The last year has been a strange one and a learning curve for schools and students, nearly all students in Goa never went to school during the last year, some were stranded in their villages due to local lockdowns, others could access online classes because they didn´t have a phone, let alone a 'smart' phone. It has been hard/chaotic and messy.
The biggest test for the system was 10th standard, SSC (GCSE Level) which is the minimum level all children want to achieve and a hugely important one. 10th standard students had a little access to school and actual teaching during the pandemic, but for many students who struggle it wasn´t enough to actually gain a suitable amount of knowledge and the system has severely let them down, this obviously hit the poor and disadvantaged more profoundly, but I hope that the lessons learnt from last year can help those who struggle.
10th Standard SSC results were announced yesterday and we really did not know what to expect. Robert had been given 13 'seat numbers' (unique student number) to check and was ready 5 minutes before the results were to go live at 5pm.
Directly at 5pm Robert set the search in motion and then realised that the button on the website that processed the request was disabled, one of the older students was watching a news feed and so many more were having the same problem and we continued to try. After about 20 minutes they announced on the news that the website was not working and it would be up at 5:30pm. Once again we tried and still the same problem, then we managed to get one request through, then another and then again the website was down. Robert thought to himself 'well this sort of sums up the last year!'. Robert was getting calls from the kids wanting to know their results, After 6pm things started to work and by 6:18pm we had downloaded all the marks. We are happy to announce that all the children who were registered for 10th Standard passed and it was great to see that the girls took the top 9 places! It was great to see that one of the boys did much better than expected and we are so pleased as he did work very hard this year and it was great that he now has a pass at 10th Standard.
Unfortunately, circumstances meant that for another student who was expected to do well, only just passed as he was in lockdown in the village during some of his material used to create the grades this year.
What´s next for them?
All the students have the opportunity to go to college level and study Arts, Commerce or Science stream and Goa Outreach will continue to support this. But as the pandemic is still a long way from finishing, we must take into account the extra difficulties this will bring to education and life in general.
Robert will be taking two of the girls for admission in the morning and this will be the start of their next adventure. Whatever happens, we wish all the students the best of luck in whatever they decide to do.