It’s 2030 and, once again, chaos and court cases rule the headlines as SSC, ICSE and CBSE students slug it out in admission season.
Having whittled down the competition one subject at a time, each SSC student now ‘calculates’ her percentage on the basis of a single paper.
The complaints, though, haven’t died down.
SSC students continue to plead that the other streams have more lenient marking systems — and, while they still have to study a whopping three subjects of their choice, the others only study two.
ICSE and CBSE students continue to complain that they’re not used to a level playing field and cannot cope.
Meanwhile, most major corporations have frozen all fresh recruitments and raised retirement ages.
Ever since 2015, when the first batch of ‘level playing field’ students graduated, average GK levels have been plummeting.
According to recent studies, so have motivation levels, perseverance and ambition — key elements that had put Indian students among the highest scorers worldwide.
“We’ve gone from a situation of too much competition to virtually none,” said one education expert.
“There are now enough seats for all students who pass Class 10, and they’re passing with exhilarating scores that no longer reflect how much they have learned.”
The good news is, sports teams are flourishing as students sign up for everything from table-tennis to kabbadi for the extra marks.
“Combining my Math scrores and the 15 marks I got for winning an egg-and-spoon race, I now have an overall percentage of 104,” said one SSC Class 10 student.
That’s a good thing for him, since first list cut-offs in colleges now routinely cross the 100 per cent mark.
“I only got 98.75,” sulked a CBSE student, waiting for the third list to be posted at a top city college. “I still don’t got any seat [sic].”
Language skills have perhaps suffered the most.
Never much good for students looking to score high marks, they can now be ignored altogether. While a minimum of two languages is still mandatory, most youngsters only learn as much grammar and syntax as they need to scrape through.
Some relief is expected next year, when a court will rule on a plea to restore the six-subject rule.
“At first I was glad that students were stress-free and post-results suicide rates had plummeted,” said the parent who filed the petition in the high court.
“Now, I see my son lounge on the tennis court with his single textbook, talking gibberish with his friends, and I want to commit suicide myself.”