northern lights

northern lights

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

thoughts on education

Recently my maiden book 'Reverse Gear'was released. I got comments from most of my friends in the form of  appreciation,suggestions and of course some positive criticisms. A good friend ,without any prejudice  asked me," Madam, in your long  career you did not come across a single person who did not pain you or was against you?  No mention has been made in the book about any person with whom you had differences."This comment set me thinking.My motto has always been "I praise loudly; I blame softly."This is the principle that I liberally utilised in   my career  and my book reflects that philosophy. Moreover the book is my autobiography(?) and not a tool to mend others ways.I am reminded of a famous couplet of the poet Kabir,"Bura jo dekhan mein chala bura na miliya koye,Jo man khojia aapna mujhse bura naa koye."Translated in English it means"I went in search of a bad guy, but I did not come across any bad person. When I  pondered, I  found that there was no one as bad as me." How ever  as an educationist I met several persons  who were not very enthusiastic  to display exemplary qualities of workmanship but were content in the dictum, 'sab chalta hai.'
 Today when I look back I am pained to see that there are  hardly any teachers of the calibre of  Dr.Radhakrishnan or  Dr Zakir Hussein.Slowly and surely   a downward trend is visible.The Schools boast of good result only due to the sincerity and hard work of a handful of teachers. Let me describe a scene from an average school. The school bell  rings.The Principal is unconcerned.She is engrossed in discussing the price of a shawl which a teacher has worn for the first time.The late comers are enjoying the tete-a-tete.The day starts on a  very casual note.The morning assembly, which is a solemn affair is taken casually. The classes start.  Within a few minutes the Principal summons three teachers from their classes and gives them orders to complete the budget, which has to be submitted to the Head office on that day. These teachers are required to assist the office clerk. After an hour or so another set of  teachers are seen heading towards the Principal's office.  These teachers have to go the market to purchase a gift for  one of the staff members, who was to retire  shortly. This sort of orders are repeated every day. Now have a look at  at the actual class room teaching. Its a History  class. The pupils are given directions."open your books on page---.Now start reading one by one" (Tu Padh Method) The Teacher  herself is enjoying the scene out side. Suddenly she says"some people have entered the Principal's office" Two pupils are directed to go outside and find out  their identity and what refreshment was being served to them.  She again addresses another pupil and asks her where did she have her hair styled' It is time for the period to be over. All of a sudden she says,'Children  thus the whole tea was thrown into the sea.This was the Boston Tea Party'.The period comes to an end .The teacher writes in her diary that she taught Boston Tea Party to the class.
  The scene described above is not any piece of imagination. It is a reality.The scenario is not very different today. Many teachers are  giving tutions  out side school hours. On reaching School they are exhausted and go to sleep in the  staff room or where ever they find place.(in 2nd shift schools), Even the Principal has a word of sympathy for them.After the introduction of CCE(continuous comprehensive evaluation) the things have gone from bad to worse.This scheme envisages that the performance of the pupils will be  continuously evaluated on the basis of not only the  text book knowledge, but all round development of a child.The aim is to cover both the scholastic and and the co-scholastic achievements of the pupils.The assessment of the child's  progress  is made by giving them projects in and out of the classroom. No marks are to be given. Instead evaluation is done by giving Grades.The objective of the scheme is  very appreciable.But  alas, in practice it has not been accepted  in the same enthusiastic spirit  in which it was formulated. The good Schools have taken up the responsibility  very creditably.But the masses have given a good bye to teaching. The teachers and the taught both are nurturing the fact all the children will be up graded to the next class.This is a negative approach, but unfortunately  this is true.not that all Schools are complacent .There are many Schools  which are taking  great interest and  and thriving to make the best of this scheme. But they are only in a minority. It is learnt that that the Govt. is taking concrete steps to revise the scheme., which will remove all loopholes.If you take a neutral view, the scheme  can be very effective in developing the personality of a child.This a healthy sign. Let us hope that the revised version is announced soon and enables our school children start a march towards   perfection.Long live our country!!



  1. so true, ushaaunty.. this grading system is so bad, i cant understand the assessments done.

  2. The problem with current education system is that it too has been communalised,it is being seen and taken as business.
    It is time,commercialisation of education is stopped

  3. It seems,at Networked blogs,you have not yet claimed ownershipyet.
    Check your page,left bottomasks you to claim