THIS IS A COPY OF THE E-MAIL THAT I SENT TO THE HONORABLE HRD MINISTER, Mr. KAPIL SIBAL ON 3rd NOVEMBER,2010 AND AM YET TO GET A CLARIFICATION IN THE FORM OF A REPLY TO MY QUERIES.IF YOU ALL AGREE WITH MY VIEWS THEN PLEASE SHARE IT WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND IF NOT THEN YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO! I LEAVE IT YOUR DISCRETION. BUT IT 'HAPPENS SO' IS NOT A SOLUTION TO THIS PROBLEM--THAT IS IF YOU ACCEPT IT TO BE A PROBLEM. IN ANY CASE, WE CAN AT LEAST TRY TO BRING SOME CHANGE FOR THE GOOD. BECAUSE THIS EDUCATION SYSTEM AFTER WHAT IT CLAIMS ITSELF TO BE, LEAVES A LOT TO BE DESIRED AS I GET TO SEE IN COLLEGE WITH MY STUDENTS. EDUCATION IF IT HAS TO BE EDUCATION IN THE REAL SENSE, IT HAS TO BE MORE VALUE ADDED--MORAL VALUES AND NOT COMMERCIAL. AND IF MY MESSAGE DOESN'T APPEAL TO YOU THEN I AM SORRY TO HAVE CONSUMED YOUR TIME.
First and foremost my warm Diwali greetings to you and your family. Hope you have a great year.
In my introduction I would only like to state that I am a teacher (NET qualified) of Organic Chemistry…trying to help out the students of Class X to MSc. And would like to request you not to delete it before going through it in its entirety…as it normally happens. Being a teacher has it demerits…we try to explain too much!
Now coming straight to the reason behind this mail of mine…it is the confidence you have instilled in us with some real soul-searching as far as revamping the education system in our country. As far as I can remember this is the first time some concrete steps (apparent) are being taken in this direction. I congratulate you for that and thank you as well.
Drawing confidence from your efforts I would like to state the following…in fact glaring lacunae in the format of CBSE curriculum…even at the elementary level. I know with years of neglect preceding (with no disrespect intended to your predecessors), it is not possible to rectify all the faults simultaneously, but still being a teacher and a responsible citizen of the country I feel it my duty to point out the follies…as no system can be absolute and the moment we start to live in a fool’s paradise, not feeling the need for improvement, we are doomed.
You have every right to dismiss my petition but I would be grateful…and I am sure, guardians of innumerable students too would echo the same feeling who are not able to protest directly fearing the backlash.
I as a teacher feel that education should be fun… learning while retaining an element of fun. Only then studies would not be repulsive…a job that that hence needs to be done perforce and not spontaneously. And we as teachers should not confine our responsibilities to the confines of the syllabi. Our job is to shape the overall growth of students…so that when they move out in the competitive arena they are capable of looking after themselves professionally as well as at the personal level. But for that they would have to derive joy from their studies…look forward to their books, which unfortunately is not the case.
I enumerate the peculiarities in the system and would be extremely happy to know the reason why they came into being and are persisted with.
(i) What is the logic behind goading the students with the elaborate project works?
It is the guardians who complete them…as the students have to study (which is more important) and their ‘study load’—class work and homework doesn’t spare them the time for such irrelevant projects. I know there is relevance in assigning those projects…but what if the students are not in a position to do them?
We in our student days used to have class work wherein these projects were carried out…instead of the present format when it is goaded as homework…and we learned from them.
Mere intentions do not help. The feasibility of the approach needs to be considered.
(ii) Students are given ‘drawing’ tasks in all imaginable and unimaginable subjects…from Sanskrit to English to Hindi…none is spared when the students do not have time to spare.
Why this ridiculous system? What is the point, barring allowing the teachers to wile time, instead of teaching?
(iii) What is the point in conducting tests almost as a continuum?
This spoils the natural momentum for learning and not only that, students thus have become only concerned about studying for their exams and passing, with not even an iota of interest shown towards real learning.
(iv) And after all this they--majority of them, thus allowing generalisation-- draw a blank when they go for their undergraduate studies, barely three months after their qualifying Class 12th exams
Well, this is the effect on the students in general…and exceptions are bound to be there to prove the rule.
Under the circumstances, I have certain queries:
(a) Do we want to churn out morons?
I know statistical corroboration I cannot provide but don’t you feel that is what we are ‘manufacturing’ as an offspring of this system?
(b) Do we need Jack-of-all-trades or specialists?
I know you are in favour of the latter, going by your interview in The Times of India, Ascent, dated 3rd November, 2010.
(c) Can’t we make the system pro-students?
(d) Furthermore, in my blog “Intentions vs Repercussions” I have mentioned the possibility of the CCE being misused by the teachers.
The guardians are fed up with the present structure but cannot protest as there three outcomes of it. First is the plea of the school authorities that they are bound by the CBSE format. Second is the harsh reality wherein the guardians are asked to take away their wards from the school if they are so dissatisfied. Last but not the least, the ward of the protesting guardian has to face the wrath as a backlash.
Sir, is this becoming of educational institutions? If this and the present format of curriculum continue without any further changes in this context, we shall continue to have qualified but not educated subsequent generations. Do we want such a progress for our country?
I know I might have over-stepped my limits but being a teacher and given the fact that you have taken the issue of reforming the education system so very seriously I couldn’t control myself…in spite of people telling me “It would be of no use”. At least this gives me some satisfaction of having tried to do something…even if by merely writing to the right person. Still, if the contents of my mail have in anyway offended you, it has been completely unintentional and I am extremely sorry for that.
I earnestly hope that my plea would be read, considered and the necessary actions, as per your discretion would be mulled… and executed subsequently.
In this regard, if you want any more suggestions (which I don’t think you would need, given a wonderful team that must be working with you) I would try my level best.
With warm regards,