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Tabreek! You failed!
More than ever, university entrance exams are skewed to attract the incompetent

By Houman Younessi
July 16, 2003
The Iranian

This is a letter to all my children in Iran who last week sat the ridiculous charade called the University Entrance Examinations. Having studied hard for twelve years or more, having waited so long with so much hope, having dreamt so many dreams; only to be so brutally disappointed!

Our hearts go out to you. You are not alone in your agony. We -- your older compatriots -- suffer with you. As tears of despair descend down your youthful cheeks, remember -- for what is worth -- our wrinkled cheeks and gray breads that are likewise moistened.

This is of course also an occasion to congratulate those who have succeeded in negotiating this daunting hurdle. Our accolades go to you -- if you succeeded on your own merits. And herein lies the issue.

All reports of the conduct of the examinations indicate that it was, yet again, a farce, a profound display of the regime's total disregard for equity and justice. It was once again another display of the regressive clergy's insecurity in the face of an educated and informed Iran.

The examinations were as usual rigged to skew the potential of success away from those deserving, who compete on their own merits, and towards the undeserving off-springs of equally undeserving parents whose souls have been sold to the regime or the religiously fanatical.

The surprise was not that the exams were skewed. We have grown only to expect such things. Nor was it surprising that subjects such as Islamic Knowledge; Arabic or Religious Jurisprudence were present and prominent, we know their mind-set.

The surprise was even not that such completely irrelevant subjects were given such high prominence as to be the determining factors in the success or failure of a young person in their bid to enter university to study engineering, nursing, architecture, physics or medicine! We are used to their evil ways.

The surprise was the degree of callousness in which they did it this year.

I will say nothing about the papers given in the mathematical, physical, life and social sciences. They were what they were. The questions on the papers for the subjects designed to further impose the regime' backward intentions (e.g. "Islamic Knowledge") were however most interesting, to say the least.

Questions, as usual, revolved around irrelevancies and ridiculous topics ranging from lower human anatomy, defecation, how to sit at a meal to maximize the stomach's intake capacity, and so on to stating the names of authors of books that contain equally irrelevant and ludicrous material of this same nature all the way to guessing on the material out of which the devil is constructed (you know I am NOT joking, you were there).

But this year -- to add insult to injury -- even these questions were so difficult that only the very most indoctrinated (read brain-washed) could answer any of them. The time allowed was hardly enough to only read the questions, let alone select one answer from the several absurd potential answers given. This year, I predict, the proportion of the "thug" element in the entering class would sharply rise.

The end result of all this is that, this year, a still larger portion of the seats would go to a bunch of moronic thugs who do not deserve to be anywhere near a university. Of those of you who have competed based on merit, many will be disappointed.

Ultimately, the fate of a candidate for medical school ends up being decided on whether he or she knows the right ritual for entering the toilet rather than his or her knowledge of biochemistry or anatomy. The future of a student of materials engineering is not decided on whether he knows his basic metallurgy, but if he knows what the devil is made of. Would-be physicists must know who wrote "Sareh al-oyoun"! Thermodynamics is not as important.

And so on this sordid little tale continues.

Yet hear it from someone who has been a student all his life. Do not despair. Rejoice in the knowledge that history has proven time and time again that winters thaw, chapters conclude, idols topple, oppression ends, and tyrants die. But the truth goes on. You and not the regressive disgusting little "bache-mulla" will be the pride, the joy and the credit of your generation.

If the regime in Iran does not value you; rejoice; this is a good thing. You don't need that. We value you; the world does. These thugs are insignificant, they are parasites who will wither sooner or later. You shall thrive, flourish and do us proud, even though you may be held back by weeds now, someday they will be plucked and you will bloom.

Study hard, do not give up, try again, and always remember, you are young and with you lies the truth. You might view what just transpired as having been forced to sacrifice one year of your life. There are many amongst all generations of your compatriots that have sacrificed more. Many sacrificed not just one year but all of their lives to fight the unjust war with Iraq. Many likewise sacrificed life, limb or liberty in multiple attempts to bring you freedom and justice. The struggle continues.

Let this seemingly wasted year be your contribution to the fight. Fight on, but recognize and remember your real enemy. Do not let this year go to waste, come back again next year, assert yourselves and wrest the prize out of the mouth of the serpent. Show them that knowledge, education and youth prevails over regression, oppression and injustice.

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