More than ever, university entrance exams are skewed to
attract the incompetent
By Houman Younessi
July 16, 2003
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
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
The surprise was not that the exams were skewed.
We have grown only to expect such things. Nor was it surprising
subjects such as Islamic Knowledge; Arabic or Religious Jurisprudence
were present and prominent, we know their mind-set.
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.
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
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
Yet hear it from someone who has been a student
all his life. Do not despair. Rejoice in the knowledge that history
and time again that winters thaw, chapters conclude, idols
topple, oppression ends, and tyrants die. But the truth goes
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,
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
might view what just transpired as having been forced
to sacrifice one year of your life. There are many amongst all
of your compatriots that have sacrificed more. Many sacrificed
just one year but all of their lives to fight the unjust
with Iraq. Many likewise sacrificed life, limb or liberty
attempts to bring you freedom and justice. The struggle
Let this seemingly wasted year be your contribution
to the fight. Fight on, but recognize and remember your real enemy.
let this year go to waste, come back again next year,
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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