Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Some reflections on education....

It seems a sham how 'education' is 'imparted', if we look at the processes at work. The child is given a concept of incompleteness and ignorance - that which he is - while shown what it is to be complete and intelligent - the parent, teacher, any professional, etc. Between ignorance and knowledge, meaning between him and his elders lie years of rigour and hard-work in acquiring knowledge, which rests, trophy-like, at a high pedestal of marks and ranks. If we look at what the act of thinking means, we would be shocked at the peril this previous idea of knowledge puts a kid in- thinking implies being aware of what most urgently concerns someone here and now, things of which one can be certain, rather than in some fanciful world sketched out in books by 'able educators'. Basically, the child learns how to impersonate, but not how to think by himself.

Though to satisfy an optimistic impulse, let me put forth an example - after years of undergoing above mentioned pedagogy, eighth standard kid Numan once asked me, "If I want to ask if the place belongs to it, should I not put an apostrophe between it and s? " I was stunned, but now I realize the significance of that question. We had pondered over sentences, finally Wren and Martin clarifying that, as convention, the apostrophe mark is not used in this case (which, of course, seems a dumb exception, now converted to a rule by itself). Nonetheless, mental activity in Numan's brain pleased me. Probably we need not be programmed like computers by the things we sense or 'know' daily, and probably our mental capacities are not like youth, which keeps diminishing every second we think about it.

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