Sundarrajk's Weblog

Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

A good article about how science is taught with the context. It is true of all the subjects that are taught in our schools and colleges today.
Take history for example, a typical question is arrange the following events in the chronological order. How does that help any student. No way. Instead they should encourage students to debate on the pluses and minuses of the different events, probe into the psyche of the people of the different countries based on the events that occurred there.
The education should give examples from real life so that the student can become a well rounded personality. If one debates on the pluses and minuses of the different historical events one would better appreciate the good and bad of events. One could try to become a better human being by not repeating history. Instead one ends up answering questions like was Jahangir father of Akbar or vice versa which serves no purpose other than testing the memory power of the student.
Similarly for geography the students should be taken out to the fields so that they can understand the local geography and geology. They should be able to see the red clay soil if they are taught that the red clay soil is present in the Deccan plateau. The should be shown an estuary if possible and a delta of the river so that they can relate and understand better.
Similarly as rightly said the article students should be taken out to experience botany and zoology. They will be able to better understand and related if they are taken out on field trips.
A similar problem exists in the technical institutes of today. A bachelor’s degree in computers hardly means that the person can start working in the computer industry. The education is bad to begin with, which means the basics of the person are muddled and to add to it our IT companies do not have a formal concept of mentoring so that the fresh recruits can be moulded or shaped to be good to great programmers. What we have in India a bunch of Average or at best Above Average set of people who can get a software up and running with complete disregard to quality. Programming is an Art. Software cannot come out of factories (consider the movies coming out of Ram Gopal Verma’s factory). The same is true of Software being written in India. Unless driven by the client the quality is pathetic to say the least.
Hope there is an educational revolution that will change this situation and hope that the future of the current generation improves.

We as a society seem to think that reservation is the panecea for all inequivalities. Here is a editorial from The Hindu, which urges the government to pass the reservation for women in the assembly.
Nobody is bothered that we do not get quality legislators. All that we seem to be bothered about is that there are not proportional female legislators. Nobody is fighting for getting good legislators but we seem to be fighting for legislators from the ‘Backward Communities’ and from the ‘Fairer Gender’.
Why this attraction towards reservation, even after we have seen it fail to uplift the ‘Backward Communities’ after more than half a century of independence?
We rejoice at a K.R. Narayanan becoming the President of India. Why? Was he made the President because he was from the backward class? or was he made the President because he deserved to be one? Even if we elected him without bias it still is not a matter to rejoice for two reasons:
1. We should have done it in any case.
2. His daugther went on to become IFS using her caste credentials and not her capabilities.
So do we want incapably administrators, just because we have reserved 33.33 percent of the seats for women? or do we want legislators who are good, irrespective of whether they are men, women or neither?
If today women are suppressed why are they so? Is it because it is a society dominated by men? Yes to a great extent it is true that the situation today is because our society has been male dominated for eons.
So what is the solution. Did the women in the US need reservation to come up? Did the women in any other country need reservation to come up? No. What is needed is education. Women need to see that they should get elected because of their abilities. Today very few legislator’s are elected because of their ability. They are elected only because they have the muscle power or because they belong to a particular caste.
We are continuing to use caste as a means to divide ourselves. The British did that and we are continuing the hegemony. A hegemony which has led to lots of bloodshed, and lot of burnt hearts.
We do not wish to take an educated, unbiased, objective view at the situation. If we do, we will realize that only Education and objective outlook will help us redeem the situation for the women and also for the ‘Backward Castes’.