Episode: High School and Mode of travel
Continuing about the schooling grandpa says the selection of high school itself was not an easy task for his father. Their village did not any ZPHS though the villages on adjacent sides had one each. There were no proper roads from one village to another. The route was a mud road between the Krishna river canal and the bund that was constructed to stop the flooding river from entering the village. The bund he says is a high block wall build of mud and had a slope in one end which made walking on it a risky affair, especially for children and women. The risk was greater during the rainy season.
And so grandpa’s father asked around the village and found out that there was an art teacher in their village who worked in one of the ZPHS in the adjacent villages. The teacher was delighted to help and after clearing the entrance examination grandpa got admitted in 8th standard. Back then he said that the classes from 6th standard had different naming.
6th class- Ist forum.
7th class- IInd forum.
8th class- IIIrd forum.
9th class- IVth forum.
10th class- Vth forum.
11th class- VIth forum. (SSLC)
The 11th standard had the final board examination called the SSLC after which one could join Intermediate.
The school started and grandpa went along with the teacher to the school by walking 3 K.M. to the next village every day. Their uniform was a simple light colored shirt paired with half-length pants. Even teenagers rarely wore full length pants those days, it seems. Walking barefoot was no easy task and they ended up with nicks and pricks of thorns on their legs and feet.
After a year the art teacher got transferred to another ZPHS in the village on the other side and grandpa followed him to that school. The route they had to now take was in the opposite direction but the path was the same, between the canal and the bund. He made new friends and his juniors also joined the same school. So grandpa along with his group of friends traveled to and fro each day.
Grandpa continues saying life was simple and good. He says he topped the school with 52% marks in the SSLC board examination. Back then any student who crossed 50% marks was considered a brilliant student and getting 40% marks was an achievement. People were not so competitive about marks that they would treat their own friends as enemies when it came to studies. There was also rarely any secrecy about what they studied for examinations. This I feel is something today’s parents should realize and re-learn.