Tuesday, February 05, 2008

education redux!

this post was prompted by a comment from 'thinking aloud' and a post by amit varma in 'india uncut'.

the most common comment i hear when people (usually the ones without kids) are debating about our education system is that 'it sucks' and that it needs to be completely revamped! and that this system does not generate leaders and that it smothers the creativity of the children!

i beg to differ!

school days were the best days of my life! though i used to count down to my vacations when in school and then count down for the first day of school during my vacations.

and we learnt our lessons in life, both, inside and outside school. and the manner in which we learnt most of the basic concepts in math and science are being abhorred today. but i'll never ever forget my multiplication tables which we used to chant by rote between periods (i mean, between the class-room sessions. that's what we used to call them, so don't blame me!). and i'll also never forget the fact that if the blue litmus turns red then the liquid is acidic. (my friends taught me the mnemonic 'bra' - blue-red-acidic)!

and i remember having this major crush on this one teacher. this was then later redirected at her daughter. you think that was being fickle? well how about this girl who i sent a note to (i think it was poetic version of 'can we be friends'?) who wrote back saying that she found my friend cute! now that's what i call fickle! (just a case of sour grapes, i know. so don't rub it in.)

this was also around the time when i suddenly discovered my love for music and choral singing. i was not able to convince my friends that it had nothing to do with the fact that the practice sessions were held in the girls' convent across the street! philistines and uncouth they were, my friends.

i definitely got a well-rounded education through this education system (though my wife will say that i need to lose a few pounds around my waist and around my head!). and i'm none the worse for it!


Gazal said...

well well...is it a coincidence a teacher is the first one to comment.
the issue deserves a long debate and the manner and angle of debate is applaudable....
i do give the kids pneumonics to memorize things,but this one beats all the rest.will think of all possible places it can be used and of course after that i'll be sitting outside the school gates .

shru said...

Lol.. u seem to have a different reason for loving school days :P

Thinking aloud said...

sigh...how did i get dragged into this begging to differ thing...

This debate i like..I went to 4 different schools in as many cities and each was priceless in what they didn't teach

BUT...coming to the 'real' schooling aspect...today's kids have a rough deal...kids by class 7are shuttling from tutions to sports activities to music classes all to win that race...

Guruprasad said...

@gazal : you better not such mnemonics with your kids! you'll be a big hit with them, but i'm sure thats not the kind of attention you want!

@shru : i wonder how you deduced that :P

@TA : i agree with you about all kids being made to go through the grind of numerous classes today just to win that race!
there was something beautiful someone said to a group of parents waiting for the results of a contest to be announced - the children are eager and the parents are anxious!

Satyadarshini said...

Guru, yes its actually being realized slowly...
I am glad things I used to strongly believe in "my country" "indian music" and "indian education" are getting their due attention now..:)

I remember I was with in the client place..and my other Indian colleagues started off with how Indian education sucks...and I argued back how I totally disagree...the client was actually impressed..and these guys were giving me the glares ;-)

Another thing I found...ppl when they travel truly feel how their country sucks in all ways..and though I would love to enjoy the place I have travelled to..I dont find myself any lesser..or my country that I am so proud of..

I should stop before the comment gets longer than the post...;-)

Guruprasad said...

@ satyadarshini : that's exactly how i also feel about this. had written a post about this earlier. check it out here - http://guruprasad.blogspot.com/2006/11/im-amazed-at-investors.html

Anonymous said...

Came across your blog by chance.
Just wanted to tell you the 'bra' mnemonic was the way I learnt it too. I even had a 'dra'...denser to rarer away from normal (light refraction)..
This is the way we remembered the spelling for 'ass ass i nation'..gadhey ke oopar gadhey, gadhey ke oopar mein, mere oopar desh.
Great post !! When ppl go bashing the Indian educational system, refreshing to see a contrary view.

Guruprasad said...

@nikhila : i loved the gadha mnemonic :)
glad you dropped in. do keep dropping in.