When I think of my education, I think 3 things made it worthwhile for me:
- Teachers who gave me space to learn at my own pace
- Curriculum (NCERT)that aroused curiosity and provided means to satisfy it
- 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:
- 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!
- 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)!
- 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’!