01 August, 2015

Ignorance is bliss ?




Check out this half-a-minute video, folks...
There's this neatly turned out 6-7 year old boy. His teacher, asks him to tell the two times multiplication table (in Kannada). He gets it right till '2 x 3 = 6'. After that, he recites pure gibberish..... in the right tone!! Does he think he is telling the table correctly? Or, does he think he is hoodwinking his teacher? From the most innocent expression on his face, I think it is the former....

A couple of months ago, this video was widely shared on local Whatsapp groups. Recorded by this boy's teacher and her colleagues, I'm sure the intention was to spread some laughter..... but, somewhere along, for me, this video stops being funny!
Could be because around the same time as I saw this video, I had read an article in the newspaper. Apparently, the education minister of Karnataka, during his tours of state-run schools throughout the state, discovered that the knowledge levels of high school students were disappointing. He is now thinking of conducting some ability test for Class 7 students. It is a test for assessment only - no detaining students who perform poorly.....  That, according to me, removes all traces of seriousness from tests and exams. If there is no 'pass-fail', the proposed tests will be a futile exercise - another misuse of the taxpayer's money. 

It's not like the minister has made a discovery. It is something that citizens genuinely concerned about the dismal KQ levels in state-run schools have been telling for a long time. This survey is one such. Conducted nearly ten years ago, it is a study that matches the minister's observations. In addition, the authors have come up with practical suggestions to better the situation. One doesn't know why such opinions are ignored. Maybe, the concerned authorities prefer to be selectively ignorant....

Of course, for a balanced society, one needs all kinds of people.  And, in current times, everybody has to be reasonably literate - something that only schooling can assure.  All I can hope for is that by the time they are out of school, all kids are compatible with the three basic R s.............       

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