Don’t You Think “Indian Education System” Needs a big revamp
Dear Mr. Vij, thank you!
It has taken me all these years to get down to expressing my gratitude; but as they say, better late than never. So here I am today, Sir, saying all that I’ve always wanted to but never had the valour too.
Thank you, Mr. Vij, for cramming up all those books inside me, one after another, against my wish…much against my wish. In fact, I think I owe you readers a little detail here. Here goes:
It was during my early teens that I was made to study the theory of a certain Greek mathematician, Mr. Pythagoras. Remember the a2 + b2 = c2 razzmatazz? It has been decades since, and I’m yet to put the theorem to any kind of practical, real-life use. You were the reason, Mr Pythagoras that I was thrown out of the class. All I had done was to ask my math teacher, Ms Paul, a simple question, ‘How is this theorem going to help me in life, madam?’ I was all of 13; how could she?
His name was J.P. Sharma, and he was nothing short of a terrorist. He also taught Chemistry in our school. Such was his terror that I still remember all the elements of the Periodic table, in the right sequence of their atomic numbers; right from Hydrogen to Hassium (Yeah, they were 108 then; buggers multiply fast). The best and the only use I’ve put this knowledge to yet is, when I won a bet from my friends and recited the entire table. Mr Sharma, HCL+H2SO4+NaCl+N2S56U7Z19 to you!
The most fun I had was in the arts class; and unfortunately, that has turned out to be the biggest disappointment. I’m sorry Mr Rawat, but you lied to me. Every time you taught me to colour inside the line; and being an obedient student that I was, I took it to be true and taught myself to do just that, colour inside the lines. What you didn’t tell me, sir, is that the life works exactly the opposite way. Here, in order to succeed, one has to think Out of the box. Outside, Mr Rawat; not inside.
I have a distinctively vague memory (I know it’s an oxymoron; but then, so is life) of Ms. Dixit, my biology teacher. A young, beautiful woman she was. Now, don’t get freaked out, but I think Sushmita Sen’s character in the movie ‘Main hu na’ was written after her. Ms Dixit, was my first crush; irrespective of the fact that always had that sadist smile on her luscious pink lips while dissecting a frog. She taught me all about plant phyla and amoebas; and do I use it daily? Well…
Which year did Mahmud Ghazni invade India first? What? Did you forget? How could you? Do you even realise how deeply that fact affects our daily lives today? No? Let me tell how…it doesn’t. Who the hell cares anymore? Why would I want to know what Shahjahan had for dinner on 3rd May 1603; or what colour underwear did Chandragupt Maurya liked the most? They’re all gone, dead, over and done with. Move on, man, move on.
Having ridiculed almost all the subjects taught in school, I know right now I must sound like a delusional fool to many of you. But let me tell you two facts; one, I don’t care how you feel about me; and two, I’m not finished yet, not even close.
Tell me, since the day you came out of school, how many times have you had to expand (7X-6) to the 8th power? How often do you try to find the value of that dreaded, useless letter X? Do you even remember the speed of electrons?
I think it’s about time, the Indian Education System & educationists in our country sat down and gave a deep thought about what we are teaching our kids. Isn’t school supposed to be preparing our kids for the future? If that’s true, then you should be teaching them real-life scenarios. Teach them how to file taxes, how to plant a tree, how to deal with failures, how to be happy and peaceful, how to love other human beings; teach them life.