Parents anxious over national exam

The Jakarta Post, page 2

Minah Febrianti, a 44-year-old mother of four, tried to focus on her work at a private company in Jakarta, on Tuesday.

But her mind was preoccupied with thoughts of her son taking his first computer-based national examination, which would determine whether he would be able to get into state senior high school SMAN 26, a popular high school known for its academic excellence in Tebet, South Jakarta.

She even though about taking paid leave so that she could help her son – a ninth-grade student at state junior high school SMPN 182 in South Jakarta – prepare for the exam, which started on Tuesday and will last through next Monday.

However, Minah said she was unable to leave her job at the moment, not even for a day, because she had urgent task to be done. Minah was also worried that her son would not be able to operate the computer, seeing how this was the first time her son has taken a computer-based exam.

Other parents, especially those whose children want to attend popular state senior high schools, are also restless during this crucial exam period. In order to be accepted at a prestigious state high school in Jakarta, a student is required to score at least nine out of 10 in each test subject.

Yasmin Indah, a ninth-grader at state junior high school SMPN 101 in West Jakarta, said she was afraid that her grades may not be good enough. She said her mother also feels jittery and keeps asking me to study. However, Yasmin said that her exam has been going well and she did not face any difficulties on her first day of testing, which assessed student on their Bahasa Indonesia skills.

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