(Warning: Longish post. Bits of Hatred always make long posts, I'm too vitriolic to pack my hatred into 1 sentence.)
Read this: Article No. 1
And this: Article No. 2
Or, if you don't have the patience to, here's a summary. Article No. 1 is about the MLAs in Maharashtra wanting to keep ICSE, CBSE and IB students out of its Junior Colleges. Reason? ICSE schools charge excessive fees, and there could be some financial scams going on. Article No. 2 is about the whole percentile nonsense.
The good part is that the Council is fighting hard to stop this nonsense. My favourite part of the article:
"The Council said its syllabus was more rigorous than the SSC syllabus and even attached a copy of an SSC and an ICSE board English paper to illustrate the difference between the two. The affidavit added that the ICSE board regularly updated and upgraded its syllabus to ensure a high quality of education and it was unfair to deny an ICSE student a seat in junior colleges because the state board had failed to upgrade its syllabus. "
Sometimes the Council makes me more proud than I can say.
But the point here is. I. Hate. The. Maharashtra. State. Board.
In spite of all the crap we've faced for being ICSE students, I will never say that I regret being an ICSE student. It's given me more than I can count, and it has been a defining factor for me as well as most of the people I studied with. It's the best education you can ask for (barring IB), with a board that respects application and practicality, and takes the pains to update its syllabus every year. It makes sure you learn enough, and makes sure it's just tough enough for you to not take it for granted.
The SSC board (or HSC) does none of those things. And they have their own constraints and problems, so I don't blame them for the way they are. Okay, maybe some of it is their fault. But then, if something is government-managed, it's a given that it's going to be outdated, inefficient, filled with corruption and of no real use to anyone. I spent 2 years in Junior College, dammit. I was shocked that profs still *dictated* notes (word for word, yes, and spelling out words that were more than 7 letters); and there were concepts we'd studied in the 8th. (This is not to say that the Mumbai University is any better. It's just that the Mumbai University is easier to ignore.)
But the point, the point! The point is simply this: Anyone who says ICSE students are rich brats who have it easy, or that our board throws marks around, or that we think we're too smart - is. bloody. wrong.
What the hell do the Maharashtra ministers (busy in their vote-grubbing exercises) know about education? How many of them are paanchvi pass anyway?!
Yes, ICSE schools are expensive compared to state board schools. But if you're saying there are no state board schools that charge similar fees, you're crazy.
Yes, the Council tends to be a little more lenient with the language papers than yours. But, considering the fact that we had to study Shakespeare (unabridged, un-simplified) and were expected to write essay-type answers about character developments, while you had "Who said to whom?" type stuff, I'd say we deserve some credit.
And about us thinking we're too smart - yes, there is a grain of truth. We kinda do have a chip on our shoulders. After all, when you arrive in 11th standard (state board) to find math you did in 8th grade and English you did in 4th grade, you tend to be a little cocky. Even the most biased of you can't deny this.
And while I'm on all of this, I must bring my personal ego into this. I can't help it. I simply feel like slapping SSC-types who ask me what I got in the 10th (BTW, people, that was 3 years ago. Why are you still asking me this?), and when I say 94.67, I get "Oh, but ICSE, na? Your Board is really lenient." B*****d, would you have got the same score if you'd been in ICSE? What bugs me is that any answer I make to this will simply beget an "Oh-look-at-the-ICSE-girl-be-snobbish" response. Which'll make me homicidal.
And with the whole Marathi-manoos nonsense (Shiv Sena, MNS, take a bow; between the 2 of you, you redefine stupid, immature, irresponsible, disgusting politics) things are only going to get worse. Every person in the state board hates ICSE and CBSE students already. (Don't believe me? Count the number of jibes by profs in a Junior College at ICSE students, or the complex paperwork required to make the transition from school to JC, the list goes on.) Now they will have a legal, professional, institutionalised way to do it. What with the bloody normalisation of marks, and trying to keep only SSC students in HSC, and trying to make Marathi compulsory for ICSE students... the Maharashtra State Board is punishing us, and how.
And the best part is, ICSE students are being punished not for being from a board that is inane and inefficient, but because we must be brought to a level of inanity and inefficiency equal to that of the Maharashtra State Board.
I think we're the only set of students in the world who are, effectively, spat on for having a good education.
PS - Among other things, *woohoo* to celebrity popats - Peru, take a bow!
PPS - Everyone who thinks that having a job makes you homicidal, say aye.
PPS - I'd blog about the cash-in-parliament if I had something to say. But really, the only part I found funny and ironical was the way they played Vande Mataram at the end of it all. Bunch of idiots.
Update: Ever had an SSC student tell you "ICSE students don't know grammar" simply because you didn't know the difference between a gerund and an infinitive, or what past participles and injunctives are? I've been told this, on several occasions, and it made my blood boil. But in retrospect, I just feel sorry for them, because this is a thought process that is born out of being educated by a board which is known for placing the emphasis on all the useless things.