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THE ROAD TO PERDITION

the road to perdition

Caution: This is a long post, with a doses of abuses and foul mouthers thrown in between, (fittingly and appropriately). Strictly for the grown ups only.
PS: Grown Up = Person with any age, who can THINK.
PS = Pre Script

- - - - - - - - - -
Ever been to hell? “Never”
Think again! “Never”
Think again! “Never”
Think again! “What was that?”
What is what? “That?”
Hell? “No, I know that.”
Then? “Think”
Excuse me? “What does THINK mean?”
Eh? “THINK, what does THAT mean?”
You are on the road to it! “What?"
Hell "??!"

Sounds weird? Sounds true!

+-+-+

“I am not asking you to secure First Rank or Second Rank, all I want you to get is 90% in all the subjects”. I can still hear my father from my school days. All he wanted was just 90%. Just 90%?!!!

As I wondered how to secure 90%, I barged into this glorious idea of utilizing my brains potential matched only by the 100 Terrabyte Harddisk.
Cram!

I read the first chapter of my science notebook for the first time, the second time, the third time and the fourth time. Data stored, permanently. I write my unit test. Data recovered from the Hard Disk. Data replicated on the answer paper.

I secure 25 out of 25. 100%.
I have made my dad proud! He will be happy.

“Full marks! Good.” He goes cross examining me on the test paper. I am blank. He continues “Get 40% by understanding things, rather than getting 90% or 100% without understanding”.

Looking back, it is a pity that I never fulfilled my father’s wishes. I never secured 90% in all the papers. I never secured 90% in aggregate. Worse, I flunked couple of times, miserably!

But I adhered to his words. I followed them. I understood his message. I never crammed thereafter. Thanks Appa.

+ = + = +

When a head of the nation’s leading Automobile Manufacturing Company, a proud alumni of the IIT, with great amount of pain and anguish, openly flayed the institution for producing mindless morons and declared that he had decided not recruit any further students from them, it was something really serious. (Source India Today, some two years back)

Reason, for the fat pay they are paid, the output is unabashedly copycat, lacks any degree of creativity or originality, and are not even good to maintain status quo, leave alone any progressive work.

Why is it so? It is the unidimensional education and learning process they have undergone. Starting from the entrace examination (JEE), for which their parents put them in a coaching institute (coaching factory) at the age of 12 or 13, which ensures these guys only focus on examination, find out short cuts for exams, forced to remember the formulae and forget the logic behind them.

When such is the fate of those at the best of the nation’s educational institution, lesser said about the others, better it is.

Who is to be blamed for all this?

The education system that clinically manufactures zombies with no independent thought

or


The shameless social system which is in perennial retard, that rates a student by the mark he secures.


or


Worse, the literate, but the undereducated parents, who know no difference between qualification and quality.



Literate, educated and learned, though are used interchangeably in the social system above referred, one can understand the difference with a slight dose of sanity.


Education system can be of two types – enquiry based and instruction based. In enquiry based you are taught and encouraged to explore. In instruction based system, you are told what to do and doing anything more is abhorred. You ask a question that is not in the book, the teacher retorts, "focus on the examination." Can we blame the poor soul alone? May be yes. May be not, as her job is on line.

In enquiry based, you learn things. In instruction based, you get to know things. And learning and knowing are not the same. Understanding is a part of learning, but not part of knowing. Learning results in wisdom, knowing alone will result in only in vacuum.


Questioning mind learns” was a Tamil saying I saw in between some television programme in Doordarshan when I was Ten. Pity, many of our teachers did not. You learn only when you try, explore and enquire. While doing so you make mistakes and you may even get hurt. But without any enquiry, there is no learning at all.


This education system cares nothing about enquiry or exploration. To it, it is all about ruled notebooks, classwork, homework, unit test, exams. To the principal and teachers, it is all about 100% Results. District Toppers, State Toppers, National Toppers, Centums, these are the guiding posts. No place, nay, no thought for research, playing and no independence.

Research is for scientists and grey heads. Labs are only for Government approvals. No more rats, no more cockroaches.

Probably schools are scared of Blue Cross. Research requires thinking. To think is a distraction, and therefore a sin.

If the school and teachers are to be blamed completely, it would be travesty of justice. The examination pattern and the education system as visualized by the people at the top of the pyramid has probably forced them to be so.

