Posts

Showing posts from March, 2017
Image
A lesson on Values.
“Let us organise an event in the village with the help of the students to raise awareness” responded the teacher in response to a query by an anxious parent. Student enrollment in this school was declining alarmingly. I was following a conversation between a parent and the teacher on the issue of dwindling school enrollment. One might be forgiven for thinking: Why on Earth does a parent care about the school enrollment of a government school? We will come to this question in a bit, but it is interesting to note that this question is puzzling not just parents and teachers but even governments!
Regardless of the continuing philosophical debates over the merits of public and private education, the trend is there for all to see. Private schools and educational institutions are on a steam roll. Just to rest the case in point, Wayanad, where I am based, a tribal district of Kerala, has almost 40 per cent children aged 6 to 14 enrolled in the private schools according to th…
Padhana Veedu.......a narrative.
There were fifteen kids aged six to twelve along with the local facilitator and I squatting on a dimly lit porch. Each one of them held a notebook and a pencil/pen in their hand. Some of them had to be cajoled out of their home and still others were escorted from the play ground. It had been ten minutes since were sitting idly. The facilitator, a locally appointed teacher, is attending a phone call. Children curiously ask my name and they smile on hearing my name. Perhaps, is rather odd that a male should have a feminine sounding name. 
Giggling went on for five minutes until the facilitator returns. He opened one notebook and scribbled vowels in Malayalam and instructed the child to copy. Next he opened another notebook and wrote few single digit addition problems. The elder girls requested him if they could sing instead. While they sang the rest of the kids too joined in the chorus. The singing session abated after fifteen minutes. The songs had rhythm…