Sunday, January 3, 2010

Hollowness of our education system

The latest in the news is the war of words between the producers of 3 Idiots and Chetan Bhagat. Now the controversy is not what interest me because every sane person knows that all this is media hype created to generate public interest in the movie. Sadly this is one movie which did not need such pathetic publicity because the movie is actually good.Now what was in it that i liked. Many things- the cast, the script (which never let u blink), the story , the narration, witty one liners etc etc. But what impressed me the most was the message. Bookish knowledge can lead one nowhere. Unfortunately that is what we are churning out in lakhs every year- Bookworms. Bacon in his essay 'Of studies' says 'Some books are to be tasted, some to be chewed while some to be swallowed and digested.' He further highlights the importance of practical experience to use that knowledge to the utmost. But unfortunately majority of students are running only after marks. Ask them to do something beyond their syllabus then they will run away with a ready excuse 'Ye hamare kis kaam ka?' (Of what use is this to us?)I don't blame them. Our education system is such that it does encourage them to think out of the box.On top of that they are burdened with their useless assignments( i call them useless because its only cut-copy-paste stuff) and outdated projects( out dated because most of them copy the projects of their seniors and present them. They do not even try to modify it or upgrade it). They do this because they carry marks not because it will be helpful to them in any way. I have rarely seen teachers encouraging their students to try out something new and even if a few of them do, the students don't have time!!!!!!!!!

Every coin has two sides. We blame the education system. So easy. Put the blame on others. But one look in the life of GREATS who have made a name for themselves shows that 'they took the path less travelled'.They were also a part of the same rotten system and yet they did what they wanted to. In fact look at the character of Aamir Khan in the movie and you find that he was able to achieve his dream and at the same time also completed his degree. That's because he loved what he studied. He was passionate about engineering. He WANTED to LEARN, learn NEW things even if it meant studying in a college where the professors still used outdated methods of teaching. I feel the youngsters should take half the blame for what they do with their life.

I take personality development classes in my college and only 3-4% students attend those classes because they know these classes do not carry marks. They don't have to take an examination for it. We take trouble of making these classes interesting for them so that at least they will learn what is actually required in the industry. And the unfortunate part is that most of them them do not know how to present themselves properly , converse properly and most important dress properly. They feel these things don't matter!!!!!!!

I hope what I have not been able to impart to these students movies like 3 Idiots will. Hope it opens up the 'out of the box' thinking in the students.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Chetan Bhagat's Two States

Well thats the novel I read recently. To be honest I had a lot of expectations from the writer of Five point someone. But after reading the novel I felt it was run of the mill stuff. Infact it was as if I was watching a Bollywood movie. No doubt the novel highlights the problems people face when they love someone from the other caste or state but the way the protagonist wins over the love of his in-laws was too movie like. There may be plenty of youngsters who face similar situations in life. They love but it never culminates into marriage. The reason being parents. I fail to understand when two mature people decide to spend the entire life with each other, why others interfere or stop them. Why is age, status, caste and money more important than feelings? Do these things decide the future happiness of a person? Can two people belonging to the same caste and community only live happily? Can a girl coming from a filthy rich family ensure the happiness and success of a boy after marriage?
Here I am not supporting love marriage or going against arranged marriage. It hardly matters whether a marriage is arranged or love , what matters is the happiness of the two people who will spend the entire live with each other and on whom the success or failure oa a relationship depends.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

An accident or a mistake??

Often one reads about various road accidents that happen on the roads. Infact they have become so frequent that one hardly bothers to read the details unless it involves someone known to us. Yesterday one such accident took place and a 17 year old budding engineer of this country lost his life. The accident and its impact forces me to write about our morals or should I say a lack of it. In olden days a tragedy in one house was a tragedy in every household.But the modern generations believes in just the opposite.It was seen in the attitude of the students. Most of them came to know about the tragic accident of their collegemate and immediately there were strings of sms asking if the next day would be a holiday. They wanted to confirm whether there would be any classes the next day. And when confirmed many decided not to turn up for the condolence service. Yes there were many who wailed and grieved for their friend and even went to console the family members, but what about the students who boarded the bus and midway when came to know about the tragedy got off the bus. What about those who whispered 'kya yaar' and 'uff' 'faltu college aaye' when asked to stand for two minutes of silence.

Where is our empathy? Why are we becoming so insensitive to others feelings?

I sometimes feel we are not imparting anything to our students. I feel ashamed to see such attitude of my students.We are just making them literates not humans with values.Tried to discuss it with different people and maximum of them said that 'Aaj kal ki generation hi aisi hai'(the present generation is like this). I would like to ask why. Where are we lacking as gurus. Why is it that we feel only when we or our near and dear one suffers.

I feel clueless...