Friday, June 27, 2008

The Day Of Results...

Finally the SSC results have been declared, while some are engulfed by attention from all corners (be it the media for the toppers or the parents and relatives of those who have scored rather well), we should not forget those who go unnoticed, those ‘average’ ones, the rest of the 16 lakh who have scraped through or have managed a fair score.
This year, like the past few years has thrown out into the limelight a few select ‘heroes’ (I should say, the SSC is nothing less than a battle…)

We have the state and divisional toppers who are the ‘heroes of the day’ without doubt.

There is the 20 yr-old Night-school topper Manojkumar Singh, who completed his SSC after missing out 4 years of school (because he was abducted)

We have Manali Naik the girl topper from Handicapped Category as well as overall city topper at second position.

We also get to read about the controversy surrounding the ‘Real’ topper Teena Andrade who received extra marks for participating in state level tournaments pushing her average above the other city toppers. (This claim was ignored by the Board saying the extra marks are for Admission purpose only)

This brings us to the central issue – Is academic excellence everything? While students who spent a whole year rote learning for the exam are awarded and applauded, students like Teena, who I think represent an All-Round Development in a student, are ignored.
Moreover how many students out of these understand and remember what they studied? The scoring pattern of our SSC and HSC exams do not ensure conceptual understanding of the subject and still depend on rote learning as the staple means of study, even after the syllabus has been revised. And this fact has been repeatedly proven by the difference in the marks scored by students in HSC (marks such as 88, 92, 98 Wow!) and the entrance tests (92, 98, 100…out of 200 – Oh! What the hell happened here?!?!)
When will our Education System improve??? I think that is one question that does not have an answer.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Speaking Of Birds and Bees...

It’s been a very long time since I last blogged and I see that I have missed quite a lot of important issues worth writing about…and believe me I had a hard time resisting the urge to reach out to that keyboard and type away. However, like all teenage guys…Responsibilities took up most of my time (translated as exams were approaching and I had a LOT of studying to do…)
Anyways, when superstars like Amitabh Bacchan and Aamir Khan can blog to let out their “frustrations”, then why can’t I?
So then I was reading the news when I came across an article about Sex Education…oops I thought wrong page and swiftly turned the page…then on second thoughts…(with a quick look around me to ensure that no one was watching me…) I turned back and read it carefully. I was quite impressed by it…hats off to the author.
As the reopening dates for schools across the city draw closer…maybe it’s a little too late to do anything to induct Sex Education courses into the syllabi. But don’t we really need to think this out clearly (and by we I mean ALL of us including the Teachers, Principals, Educationists, Parents and Politicians as well…)??? Sex Education isn’t only about the body, the privates and physical relationships…it’s about growing up.
Sex Education has been developed to guide a young teen through his/her transition from childhood to adulthood…it is about how the teen can deal with the problems he/she faces with as little inconvenience to themselves and others around them…it is about how they can cope with their new role in a family, in their community and in the world, it’s about helping them to get through these tough times.
It’s high time our educationists, administrators and our parents just GROW UP about this and stop avoiding it only because the name says Sex. Our future generations need Sex Education for better mental and physical lives… and it is our duty to give it to them