(This is set to the music of Chivaraku Migiledi, a beautiful song from the movie Mahanati) १ कौम को, क्या हुआ, क्यों हवा, जल रही, धर्म क्यों, सर चढा, हर बशर, क्यों खुदा, आंधियां, वो चली, जिन्दगी, बुझ गयी, सोचते, … Continue reading कालजयी

The Cult of Exams


I read today’s The Hindu Op-Ed ‘Beyond the Pass-Fail Binary‘ with interest. It talks about why discussing No-Detention Policy in isolation is a disservice to RTE act, and what the real problem is.

A paragraph there hit me particularly hard:

[…] Exams have a tendency to become the only motivation for learning. All educated Indians are thoroughly conditioned to believe that “no exams, no learning”. This belief is easily transferred to children in a system that has almost no idea of the joy of learning in itself.

My elder daughter wanted to skip the school today, many of the students had done the same the day before in her class. We refused, and she was visibly unhappy.It is exam time in her school, and everyone in her class is preparing for it, and she wants to do the same by skipping school!  Continue reading “The Cult of Exams”

Education is dying, and I am letting it die.

When I think of my education, I think 3 things made it worthwhile for me:

  1. Teachers who gave me space to learn at my own pace
  2. Curriculum (NCERT)that aroused curiosity and provided means to satisfy it
  3. Mentors and guides who taught without teaching – teachers, parents, seniors, friends, well-wishers

When I look at my child’s education, I find all 3 are missing:

  1. Teachers are under too much stress to complete the prescribed curriculum in the midst of myriad of activities a modern school gets involved in (song and dance competitions, events to generate PR, programmes to woe new ‘customers’) for a classroom with 40-60 students!
  2. Curriculum is replaced by content of mediocre quality (at least in lower classes) and misplaced focus on grades and competitive exams of all kinds (there are more olympiads in Indian schools than you can count)!
  3. Social connect with people is shrinking so much that there is no opportunity anymore to interact and learn, from your neighbor’s dad, your doodhwala or rickshaw-wala, ever-enthusiastic dadaji, or that ‘bhaiya who studies in IIT’!

Continue reading “Education is dying, and I am letting it die.”

A lesson on how to lose a heritage – Alwar City Palace

We went to visit Dadhikar Fort at Alwar over the weekend. It was a great experience, even though it rained most of the time due to the unseasonal rain due to some western disturbances. Since we were on outskirts of Alwar, we decided to pay a visit to nearby famous places, and Alwar City Palace came up when looking on tripadvisor. This is the story of my experience of that visit.

GPS guided us almost to the exact place. When we were about 200 m away, we asked for directions to the city palace. The person assumed we were asking for Sariska City Palace (which was about 29 kms from there!). When we clarified, he pointed us to a turn an asked us to park in the district court parking area. We entered the court parking area, enjoying the fact that our visit to the city palace would be smooth after all since there was no visitor in sight. Continue reading “A lesson on how to lose a heritage – Alwar City Palace”