@

 
   
   
   
   
   
NEWS  
NEWS FEATURES  
INTERVIEWS  
POLITICAL COLUMN  
EDITORIAL  
OPINION  
SPORTS  
CARTOON  
BUSINESS  
EYE - FEATURES  
LETTERS  
EVENTS  
SOUL - YOUTH MAG  
ENTERTAINMENT  
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

Nation Special


 

A cut above the rest

Hasini, Pasindu and Savil – along with many
others – have gained something that will stand them in good stead all their lives. It is an achievement that cannot be measured by grades alone. An achievement that comes with learning and the feeling that they overcame the pressure and intensity of the
examination and won

By Jayashika Padmasiri
“Tuition bio, tuition pure
Chemistry, physics
Sellamakata
Na wellawa vibagae
vibage thamay ape abagey”
(From the stage drama ‘Vikurthi’)

Does these lyrics adequately describe what we all went through during examination time? The words vibagaya (examination) and abagaya (misfortune) sometimes get intertwined; they are considered the same things and are caught up together when examinations are near.
Examinations affect children in different ways. Some pass them well, while others fail. Although education does not start or end with examinations, for some reason examinations play a big role in society today.

Remarkable results
Recently, the much-awaited results of the Ordinary Level (O/L) 2006 examination were released and the spotlight was on three students from the Colombo District who were placed in the top three spots with their remarkable results. A total of 440,000 students sat for the O/L 2006 examination.
With this achievement, these three students are emerging from obscurity – now everyone wants to know who they are, which schools they studied in and how they did so well at the O/L examination.
Hasini Rathsara Weeratunga of Devi Balika Vidyalaya emerged the top student and was placed in the number one position, while Pasindu Madusanka of Nalanda College and Savil Atapattu of Royal College were placed in the second and third positions.

School is important
In an interview with The Nation, speaking about her achievement Hasini said with a shy smile, “I am very happy that I was able to bring this honour to my school. No one ever forced me to study, but my parents and teachers helped me a lot. I expected to get 10 As but I never thought I would get the best results in the island. I just concentrated on getting 10 As.”
Contrary to popular perception, Hasini believes that children should attend school regularly since “school is more important than tuition classes.” Hasini further explained that she too attended two tuition classes, but not classes teaching the main subjects.

The best in every way
She asserted that students must partake in extra curricular activities. “I am a prefect of my school and I think everyone should take part in extra curricular activities because that is a part of school life. I always looked at my education with joy and not as a burden. My mother used to tell me to become the best child in school – she didn’t mean only when it comes to my education, but also with regard to behaviour, qualities and morality. That is what I always tried to be and that is what I worked towards. I believe my results are the outcome,” said Hasini, who dreams of becoming an engineer in the future.
Nalandian Pasindu Madusanka, who obtained the second place in the island for his O/L results, says he found out about his feat over the radio.
Asked how he feels about his achievement, he said, “I’m very happy. I checked my results on the internet and it was later announced on the radio that I had come second in the island. When I heard this news, I was so happy.”
Inspiration

He confirmed that school played a very big role in his success. “It was because of my family, my school and everyone else who helped me in my life that I achieved this,” he further said.
Speaking about his inspiration, Pasindu said he was inspired by Harsha Anuruddha Dissanayake, also a Nalandian, who obtained the best Advanced Level (A/L) results the year before.
As for school life, Pasindu said, “I took part in sports activities and was a member of the English Debating Society. I did not follow any particular method of studying. Other than learning from the text books, I prepared notes and studied them too. I would devote three days of each month to each of the 10 subjects.” Pasindu plans to become a doctor someday.

Suvil Atapattu, who came third, is a Royalist. Speaking about his accomplishment and future plans he said, “I’m glad that I was able to achieve something like this for my school. I entered Royal College through the year five scholarship. Before that I was a student of Dharmaraja College, Kandy. When it comes to studies, my approach was to complete whatever work I had on the same day. If I had to do something that day, I completed it without postponing any of the work. I had a time table in my head. I think attending school is essential despite the fact that there are tuition classes. Extra curricular activities are also important. For my A/Ls I will do mathematics since I want to become an engineer.”

Fear of failure
Examinations bring enormous pressure on students and awaiting the results is nerve-wracking. I remember how I waited for my A/L results. The sense of impending finality was chilling. The fear of failure was rampant.
The refrain ‘What if I fail? What will happen tomorrow?’ ran through my head constantly. I didn’t want to fail; I was so afraid of failure then, so I counted the hours and I counted the days… Finally, I decided that I would not let that examination and its results affect me in any way, that I would realise my dreams no matter what results I obtained.
Great achievement

Hasini, Pasindu and Savil – along with many others – have gained something that will stand them in good stead all their lives. It is an achievement that cannot be measured by grades alone. An achievement that comes with learning and the feeling that they overcame the pressure and intensity of the examination and won.
No matter what we do in life, whatever we learn stays with us to the end. And it is said that one never completes one’s education, it is a process that continues right to the end.
From exam to exam, step by step, book to book, time to time, we learn, and we live.

****