.
No doubt that the year has produced the best possible results overall. The students who have worked hard to achieve this feat ought to be congratulated for their success, but unfortunately, this opens up the age old debate regarding the future of these children and the system of education in our country. But before delving in that debate, let us look at the official explanation of this record success. According to the government education ministry, the huge number of passes (and subsequent GPA 5s) is due to the directive of the board to the examiners to check the papers carefully so that there is no discrepancy in the results. Also the examiners are requested to produce 1 or 2 marks as grace to students who scored 78 or 79 so that they are able to score A+ in those papers (according to Amader Shomoy), specially in Math and English. No doubt (according to Prothom Alo), that this years GPA 5 holders did better than any other years in these two subjects, and that is exactly where the debate is.
For the Students
Bangladesh is a poor country and there are very little incentives for the poorer students to give extra time to their studies when they could have used their time to earn money. We get to hear stories of poor but smart students who work the whole day and spare just a little time at night to pursue their dreams of a brighter tomorrow. So at least a pass result for them would mean that they wont be dropped out and will find something to hold onto for their colleges.
But then again…
And what about the system?
While the board and the ministry would take a large pat in their back and be really happy about producing the best result yet, they may totally overlook the hole that they have dug themselves in. So they have given a grace marks to boost the GPA 5 percentage, will they keep on doing it the next year as well? What will happen if the new government next year decides not to do the same and the number of passes and GPA 5 holders are reduced? What will they answer to the parents? The way I see it, the bureaucracy will have no choice but to keep pumping the education system, or else they will be seen as failures. And we will keep on seeing more and more fantastic(!) results. Unfortunately that will endanger the deserving students rather than to help them provide for their future, while our board members will pat each others shoulders and celebrating their victory.
Dear readers, I am not trying to discourage the students. I am not an expert on education. I am simply someone who has some questions in his mind. This is why I say that this is a debate. With my simple bit of understanding, I can see the pros and cons. There are both good and bad sides to the question of education. My question will hopefully act as a catalyst for more serious conversation amongst the concerned parents and students. I hope that this debate or discussion will continue and so you can email me and let me know what is your opinion regarding this issue. Hopefully we can identify the problem and come to a solution together.
By Tanvir Hafiz
Big, Bad Days
No matter how many times you've won the lottery, there are days that you'd wish that you just didn't get out of bed. For some of us, this might mean waking up to a pc without internet, while to others it might mean losing a few limbs. It is almost like an inbuilt tolerance, like the threshold of pain: everybody has different levels. And, just like pain, every one of us react differently to it. Some of us might just shrug it off because bad things keep happening, while others who are not quite used to these misfortunes might try to follow in the footsteps of my grandmother.
Everybody feels like they are marked with a black spot. A person who has every kind of success imaginable will eventually cook up something that they don't have, and whine, rant and pout about it till the cows come home. This behavior(however annoying we find it) is still part of human nature. If there was heaven on earth, we'd be in hell: The boredom would be murder(no action games in heaven my friends, its just mario).
It is only natural that we shall be successful in some endeavors, while we'll fall flat on our face while attempting others. It is absolutely pointless moping over anything, because moping hardly every solves anything after you hit 12 years of age(people just don't give you the old 'aww look a kid' type of attention anymore). So how do we go about playing poker with fate while he has all the cards and all the money? Well, we don't. But you CAN do something to make that last hand bankruptcy look a little nicer.
Everybody has different methods to deal with depression. For myself, I watch cartoons, play games, and busy myself with things that can't go wrong(food). But this method is totally personal. I have asked around and the method of tackling seems to vary from person to person. One individual had this to say: I cry, read books, and talk to somebody who has no idea about what's going on in my life. That way, he can't keep trying to talk about the depressing bits'.
Another person commented: I don't deal with depression. If its bad luck, I attribute it to bad luck. However if I AM sad about something, I go beat up my little brother. That always cheers me up.
A third, more methodical individual had this to say: Dancing helps. A good workout also does the trick. Workout releases endorphins, which make you happy.
While beating up your little brother is borderline child abuse (unless its consented), it might just do the trick. Its certainly more strenuous then the standard solutions employed by individuals to deal with post-bad-day trauma. A long wimpy stroll in the park, a sturdy punch bag, or some quality time with friends: anything that helps cheer you up is worth a shot. Ice cream, Chocolates, Chaaps from Mushtakim with nan ruti and salad, any means necessary is the mission parameter. It is worth forgetting your Atkins regime for one day if it makes you smile.
The important thing about bad luck and bad days is to keep a clear head through it all. Bad temper and violence will only complicate matter, whereas drinking and drugs will only postpone the depression. Do what you must, but don't harm yourself in the process. We only have one shot at this life, and one crappy little body to do go through it with. But hey, if none of the above works, consider not getting out of bed at all.
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