Sunday, April 13, 2014

My First Encounter with Nepotism in High School and why I take it very personally

I’m not sure whether I’m an ethical or moral person. Moral and ethic are quite abstract concepts, while the reasons why I truly hate things like corruption or … (in this story) nepotism is practical and experience based. It’s unfair, and in my case it has stolen something from someone I really care about. 

Medicine… well that subject of study is the Holy Grail in my high school. Every smart kid wants to study medicine in university. But being a doctor is not a cheap life goal. Private University tuition fee for medicine is super expensive and my high school was a government’s school, so you know… we’re used to good quality for LOW… nope I should say AFFORDABLE (that’s more appropriate…) price. 

So most (if not all) of smart kids/doctors wannabe was eyeing top public universities like UI, UGM (my alma yay!), UNPAD, etc where learning in the Faculty of Medicine will not put a huge blow in your parents retirement savings. Although it means you have to compete for a seat with literally tens or hundreds thousand students with the same obsession plan in national scale exams and tests. No biggie, we’ve sit in classroom for 12 years definitely for that ultimate purpose.

This is the personal part of my story, one of my best friends is one of the most diligent and intelligent students I’ve ever known. We’ve been competing for top class rank since elementary school (yeah... that’s a little hint I got a bit of brain too). So while I (as a result of high school physics and chemistry went badly) steered towards journalism (also Law and English… or anything without physics and chem.) as my chosen subject in University, she consistently aced in science subjects and was in the right passage of the Holy Grail. 

But that passage then spoiled by the nasty nepotism. That year, one of the top public Universities I mention above (the third one, not clear enough? Ok, yes the UNPAD one) was opening some new program. Students of top rank schools in each district could join some kind of alternative admission called Matriculation. Matriculation doesn’t involve taking the tests with the tens or hundreds thousand other students. It’s based on your average sums of GPA during your 3 senior years in high school.

So based on that term and condition, we can conclude that my best friend should have a chance to enlist in the Matriculation right? Of course yes since she had all the requirements. But what happened is….  NO she didn’t enlist or being enlisted by the school authorities. She or I or pretty much all the students didn’t even know about that Matriculation program.

So did my school discard the Matriculation (which basically the golden ticket of Willy Wonka)?

Of course it didn’t. 

My school very much acknowledged and valued the Matriculation. That’s why they didn’t announce it publicly. Why should they announce the golden ticket to all prospective and eligible students (such a hassle right?). Why should they make some kind of tests or openly rank the sums of GPA from the bright students like my best friend when there’re already students who related to school officials and their close friends who are willing to take it

And in the chosen ones went to the Matriculation (no one knew or realized it, just like a Jedi mind trick)

Did the nepotistic way successfully choose the right students for Matriculation? 

Remember when I told you I’m not too bad at grades? That means I was quite often in the top ranks during the 3 years and knew the histories and circles of brainy kids in my school. And I can judge account objectively that not all of the students who finally went deserve this. Oh some of them are not even in the top 10 of their class. Let alone compared to the champions of our school.

I feel bad for UNPAD for not getting the best students

I feel angry for witnessing sneaky theft impacting someone’s future

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