Thursday, August 15, 2013

Without comment again

And some people tell me this is a worldwide phenomenon now...

(many thanks to Subhadip Dutta for sending me the cartoon)


Rajdeep said...

Relaxed education policies with lighter curriculum is followed in many countries, especially developed ones.
Yes, you are right that it is a "worldwide" phenomenon. Though I am not so much for using the word "worldwide" or the more fashionable "global!" in this context.
My reason is the same as for TV ads. The famous television companies claim that their televisions are sold "all over the world" although only a fraction of the people have the capability to buy such high end products. I understand it is just a way of saying.
Well, many people in the world cannot afford this sort of education. I wonder why we cannot have a middle way. Either we have teachers who cane and abuse children or we have a system where the student has to be pampered all the time and the teachers live in fear of complaints. Most teachers in developed countries wouldn't dare to discipline children for fear of a lawsuit. I think the root of the problem lies with children being encouraged to do whatever they "want" from the age of five. Do they really know what they want at that age? Shouldn't they rather try their hands at as many things as they can and learn to enjoy doing a few of them, as well as realize that some things must be done even though they may not "like" them so much.
A five year old kid may have an interest in painting. S/he paints and only paints. Well, at the age of ten the child may realize that painting is not the only thing in life or that s/he doesn't have the talent to be a great painter or, more humbly speaking, make a living by it. What then? How to make up for the years lost? I know many people who wanted to be something and ended up as something else. That can be justified by rationalizing that whatever one has learned will come of some use in some way somewhere. That the dots will somehow connect when one looks backwards. That is why I believe that children should study everything they can at least till 18 and then decide what they want to do. But this kind of thinking is considered primitive these days. So the education system churns out students who do as they like, and when they step out into the real world, realize that many of them stand nowhere and have to do things they thought they didn't like doing because they have to make a living somehow. At that stage in life, it is very difficult to change things, unlearn and relearn. Self help experts will claim that one can be anything that their heart desires. Imagine a world where all people had the same talent. For example, if everyone was an Einstein or everyone was a Gandhi, then they would never be considered great men but just another one in the crowd. Also, to expect an average human being to live a super human life is nothing short of bullying through social/ peer pressure. After all, till date, there has been only one Einstein and one Gandhi. And my standard question to all such self help experts even though they have written dozens of best sellers, is: Why didn't you become like that then and lead the way before preaching others to do the same?
These are some of the philosophical questions regarding values and our systems that have come to my mind at times. I haven't found answers to them but they provide much food for thought and in my humble opinion some of the causes of our current problems.

Sayan Datta said...

Sometimes I think what teachers (the well meaning, honest ones) are up against. I should know exactly what the cartoon says from direct, personal experience.

For students and their parents I can only say that not everything is instant coffee and there are a certain few things that don't just have a price, but value. I don't know when people are going to realize that, if ever. Sometimes I do think that things are indeed going to get worse before they get better and yet I take my hats off to those teachers who work for some kind of betterment or other and don't let the filth cling to them. Few understand that it's not an easy thing to do.

For teachers, I can only say that don't listen to anyone who is not also a teacher. No one, who hasn't faced the yawns and titters and giggles when in the midst of explaining something interesting, has any right to tell you how to conduct your classes.

Sunandini Mukherjee said...

Dear Sir,
It is indeed sad that now teachers[in the true sense of the term]are held responsible for the bad grades of their pupils.This not only illustrates how lazy and irresponsible most students themselves are towards their learning but also shows the ever-increasing obsession with grades.Teachers,it seems,are supposed only to deliver notes,explain those notes,go through every bit of rubbish that their pupils write[which is also sometimes illegible]and above all give the highest marks possible.How else can the recent cases of students detaining and harrassing teachers for promotion be explained?My sister-in-law is a teacher of the school in Santoshpur where the girl-pupils locked the gates to detain teachers as a protest against the school's decision of not allowing certain girls sit for the final examination.What I learnt from her was really sad-the girls simply did not bother to study but they wanted grades nevertheless;it was after all a matter of one's prestige!Most of the present pupils of my mother complain that she is very strict and that she fills their answer scripts with red ink.This is however not the same with the older students who admit that they were weak in studies and that the teacher evaluated strictly sothat they might improve themselves.And I agree with Sayan da-most parents do not care to help out their children with the daily lessons,neither can they surmise the difficulties that a sincere teacher faces in a class.

Shalini Dutta said...

Dear sir,
I actually think this is true, because just the other day , as I was returning home from school I heard that a child was talking to his mother.
child: I got 43 in maths
mother: did you check your paper properly?... i am sure that the teacher has done some mistake...

This made me astonished because I found that no scolding was showered upon him...only the teacher wAS blamed.....
Yours sincerely
Shalini Dutta(Class 10)
Carmel School,MAMC