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Some ideas on education in Karnataka

At the outset this, has nothing to do with the civic life of bangalore as such, but as much as bangalore is tied to the rest of the state at the hip, and as much as the output of our schools is crucial to its economy, culture and in shaping its citizenry it may be worthwhile to discuss this issue here.

A fundamental assumption is that school education should be universal and must be a fundamental right that is enjoyed equally equally by all, especially with respect to quality. Towards that there was a discussion between a few folks at churumuri. please read through that link and related responses to that post.

i am posting the post that started the discussion there to start a discussion here, but observations by churumurigas including rameshgowda, and girish are very very crucial.

#1. towards universal education, why cant we have: kannada, social studies, including civics in kannada. english, science and maths in english. for all students irrespective of their backgrounds and location?

#1a. this would help students to be bi-directionally globally connected to the fast changing world of the sciences. english is the de-facto language in the peer reviewed world of science. for example, so many papers in the sciences from non-english speaking countries are rejected because of lack of clarity in communication. quite a few of these papers are so poorly written that it is impossible for others to look beyond the language, and assess the quality of research. i.e. many times papers are rejected, even when international reviewers sense that they carry important information, because they cannot be sure the authors mean what the reviewers think the authors mean. this is limited world of academics, where you can find people idealistic enough to read a paper a 10 times. you can imagine the impact of this in the much more pervasive world of practical engineering/sciences where people have actually invested their fortunes. on the otherhand, it took modern scientists to “discover” that there is a species of freshwater cat fish now called glyptothorax kudremukensis. perhaps the locals have known of this fish since ages as kemmeenu and they could have told more about it if it were not for the language barrier? similar is the case with mount “everest” aka sagarmaata/chomolungma.

#1b. studying social studies and civics in kannada would help children think about their immediate surroundings, their history and their role as citizens in kannada. hopefully, with kannada as the medium for social sciences and civics, the schooling syllabus will also be more local in content and more relevant. growing up we learnt all about the map of india, but knew nothing about the map of how our town. genghis khan, napolean and akbar we learnt about but nothing about abbakka, benki nawab and kempe gowda, who i now learn, via internet, was a pioneer in rainwater harvesting. the constitution of india and magna carta we learnt about but not who or what a mayor, a corporator or a panchayati head is. had to learn out of school that gaNasabha’s were probably the earliest forms of representative governance. it is left to word of mouth learning post graduation to know how local governance works. what the byelaws and traffic rules are, what is meant by a revenue site or an agri land. what use is a education in civics without knowledge of these everyday essential facts?

#1c. if the issue of medium is amicably resolved, perhaps attention can then be focussed on the more critical issues of pedagogy - issues like how to move from rote learning and testing regurgitative ability to testing for understandability and application.

#1d. developing facility in both kannada and english will also facilitate cross-over and cross-pollination. it will enable kannadigas who are scientists to easily help preserve and sustain naaTi science. at the same time it will enable kannadiga scientists to contribute to popular scientific content in kannada directly. similarly, it will enable students of the arts direct access to ideas from the west.

kannada can only be saved if kannadigas are confident and directly enabled and see no contradiction in being a kannadiga and a citizen of this modern world.

---------------------- perhaps we can consolidate and translate that discussion and any discussions we might have here into kannada, and try to get it into some kannada papers. any volunteers?

s_yajaman's picture

I agree partly with you

Tarle,

I coincindentally gave a small rant on this very matter. So it's good that you put up a post where I can continue my rant :)

I am not sure how learning social studies in Kannada will help if the content is not about Karnataka. Also, if each state were to do this, and if I had a transferable job what would happen to my kids?

When we studied geography or history or civics (albeit in English) the content progressed from local to global (inspite of my school being an ICSE school and supposedly elitist). It started from Bangalore district to Karnataka State to India and then to world geography. Same for civics - it started from the gram panchayat to Blocks to Municipal level to the State Legislatures to Parliament. We learnt how voting happens, the mechanics of a presidential election, what the different branches of government are, our fundamental rights and duties, the directive principles, etc. etc. Same for history - Bangalore, Karnataka, India,World. The issue I see here is an uninspiring syllabus in the majority of the state board schools.

The ICSE syllabus is very demanding, but is outstanding in the breadth and depth of topics it covers. I have seen the SSLC syllabus and sadly I cannot say the same (I might be wrong!).

I think all of us should have the right to choose the medium of instruction and the board for our kids. I owe them a good education; my first responsibility is to them and not to a religion or to a language (that's the way I see it at least). We would be all shooting ourselves in the foot if we rejected English.

