Girls outshone boys in the class-12 Manipur board examination 2023 conducted by the Council of Higher Secondary School, which results were declared amid the continuing turmoil in the state. Expressing serious concern over the tense situation in the state in separate interviews to the Imphal Free Press, after the results were announced on May 22, the top three female achievers appealed to the government to restore peace and communal harmony in the state.
Ria Thokchom of Heritage Convent, Uripok Bachaspati Leikai, Imphal, topped in the science stream with 491 marks, while Pushpa Naorem of TGHS School, Imphal was ranked first in the Arts stream with 475 marks and Rajbrinda Naorem of TG HS School, Imphal topped the Commerce stream with 445 marks
Saying that only peace can bring development in the state and help build an environment conducive for academic careers of thousands of students in the state, the three young achievers appealed to the government to take necessary steps to restore peace and normalcy in the state at the earliest.
Ria stated that the whole situation had triggered immense distress among students and hence authorities concerned should restore proper academic atmosphere for students in the state.
“As students, it is truly painful to go through such a traumatic situation. So, I request the government to usher peace and restore normalcy in the state,” she said.
Pushpa opined that talks can resolve any misunderstandings among the communities involved in the recent violence in the state.
“Any misunderstanding could be solved at a negotiating table and it is unfortunate that many people are suffering due to the ongoing communal clash in Manipur,” Pushpa said told the Imphal Free Press.
Recalling the struggles of students and teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic, the time lost and the many difficulties faced by the student community, Rajbrinda urged the government to resolve the prevailing crisis in the state at the earliest.
Toppers' Dreams and Aspirations
While appealing for peace, the toppers also shared their dreams and aspirations in separate interviews to the Imphal Free Press. While Ria aspires to become a civil service officer one day, Pushpa expressed the hope of bringing quality education and Rajbrinda dreams of resolving the problem of unemployment among the youth in the state.
Ria, who hails from Heingang Mayai Leikai, daughter of one Sophia Ngangom and Thokchom Romeo Singh, dreams of becoming a civil servant one day. Stating her desire to become a capable civil servant one day, she said she wanted to leave a respectable legacy and serve the people with utmost integrity.
Pushpa Naorem of Kakwa Naorem Leikai Awang, whose father, N Bhumeshor Singh, a carpenter, and mother N Sangita Devi, a housewife, desires to become a professor to impart her knowledge to bring quality education in Manipur.
Rajbrinda Naorem of Tentha Khongbal in Thoubal district is the eldest of the three children of Henary, a private school teacher and Satyapriya, who is a housewife. She aspires to be an entrepreneur to solve the prevailing issue of youth unemployment in the state.
The Secret Behind their Success
The three toppers also shared their success stories and revealed the secret behind their success
The Habit of Reading
Pushpa, who got letter marks in English, Manipuri, Political Science, Sociology, Geography and education subjects, said: “I had mixed feelings when I heard that I topped the examination. I was happy that I topped the examination and achieved the goal for my struggles... I did not give hours to study but I made a habit of reading daily and I did not feel good when I skipped a day without reading my books,” she said.
She said from the beginning till class 10, she studied at the Canchi Academy Kha Naorem Leikai and after passing Class X examination she continued her studies at Tamphasana Higher Secondary School. Pushpa said she wants to give the credit for being a topper to her parents and relatives and to all the teachers who taught her since lower class.
Bonding with Books
Listening to music is one of the hobbies of Rajbrinda, who believes that students should not be restrained from indulging in their hobbies. She, however, said students should have a bond with their books and must be able to use technologies such as mobile phones for the better.
She said that she will continue her studies in B Com in Punjab or Uttarakhand. She credited her success to her parents, school staff and her teacher Premchand.
Rajbrinda’s father Henary expressed delight for his daughter’s success and added that he had always supported Rajbrinda’s dream and will continue to do so.
Good health, hard work and technologically advanced school environment
Stressing that it was sheer hard work that brought her success, Ria said she did not depend on extra coaching classes in her preparation for the COHSEM Class-12 examination.
Ria revealed that she studied for nearly 15 hours when classes were off and studied four to five hours a day during regular school days at home.
"My teachers and parents also helped me with my studies…My teachers helped me clear any doubts I had and the school environment also aided in my studies; our school incorporated new technology to enhance the learning experience of students such as digital boards to upgrade the visual learning capabilities of the students,” she said.
Expressing gratitude to her parents, family, friends and her teachers at Heritage Convent for helping her achieve the incredible feat, Ria said: “I am overjoyed with results; I expected to secure a position but never thought I would secure the first rank. I extend my gratitude to all the people who have helped me in my academic journey.”
She maintained that coaching classes were mandatory for every student and should be taken to strengthen the weak subjects.
She further expressed her desire to continue her studies at Delhi University and stated that she had not decided on the subject stream for her graduation yet.
“I have to give it more thought and decide; I will arrive at a final verdict once I clear the Common University Entrance Test (CUET),” she said.
Giving tips to students preparing for the COHSEM exam, Ria advised the students to study meticulously, set achievable goals, take proper guidance from teachers and maintain good hygiene.
“Without good health there is no use of wealth,” she said.
Parental Support and Guidance
Meanwhile Ria’s father Thokchom Romeo said, “Ria topped in all her classes at Heritage Convent and even continued her class 9, 10, 11 and 12 on scholarships at the Convent."
He said he and his wife had always helped with Ria’s studies and encouraged her to constantly revise what she had learned. This made her skip coaching classes, he added.
“In today’s examination model of education, perfect presentation is everything. As such, I have always encouraged my daughter to be aware of her writing and presentation skills,” he said.
He further pointed out that he encouraged Ria to read motivational stories of great personalities who overcame vast barriers to achieve their goals.
Romeo also maintained that both him and his wife sacrificed their time to Ria’s physical and mental well-being.
“If we want our kids to succeed, we have to make time and help them achieve their goals,” he added.
This year, the pass percentage of 88.68 is lesser than that of the previous year. The HSE pass percentage in 2022 was 90.09. Interestingly, the toppers in arts and commerce this year are students of government school.
The examination, which began on February 23 and concluded on April 20, 2023, saw a total of 36,717 students enrolled but 36,212 appeared for the examinations. Of the total 36,212 students, the Science stream had 24,512 students followed by the Arts stream with 11,391 students and Commerce stream with 813 students. The exams were conducted across 120 exam centres in the state.
In an effort to enable admission and further education of the students in view of the prevailing unrest in the state, the government said it is arranging a certain specific centre, from where any student can access the internet and download admission forms.