Senior Secondary School
It was the time to get admission to HSC(Higher Secondary Certificate) school. When I got admission to high school, I chose higher maths as the main subject(the advanced portions of mathematics, customarily considered as embracing all beyond ordinary arithmetic, geometry, algebra, and trigonometry) and there was so much to practice every day.
Algebra, Trigonometry, Geometry, Calculus, Arithmetic, Statistics, Probability. I was always busy studying for my board exams as I wanted to get the highest marks and was aspiring to get admission to a good and reputed college. The cut-off was high in those days also and if we didn’t score good marks, we can’t get our name on the first cut-off list. ‘A 70% then is equal to a 99% now.’
Today, private tutors offer many benefits, delivering a supporting role: They supplement the education provided in schools and other academic establishments, public and private, by consolidating or deepening knowledge and skills first learned in schools. We had to depend upon just school for everything and if we had some problems related to studies there were only our teachers to solve that.
Home tuition has grown greatly since the 1980s, but if we want to understand the history of private lessons since antiquity, we need to consider a completely different context: At that time, the school system as we know it today was different. It follows that home tutoring, as we understand it today – complementary to school education – did not exist either.
No one in our locality had a home tutor to help enrich the knowledge gained in school.
In fact, the average ‘commoner’ didn’t receive any formal instruction at school, nor any private tuition from a tutor. It was the parents who taught their children, usually in the form of the profession they themselves practiced. Therefore, if I had some maths problem I had to ask my neighbor who was studying in college at that time. Otherwise, we had to struggle with what we could not solve, which made my study time more than it should be.
Do you still remember these ink pens? It was really difficult to manage those ink bottles and refill the pen. Sometimes in between exams, the pen stopped writing because the ink was finished in the pen.
Since my childhood, I was a morning person and got up early in the morning to study. Everyone appreciated my dedication to my studies and I felt that I am special. Leadership skills were the product of always being respected and being on top in school. I had a group of ten girls, who were always there for me and made me feel stronger. With time we lost touch with each other and now I even don’t know where they are.
My school was affiliated with the CBSC board of education. Central Board of Secondary Education is an eminent board of school education in India. The CBSE prepares the syllabi for Classes IX-XII for the students of affiliated schools. CBSE suggests its affiliated schools follow the syllabi of NCERT for the students from Lower Kindergarten (L.K.G) to Class VIII.
It conducts India’s two important board examinations: the All India Secondary School Examination for Class X and the All India Senior School Certificate Examination for Class XII, which is a school-leaving examination.
In high school board exams, I got distinctions in English and Maths. My marks were the highest in our mohalla( the area we lived in). As there were so many girls and boys my age who passed high school that year. My morale was very high and I was flying high.
We have a few colleges which were close by and commuting daily could have been easy to those colleges. Gargi College, Kamla Nehru College, South Delhi Polytechnic for women, Acharya Narendra Dev College, Lady Shree Ram College, and Miranda House were to name a few.
These were the nearest colleges from where we got the forms and started filling up the forms in the hope to get admission to the first cut-off list. My best friend Vandana and I used to start early and go to the college by bus to get the form and tried to fill them.
There were no websites like today from where we could download the admission form and fill them up. We covered one college daily and it took a few days for us to get the forms collected from all the desired colleges.
For admission to Delhi University, we need to have a good score in English and any other three subjects. So if my subjects were English, Economics, Maths, civics, and Home Science, Delhi University will let me omit the subject I had the worst score in but most other universities will look at the score of all your subjects.
We had to apply to various colleges. Every college had different criteria for admission hence we had to apply individually. So it kept me busy for many days.
To be continued…