What about the parents? Strangely it is not the uneducated or unqualified people who are a cause for the unidimensional thought process in the kids, but the properly educated, fully qualified parents. When school or educational institution fails in its basic duty because of some mindless goals put forward by its management, the parents should step in. But do they? Half the time they are also worried about marks. They promote cramming. The other half of the time, they are worried about giving any amount of independence.

Playing does not fetch you any mark or feed you, and therefore is unnecessary. It also makes you tired, and therefore don’t do that.

How true, what doesn’t fetch you marks should not be done! Now I understand why my teacher once told me that going to the loo frequently during class hours would mean, I would lose marks. He probably meant that going to the loo won't fetch any marks. I shouldn't have gone. Though I would be stinking, I would have earned some marks. Marks are important!

Entertainment such as movies and televisions are for the loose morals. Not for the cultured.
Probably they show only soft porn with semi–naked bums romping and roaming. But arent't we here because of that? Aren't we the product that process? Hey, are we speaking about the show on farming in villages? My friend tells me that even Wines, Whiskey are "cultured".

Friends are only for sharing notebooks when you are absent. Having spent six hours with your friend at school, what else you have got to do with him after school / college hours?
Meeting up with friends frequently beyond school time probably means smoking, drugs and hanging out at pubs and visiting brothels. Because these kids, especially these days, you never know!

What are you speaking for ten minutes on phone? Who is that? She… Keep it short and go to sleep!

The aunty living next door would have said something about phone sex, or some person in her friend’s relative’s cousin’s in–law’s neighbour’s house has eloped.

What is then left (
which is obviously not right)? Studies.

What studies? That which will give me a safe job.

Safe job? Yeah, that which will give his bum a place to rest and so that the bums of his family can rest in peace for the rest of their life. Even a fart er.. air cannot go out freely, that much attached to the seat er.. job.

How do I go about doing that? By securing good marks.

What is a good mark? Centum or atleast 99%.
Ah, Big difference!


How to secure Centum? By properly studying for two hours in the morning between 6 and 8 and four hours in the evening between 4.30 and 8.30.
Feels like some programmed washing machine, only difference, here dirt and filth alone remains.


How do I know if I have properly studied? If you can remember, repeat and reproduce whatever you have seen, then you have properly studied.
I call that cramming, which is some light years away from studying or learning.


Crammers are lepers and a breed of terminally ill and mad dogs fit to live only in pigsties. Studies show even that elephants, dolphins, dogs, pigs and monkeys can remember. What differentiates the human, the social animal, from the domestic and wild, is not the ability to just remember, but the ability to think and act, that of being rational.


Today, the virtue of being rational is like virtue of being a virgin in a country of whores. You are a misfit. So open up now, and let in all the filth.


The elders of our day, those representing the social system, are still living in Spartan caves as they tell us that we are most superior race in this world as we gave yoga, ayurveda and “zero” to this world. How true! We are still giving “zeroes” to this world. They never look into the future at all. They still speak about past glories and accomplishments which is probably worth a crow's droppings for progress in the future.


When was the last time, we in India invented any thing or created any thing. What has happened to the Indian creator? Where have all those creative geniuses gone?

From movies to the dressing style, from stories to books to concepts to business models, every idea is a desi version of a videsi original. We take pride in telling that 50% of the people at NASA are Indians (probably, they are including gatekeepers, chowkidars as well) and India produces the best IT Brains (which predominantly uses the tools developed in foreign shores, to serve the same foreign shores). We are very good in going in the direction shown by others. We are fantabulous in repeating a process. We have set a way too high standards in copying, or else we cannot be world number one or two in video, audio and software piracy.

The question is are we creating something new? Did we create anything worthwhile in the last one hundred years?

What has happened to the idea called learning? Have we killed the thought of the entire generation?


While our politicos and elders of the bygone generations are busy bickering about their moral superiority over their western counterparts, and tirelessly lecturing the gen–next of the virtues of the Indian culture, and the need to protect them, the most precious of all human faculties, the faculty to think, is being put to slow death.


Enough of this atrocities! Today is the day, for we may soon forget tomorrow. Let us do it now, while we still have in us traces of respect and potency. This is the right time, for in a while, we will go completely impotent.
Now is the right time, the time to act. The time to kick some royal butt. Ours included.

Let’s banish all those who glorify cramming. Let’s burn them down. Let’s start thinking. Let’s start living. Let’s make a beginning.

