Tuesday, 29 November 2011

What The Educationalists Don't Know About Education!

The call for educational reforms has grown a lot recently. But beyond the system-bashing and criticism, precious little has been said about what these reforms should be. I will present my view, in the form of a few fables that drive home my point.

I'll start with a story of a monkey named Hoop-hoop. When he was a kid...oh sorry I changed the animal, a baby, he was caught and taken to a zoo. A bad zoo it was, he hated it. They gave him food, taught him to dance and what not ! After a few years, the animal rights guys came and set him free in a jungle. Initially he was happy, till he realised he didn't know how to climb and jump between trees! He didn't know anything about the one thing he would be dealing with, the rest of his life!
I am talking about money management. Frankly, you deal with money more than you shit in your life! And if you are not taught about it, education is bullshit! Monkey-poop if you may, but poop all the same!

You must be knowing, that cuckoos drop their eggs in crows' nests. The crows raise them like their own until they realise and then drive away the young cuckoo. I knew about this dumb crow, as dumb as our educationalists, who never realised that the cuckoo wasn't like him. He kept on raising it. The cuckoo actually learned to crow a bit ! But it was a poor crow after all.
Arts. These are the things which make you human. They define you. If you teach the kids to disregard them, they will. And you will keep producing one crow after another. No cuckoos, or nightingales, or sparrows!

I met a Lion after I had seen him in a circus. "Hey! Next time I'll come back to see more tricks from you!", I said. "More tricks?", he shot back, "that was all I can do!". Shocked, I asked, "But you are a Lion!". "Exactly!", he said, "I am a Lion.". A Lion is the king of the jungle. His majesty, his power and his ruthlessness make you tremble in awe. But a Lion's a poor clown!
People often don't realise that sports are as important as, or even as difficult as academics, especially in India. If we did, we wouldn't probably be wondering about why countries small enough to be flooded by all of India's pee win more medals than us at the Olympics.

I was walking by the road when I came across a calf eating plastic bags off the perennially-overflowing dustbins. When I warned her against it, she said, "My momma didn't tell me anything about it!". Then I went to her momma, and she said the same! None of the cattle seemed to know that it was real bad for them to be eating plastic!
Health. The one thing everyone should not only know about, but be taught to give importance to.

Before ending with one last tale, I'll list the few objectives that education must achieve if we are to call it as education:
1) To develop logical and analytical thinking.
2) To imbibe good values and morals.
3) To teach kids important life-skills.
4) To make them aware of all worldly skills, help them understand their liking and support their growth within it.

One last tale before I sign off for some time again:
There lived a weapons-scholar in the border town of the kingdom of a great king. He knew so much about them that people revered him. One day the neighbouring empire attacked the town. The scholar jumped in the battle, but all it took to kill him was one swipe of the sword. The reason? He had never fought with a sword in his entire life. Is it really so difficult to understand that theoretical, and not practical education should be supplementary?


  1. not bad ha... :)
    Ways 2 implement these or any other reforms in education pattern of india will be an interesting discussion....

  2. Thanks Mayur! Yes I have thought about that too. Will love to discuss it, and maybe if I can find good ways I'll write another article!