Friday, April 23, 2010

Exam Time...

The Class 10’s are having their 4th exam today – Maths. Brad was madly doing some last minute prep with the girls in the living room this morning, and is now on the roof of the boys hostel, helping them cram. They head off after lunch…

In India, grades 9 & 11 don’t seem to exist, kids jump straight from Grade 8 to Grade 10, then from Grade 10 to Grade 12. Some of this first year of Class 10’s at the orphanage, have had massive breaks in their education, only a few have come straight from Grade 8. So it’s been a real battle to get them through to exam time, and we’re not feeling too confident about. However, the pass rate for these exams is 35%, and if they do fail a subject, they get 3 more chances to resit the exam.

The Class 10’s school year began in August, but being India, they didn’t receive their books until October, with computer books arriving just before Christmas. So this didn’t start the year off the best. But we’ve all been working as well as we can with what we have.

On the first exam day, after much hugging & shaking of hands, along with a quick prayer (much needed at this stage) the 18 students jammed into 2 vehicles along with 2 drivers, to make the 20 minute drive to Khatima. They arrived at the exam centre to find they would be sitting ON THE FLOOR for their 3 hour exam with 150 other students in 2 dusty rooms, with no fans. Ashish one of the teachers rushed off to the market to buy up Khatima’s stock of clip boards, so they at least had something to lean on. On the students return we heard that a good deal of their time was spent filling in forms and having their ID Numbers checked & double checked with no extra time given, cutting the exam from 3 to 2 hours. The ID photos don’t get checked against the ID holder, so we’ve heard that many students have other people sit in on the tests for them. A mother came in to one exam and explained that she would be doing the exam for her sick daughter, they not only let her, but allowed the textbook to be used to find the answers!

The We were also told how prevalent cheating was during the exam, with people bringing in their books with them, along with mobile phones and notes etc., as well as asking the person sitting on the floor next to them if they knew the answers. Even the person running the show was helping students with their answers.

We’ve spent days on end preparing exam preparation papers – thankfully they’re all done now. Brad’s been sweating away for hours in a hot classroom, without electricity, in temperatures up in the 40’s. That also will be over soon…

So keep your fingers crossed… we definitely are…


  1. So they've been trialing the new SACE for a while now?

    Three shocked teachers sitting on a couch.(My mum's up!)

    Kate Bom