A friend of mine was almost in tears after she took the last Citizenship Examination on December 31. She was sure that she did not pass again and she said that the third time the exam has to be oral which makes her more nervous since she is better at reading and comprehending English than speaking it. She was wringing her hands. I stood watching her not knowing what to say.
My feeble response was that perhaps against all odds she has passed the exam. I told her if she does not pass she has to try even harder because it is important to her. She has no passport, no travel documents to leave the country, a Canadian passport is her only hope and that appears to make her even more desperate.
I could offer to coach her but she does not have time to attend classes. She works at two jobs trying to keep her family fed and clothed. I tried to tell her please don't jump the gun to wait till she gets the result and perhaps it would not be a bad thing for her to start revising all the questions again so that she would be better prepared if she has to do it again.
I know when I took the test, it was easy but English is my first language and I am university educated so perhaps that's my advantage. She is not very literate in her own language but is expected to pass a test which many Canadian born citizens may not be able to pass.
Why is the government making it so hard for people to become citizens? It's not like they will remember all the stuff they are made to cram after the exam is over! I think there should be a simple test that everyone could pass and that there should not be a pass/fail result in these kinds of tests. The test of citizenship I believe is how loyal can you be to your new country, will you be willing to defend its honor, will you obey the laws of the country, will you vote in elections, if not why? Will you be a credit to this nation? These are at the heart of citizenship. It's not about knowing the geography, the politics and the history. Of course all newcomers should have an orientation which includes the history of Canada and of the relevant province, the political structure, economic base and the cultural base of the land.