A pourakarmika supervisor is hoping to clear backlog in his third attempt

In a role reversal, a son and daughter of 37-year-old Kadaranna M. sit with him as he prepares for the SSLC exam. A pourakarmika supervisor with the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Kadaranna is hoping to clear the backlog of four subjects in his third attempt.

His son, Pavan Kalyan, who is in standard IX in a Chamarajpet school, gave intense coaching to his father in Mathematics in the last few days.

On Monday, Kadaranna wrote the Kannada paper. He told The Hindu, “I have cleared English and the social science papers. I have to clear Kannada, mathematics, science and Hindi.”

Explaining why these exams were “crucial” for him, he said, “I am a group D worker drawing a salary of Rs. 10,000. If I clear these exams, then I will be promoted as a group C employee, and most importantly, I will earn a few more extra thousands every month.”

Kadaranna, who has never had formal schooling, said that he was motivated after he saw several of his colleagues clearing SSLC and rising up in their careers.

He said that he was unsure whether he would clear the Science exam on Wednesday.

“I do not have time to prepare for the exam as I will have to report for work tomorrow. With great difficulty I have managed to get leave for my exams. Moreover, it is election time, I dare not ask for leave,” he said.

Another employee hoping to move one step up in work by clearing the SSLC exam is R.B. Lakshman (41), an attender at the Indian Overseas Bank in Jayanagar.

This fourth standard drop-out said that one of the retired bank managers was his mentor who helped him prepare for his SSLC exams. Lakshman explained that he had “lost touch” with alphabets and numbers as neither his job nor the daily routine required him to do so. “I wish I had completed studies when I was young. But we were six siblings and my father, a helper in a college, did not earn enough to support the family. So I had to start working early,” he said.

Asked if he had prepared well for his exams, he said, “Yes, I have been studying very hard over the last few days. I have to clear these exams and get a better post that pays well. I want to earn enough and ensure that my children are able to get good education.”