A Depressing Read

If we’re all running in the same direction – does that automatically mean that we’re running in the right direction? Does it make a difference if that direction is the easier downhill, rather than the troublesome, effort-requiring uphill?

How quickly would trust erode, if doctors prescribed what their patients thought they wanted, instead of what their professional judgement, learning and experience says the patients should have?

Reading the following news report from the Chennai edition of TOI, nobody should wonder why educators no longer hold a preeminent position of trust and status in the society today, or why all private schools can so easily be portrayed by the government as self-serving, profiteering and untrustworthy.

It shows that the hurdles in front of us if we are to create an education system in India that is truly for the twenty first century are many. As far as I’m concerned – that just means we have to be even more determined, less tolerant of those who care more for an easy life mired in outdated ways and more resolute in educating educators, school owners and promoters and parents, business people and the wider community about why and how education for the new century must be something different if we are not to fail our children and the country.

Times of India – Chennai – article

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4 Responses

  1. Most educational institutions probably fear thinking out of the box because they fear a backlash from the parents, if the child’s results are not acceptable to the parents. If they stick to the run of the mill system, that has been followed by most schools, for decades, if the child fails to live up to expectations, the Institute can turn around and say this system has been followed for years, and if a child has not performed up to expectation, it is probably the child or the parents fault..

    Taking responsibility for the nurturing of a child that is not yours is extremely difficult. Teacher’s who show the required compassion and commitment to do so, should be applauded and made an example of… an example that all teachers should follow.

    If the media were to do more in recognizing Teachers and Educational Institutes who are passionate about their work, and write about the positive achievements accomplished by following a less treaded path, this might give other teachers and Institutes the strength and the inspiration to follow suit.

    • I think you’ve correctly identified the biggest reason, but i’m still not inclined to let the educators off the hook for that. It is our job to move hell and high water to get the messages out there that enable parents to make effective (i.e. twenty first century) judgements about what’s best for their children.

      If we let cowardice keep us quiet, and just give them what they think they want, we betray the profession, we betray the parents …… and worst we betray tomorrow’s generation.

      • I am quite sure there are a lot of people involved with this noble profession, who sincerely agree to your viewpoint. Unfortunately, very few seem to have the courage to act on or even voice what they feel. It is generally easier for one to follow, rather than lead. Therefore, my suggestion that the media should play a pivotal role. If the Leaders (read.. Teachers / School Administrators who think out of the box and also follow through with action) accomplishments are highlighted, the followers would get the courage to step out of their comfort zone..

        I am not aware if there already exists in India an Association for Teachers, or an Association for Schools, where seminars are held on a regular basis, and ideas are exchanged. If such associations do exist, it would be interesting to know how active they are, and what has been achieved..

  2. Another suggestion I would like to make is that I feel everyone (Teachers / School Administrators and Parents) should watch the 1967 Movie “To Sir, with Love” starring Sidney Poitier. On watching this movie, one wonders if 43 years ago, this movie was ahead of it’s times, or are we today behind….

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