Adjust to the inevitable, smart way to survive | Daily News
Power Cuts and Examinations

Adjust to the inevitable, smart way to survive

Last week the entire country was discussing a single matter. That was the power cut schedule implemented during the first week of the G.C.E. Advanced Level Examination which commenced last Monday. Since this topic has an impact on the entire country, various important examinations will be held from time to time during the course of the next few months and almost all political parties will use this topic for their election propaganda activities, we need to discuss it in depth. It is very interesting to analyze who does what with which objectives and what actually can be done in minutes without spending even a cent. We are talking about all examinations and power cuts.

The G.C.E. Advanced Level Examination is the most crucial examination faced by any student during his or her entire school career because it decides the future of the children. At the same time all other examinations such as G.C.E. Ordinary Level Examination which will be held in May and the Year Five Scholarship Examination, etc. are also very important. Therefore, the Government and all relevant authorities should make sure that all relevant facilities are given to those special examinations without any trouble. No excuses can be given by any authority when it comes to providing facilities to those examinations.

But we all know the current situation of Sri Lanka and the hardships faced by the people and the Government. Various types of issues are prevalent everywhere and we need to find out the coolest corner of the burning iron cage to stay alive. It is good if the Sri Lankan people can change their attitudes and characters to become individuals with more creativity who present solutions rather than individuals who make things worse and criticise everyone and everything all the time. The other crucial factor is that Sri Lankans need to be a little more selfless than now and avoid being selfish all the time for everyone for everything. The most difficult system to change exists inside the human mind.

We are discussing here what we can do by ourselves as ordinary citizens and as authorities to overcome this problem now and in the future. There is no point in analyzing the power issue from the beginning

G.C.E. Advanced Level students should be given all the facilities.

because it is just a waste of time. We cannot turn seven decades back. We cannot expect anything good from the public servants who do not recognize the sufferings of others other than themselves and their immediate families. Serving the people is not on their list of duties at all because they have been brainwashed and trained to think that the respective Governments and people should look after them very well for nothing. Their favourite hobby is making people angry by not serving them on time, honestly and in a kind and effective manner. Public servants serving at the CEB and all the other State institutions are connected to the issue.

As public servants, the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) workers and officials can do many things to bring relief to the students sitting for exams while implementing the regular daily power cuts as usual.

They can do this without uniting as trade unions, holding various media briefings and blaming the Government and the Minister for everything. They do not need to resort to strike action to do small things that matter and have a positive impact on the people. But what they do is to make things harder for people and create anger and hate among the people.

The first thing is they can change the time of the daily power cut which prevents children living in a specific area from having to suffer from one long week without power at the same time every night. But now what they do is force the children to live in a specific area to suffer for five or six consecutive days in the week without any change. What they do at present is rotating the same time table with only three sets for months without any change. They are very lazy to change. No wonder they are extremely selfish public servants.

For example if the night time power cut start at 8.40 pm and end at 10.10 pm, children living in a specific area cannot study from 8.40 pm to 10.10 pm daily for five consecutive days. What the relevant authorities can do is change the daily power cut schedule enabling the children to get at least one or two nights relief. For example on Monday, the power cut time should be from 5.00 pm to 6.30 pm and the next day it should be from 6.30 pm to 8.00. The third day it should be from 8.00 pm to 9.30 pm. The fourth day it can be from 9.30 pm to 11.00 pm.

But the most important part is that the CEB should inform the public about the power cut time table in advance on the previous day. They never do it now. They upload the time table very late. All the other State bodies connected to the time table make everything possible to delay this announcement!

The other change is changing the starting time and ending time slightly during examination periods. The power cut time table should start at 5.00 pm or 5.30 pm and end at 11.00 pm or 11.30 pm. The third change that should be done is increasing the sets (groups) and decreasing the power cut time durations. There should be more than five sets and the time duration of one set should be limited to one hour.

The other most important factor is implementing the power cut time table without being biased towards the VVIPs. Sometimes it is observed that the CEB implements the same power cut times one week after another for some areas and some other areas, especially in and around Colombo do not experience any power cuts at all. Equality should be ensured without giving various excuses and without making people angry.

Making a small change in the power cut schedule is something that can be done very easily and informing the public on time is not a special duty which needs a lot of time, money and labour. Only the genuine desire to serve the fellow citizens is required to do it. There should be a clear limit and punishment for pure ignorance. They are not babies. The country knows the time tables of all main examinations a month prior to each examination.

On the other hand the children and parents can adjust themselves for the power cuts simply because cutting power is beyond the control of themselves. Parents can help children by accompanying them to walk a short distance to a location with some relatives or friends who have a different power cut schedule. Then children can avoid the power cut time on specific days. This can be done because the variation of power cut times differ from one section to another within a very small area. It is a walking distance. For example when I experience power cuts, my aunt’s home located 250 metres away in a different lane does not have power cuts.

The other thing children can do is waking up early in the morning and sleeping early. Nowadays children sleep very late and wake up very late. It is not good for human health. Using power cuts to have dinner and relax is another good choice for the children sitting for the G.C.E. Advanced Level Examination these days because it is less than one and a half hours.

But nothing can be done instantly like preparing and eating instant noodles. Parents and children are not tube lights which take some time to switch on. They know their examination time tables in advance and they have time to make arrangements such as informing relations and friends about their visit, preparing their own time table and plan. What is required is attention and enthusiasm. Nothing else.

The ignorance and irresponsibility of Sri Lankans are now on display. Maybe the majority of parents did nothing to find out a possible solution/solutions for the uninterrupted power supply for their children who sit for the G.C.E. Advanced Level Examination. They knew that there would be power cuts because power cuts started a long time ago. There will be power cuts in the future as well. Maybe Sri Lanka stands here today facing this pathetic situation due to the ignorance and irresponsibility of themselves and not only due to the fault of the corrupt politicians.



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