Let’s take a detour. For a few distance away lies perdition.

Comments

This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said…
Humans - at barely the age of 20, i am confused as to what the term stands for. While the potential of the term can evoke "awe", the actuals (the kinetics of it) makes me puke... what a load of crap they are.. considering the countless number of "has-beens" who have sucked the life of this planet so few.. and i say so few.. have actually gone on to do something,,, leave alone "useful"....

and that is a sad state to say the least....

So go out there... chaps live your dream... forget those who say that this path ain't for you.. they belong to either a category of people who are too afraid to tread a step.. or those who think they know what s best but actually are so far away from the truth that they can t see the truth,...

Live your dream or die trying.. what if you fail?? what if you don t get rich? what if "blah blah blah"?%? ......... at least you will have a great time chasing your potential... go out there kid ............. just "do".....


And why such an inappropriate comment for such a great blog ---- well , I m a person so paranoid that I comment on others' blogs to get a message out and try to remain anonymous in the process....
Ketan said…
I've been, and still am the victim of this education system in no small measure. I see so many things wrong with our country, but have long back given up the hope that in my lifetime at least there'd be effective reforms.

Needless to say, the influence of education system on the future of our nation can just not be overemphasized. The only thing I don't agree with is that teachers don't have a choice but to discourage enquiry. They're indeed free, or rather obliged to encourage inquisitiveness.

A useful issue raised through this blog, but the cynic in me asks "who's listening?"

TC.
Ketan said…
As I read this blog again, I realized my views on this issue are EXACTLY IDENTICAL, except for the amount of blame teachers have to carry. But then, I also remember, my botany teacher from 11th and 12th, who's been an excellent teacher, and yet, students won't say attention to her lectures only because she wouldn't teach from "(entrance) exam-point-of-view".

And don't ask me, why am I revisiting your blog! If you are entitled to read Atlas shrugged multiple times, I too am entitled to read your posts again!

I can see, you're doing an excellent job (as a teacher; teaching, of course, as you'd agree, is not necessarilly restricted to a cuboid called classroom)--a few of your blog readers are officially your students, and others are unofficially so ;)

TC.
G Saimukundhan said…
The responsibility on teacher part - I stick to my views. We cannot blame them completely. The very fact being, it is a question of sustenance to many people. Especially at private schools, these days, they squeeze the students, and pay peanuts to the teachers. And the teachers are to show results to sustain.

Considering the structure of our examinations, often, the only way of ensuring success is promoting rote learning. Which is what most of them do.

Though personally I do admonish rote learning, and I don't give a damn about marks. Any smart ass, once having understood, can score them, is my view. But most of them are just half of that i.e. ass. They understand, but present their answers rank badly, and end goofing up. And then create a stupid notion that rote relearning is the best model.

I believe all the four factors are responsible for the dirt we have created - the teacher, the parents, the education system and most importantly, the student himself.
Ketan said…
Actually, I've studied in a school run by the central government, so the teachers there had absolutely NO obligation to make students score, yet they used to encourage rote learning (some themselves didn't know the concepts well enough) because they'd compete with each other to see whose students would score better! So, that's why I couldn't relate to the kind of pressure you just talked of. Of course, now I'd agree with you about pressure on teachers to produce results.

Actually, I was most disillusioned by the education system and teaching quality when I entered my graduation. If you remember a bit of physics you'll realize what travesty of knowledge it must have been to get 5 out of 25 (which was lowest in the class) in my first physiology viva for answering that newton was the unit of force and for saying 'millimeter cubed' instead of 'cubic millimeter', which my examines wanted to hear, and well, the same examiner had given 13 out of 15 only by saying "your earrings are very beautiful, and you're also very sweet", without asking a single question! I was very heartbroken back then (almost exactly 7 years), but now I'm alright (sic) having learnt the hard way about the vileness in this world (as if there's some other way to learn it!).

I know I've digressed, but then let me complete the story anyway then. In my next viva taken by the Head of the Department (a female), I'd answered each and every question, and she'd pointed out to the PG students that they should answer like me! This last thing was only to illustrate that it wasn't a case that I was ill-prepared for the exam!

So much for our exam system and education!
Ketan said…
*He'd given 13 out of 15 to a girl. In my kind of college, guys won't dare to wear earrings :)
G Saimukundhan said…
For your info, I was sporting studs for some time! Days of my dudehood

Cheers

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