Kantipur FM Commentary: SLC — An Exercise in Futility and Unreliability

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Advertising an SLC study guide and that most peculiar of Nepalese things: Guess Paper. They are supposed to contain questions most likely to appear in the examination and their answers. Click here for more about Guess Papers.

Continuing with publishing Kantipur FM commentaries I made as the host of a radio show way back in the Spring of 1998…this commentary accompanied the March 29 show.

Incidentally, SLC (School Leaving Certificate) is a national level examination taken by students at the end of their 10th grade. The results of the examination used to determine whether you got your high school diploma.

But recently, the numerical grades were changed into letter grades to do away with pass/fail, the source of suffering for large percentage of 17-18 year olds! The board implemented that for the first time this year. Their results came out just last month.


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[Opening jingle]

Hey…. Awe right….

It’s Sunday evening and time for Kantipur FM. Time for Marlboro Music Network on Kantipur FM. And this is Dorje.

This hour I do have a question, and it is: What is it that you, I, everyone must suffer through late in our teens?

While you ponder over that question, here are the Rolling Stones with Out of Control.

[Music, Rolling Stones followed by Elton John.]

And that was Elton John with “Sacrifice.”

You know there are a lot of things that all Nepalese people have to suffer through at one time or another. But the one I have in mind is something the sixteen and seventeen year olds are going though right now, something sixteen and seventeen year olds have been struggling with for the past few days and will be struggling with for a few more days. What I am talking about is SLC. I have a few reasons for labeling it as something we suffer through…and that after the next couple of songs.


And the songs were Olive’s This Time and Michael Bolton’s Can I Touch You There.

Earlier today I dug out the Send-up and the SLC results of my class, and was not at all surprised to find what I did find when I compared them. I wasn’t at al surprised by what I found when I compared the two sets of results for my class of 69 students.

Finding #1: My grades for all the subjects in SLC were much lower than that I obtained in the final exam. Incidentally, the final exam had been much more difficult than SLC. I do remember that. Honest!

Before going on, two more songs…


Okay, those were Bad Company with their song How About That and Tracy Chapman with Baby Can I Hold You.

Continuing with the findings….

Finding #2″ The difference in the total was 114 — it was like I had taken one less subject in SLC; like I had dropped one subject completely.

Finding #3: A friend of mine who failed in the Optional Math send-up exam scoring only a 20, believe it or not, not only did he pass Optional Math in SLC, he scored — and hear this — a whopping 93!!

All right, moving on with music, here’s Ozzy Osbourne with No More Tears.


Following Ozzy Osbourne was the Eurythmics with When Tomorrow Comes.

Finding #4: Another classmate of mine went from being placed 19th in the class of 69 in the Send-up to bagging the 3rd position in SLC!! And yet another from 7th to 14th, and still another from being 16th to being positioned in the 41st placed!!

Here are a couple more songs.


[Details of the first song missing.]

Okay, that was an Italian artist, Zucchero with Diamante (Diamond).

There is no end to such peculiarities in those two sets of results, and therein lies the reason for my labelling SLC as something one suffers through. Despite how well you might do, there’s no guarantee of good results in SLC.

Or looking at it from another angle, despite ill-preparation and terrible performance in the the exams, there’s no guarantee of bad results either!

SLC results are out of your hand, and as such what they purport to indicate…they don’t!

SLC therefore, in my opinion, is an exercise in uncertainty and unreliability. A source of undue anxiety and suffering to many teenagers.

But then you probably knew all about that!

It’s almost eight and time for me to take off. Stay tuned for Panther Hotline with Bimal, Rajani, and Dr. Bhadra. And join me again tomorrow, same time, same place. Until then, this is Dorje bidding you good night.



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