Tuesday, April 16, 2013

budding talents galore

I have been feeling a lot of things lately - as readers of the other blog will know - but humorous was not one of them. Still, I must admit people have been supplying me with things to laugh about every now and then. I notice, for instance, that the number of kids who, after ten to twelve years of schooling have virtually no grasp of spelling nor any clear idea about how to use number and tenses while constructing basic sentences is steadily on the rise, as also those who invent words like 'teached' and 'seeked' and 'catched'. And they all go to expensive private schools, mind you; also, many of them are going to land up in the so-called 'elite' engineering colleges in this country. I can name a lot of them from my own erstwhile batches.

As for knowledge of the world, here's a recent gem I discovered in a 15-year old's essay: 'Raja Rammohun Roy fought hard against the custom of sati, but it was emporer (I wasn't the one who misspelled the word) Akbar who finally abolished it. And this is one of the toppers in his class, too...

P.S., April 21: I was marking someone's essay yesterday, and I read that he was 'busy relaxing'. Speaks volumes about which way the world is going.


Sayan Datta said...

The most mediocre student during your school days Sir, would have stood first had he been a schoolboy during the time we were schoolboys, and the most mediocre student of our time would have stood first in any elite school had he been a schoolboy right now.

The fall in standards has been exponential, which is why I feel both sadness and anger when such students talk of 'astrophysics' and elite institutions! As if going to a certain place will guarantee them the whole world! And for such students, as they have no doubt learnt from their parents, it's always going to a certain place, a certain institution, and never about themselves, and never about working on themselves to better themselves.

Subhadip Dutta said...

There were samples of this kind in our time too, Sir! I am the least surprised after having read this post.

I very distinctly remember someone in class 10 writing (you had read out this sentence to us in class after you had completed correction of the answer sheets of the Pre Final Test for the class 10 students), "Since Jessica was a very obedient girl, she did not want to disobey her father's will in which he wanted to marry her even after his death...". Trust me, I will never forget this sentence in my life, and I will tell my children about it! I was in class 9 then, and I was hearing a senior who was about to appear in the ICSE, and studying in one the finest English medium schools in Durgapur, writing like this. We all had a very hearty laugh then, but sometimes when I reflect upon these things now, I become frightened, because I am not at all sure what is going to become of the next generations. It also saddens me to see that these are the people who qualify for the IITs and the IIMs after a few months of crash courses, and become what we call in Bengali 'maal' of a specific kind. I have seen them make it to the US or Germany or somewhere else, and I sometimes feel bad that I could do literally nothing - not even make a little money. The ones at whom we used to laugh in class because they could not write a single sentence in correct English are now busy 'showing' us in return what they have done. I do not know what the English speaking people have seen in them that they are hiring these people, people who cannot even communicate properly!

They hardly make good managers - a manager must know how to speak, and speak well. The reason is very obvious why Indian managers are so less in demand outside this country. These people, when they become parents, teach their children the same things that they have learnt, and their children in turn become similar 'maal's in future.


Sunandini Mukherjee said...

Dear Sir,
My mother once read out to me the English assignment of one of the girls in her class.The girl(who is the topper of the class)had put down a couple of correct facts about Amartya Sen and had then concluded the paragraph by writing 'This famous man is no more'.My mother awarded her zero out of five only to meet the parents of the 'shocked'girl the next day.The parents argued that their daughter should have been given four marks out of five because the mistake was a minor one!Again this is the kind of pupils who have 'caring' parents who bargain for marks but never bother to find what their sons or daughters are actually learning.

sayantika said...

Dear Sir,
A few days ago, I had to help my twin nieces with an essay, and to my utter dismay and shock, one of them had written, "Krishna went to Mathura to kill his uncle Kanishka." And they too are so-called 'toppers'!
Thanks and with regards,