Looking forward to some stimulating discussions :)

Srivathsa

"I disagree with what you say, but will defend to death your right to say it" - Voltaire

 

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

tsubba's picture

edu in ka

#1. a majority of the people are in non-transferable beyond the state positions. #2. there are some sound academic theories that point out that beyond knowledge accumulation, creative and critical thinking have some respectable levels of correlation with the language of home and street. in any case kannada and whatever knowledge is embedded in it by its people is our inheritance and we would be really prudent to dispense with it wisely. and due to the nature of it, all the knowledge of civics, geography and history of ka is embedded in it. after all who is to say that al gore's late awakening is worth more than a native understanding and respect for allowed seasons of hunting and tree worship? so why else would people of the yore build kalyanis bang in the middle of lakes? you require p number of ngo's and their inconsistent banter to achieve even half of what a single little kalyani ever achieved. who built that kalyani, who built that lake do you know? it is basic human tendency to distinguish ourselves from the other, even if we all bleed the same blood. in any case, from what i understand of indian history, it is the meta principles of localized distinctness that truely separate us from the rest of the world, beyond some of the uber meta principles. all we are as indians is a variation to a theme based on these uber meta principles. without that variation we are nothing. and what prevents a person to be critically smart and accomplished in a local tongue, if not for modern day attitude and perceptions? if i ever get to be a quarter of the man shivarama karanth ever was, i would consider myself accomplished. and so would half the world if they were aware of his ideas.
s_yajaman's picture

Force feeding?

Tarle,

On an individual basis, I have no quarrel with what you say.  However when a policy is made on what is best for me that it starts to rankle

If modern people showed a hundredth of the respect that tribals e.g. showed to the enviroment it would be a vast improvement.  Have you seen what a Bushman does after he hunts an animal - he always apologises to it saying that he needed the food.  They never kill indiscriminately.  With you on that.

My accepting an inheritance is one thing and it being thrust down my throat is another thing.  Let us take another example - I appreciate a lot of the wisdom in Hindusim (and Buddhism), but I am basically irreligious and agnostic and can't be bothered with the rituals and the rites.  Can anyone deny me that freedom?  It is this basic denial of freedom that bothers me when someone decides what is best for me.  If I stumble and fall after making a bad choice, I feel the pain - right? 

What happens to those with transferable jobs?  How do we deal with this minority?  What about all the knowledge embedded in Sanskrit and Hindi?  Is that not an inheritance too?  The world's oldest republic (the Lichchavis) was said to be in Vaishali.

I have read about what you said - that children learn best in their mother tongues.  But I have also read that children can learn three languages at the same time.

What I sense in all this is a fear that if people are given the slightest choice, they would always choose English over Kannada.  What do you think about this?

Nothing prevents a man from being critically smart and accomplished in a local tongue.  Anna Hazare is another man who comes to mind.  I do not insist that everyone learn only English or that only English speaking people are smart.  But a good working knowledge of English is fairly important isn't it?  And the sooner it starts in parallel with a Kannada one the better.

Having said all this, if we can get some knowledge of civics and civic sense by what you suggest, it will be well worth it.  Better they have a good Kannada education than a non-existent English one.

Srivathsa

 

 

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

santsub's picture

Education :)

Sri and TS - Education in the broad sense like you said is basic civic sense and courteousness. We have to get basics right - ofcourse academics matter the most too. If you ask me - I would say its the atmosphere in the school that makes more of a difference than the syllabus they follow. not to mention ICSE has great curriculum (hol on guys I am a State board student) I have siblings, cousins and friends who went to convents but we all learnt Kannada (our mother tongue)

 I am sure you guys will agree in with me - an average Bangalorean is more well informed and has more general knowledge than many others. I have pride in talking to people in Kannada and I respect the language infact I went to a very good school and a great college and english had been the medium of instruction always. But I learnt Kannada Hindi and English with equal importance. Not to mention I even learnt a bit of French I can speak Tamil very fluently and talk decen Telugu. I even understand Malayalam - but the point of argument is even if English has played a big role in our lives we do not forget Kannada - its up to the people to embrace a language - promoting the langauge is another topic but forcing it is not the norm...

For starters lets make good Kannada Movies and produce good Kannada Programs on TV - :)

s_yajaman's picture

I take back some comments

TS, Santsub,

Apologies. As I thought a bit more, I realized that I was looking at schooling and education from my urban, elitist perspective. I am not the center of the universe :)

What Tarle has proposed seems a good balance for the average semi-urban/rural school going girl/boy. They have to be able to relate to what they learn in school to everyday life. From where they are today, I guess this will be a hundred-fold improvement.

As Tarle has pointed out, having half the curriculum in English and half in Kannada is the way forward for the vast majority of children. Schools who are affiliated to ICSE and CBSE (an urban occurance) will need to have a different policy, but in which Kannada needs to be taught from early on (in my sons' school, spoken Kannada is part of the curriculum from Std. I).

I also realized that without being conscious of it, I had accepted a lot of the other inheritance thrust down my throat. I also do not mean to look down on anyone from a state syllabus school. But the state syllabus needs some drastic tweaking to make it more interesting and relevant.

Srivathsa

"I never let my schooling interfere with my education" - Mark Twain

 

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

sarvagna's picture

states/icse kannada/english

S_yajaman, 

Syallabus is the not great thing.I know people who shifted from ICSE/CBSE to State PU syallabus after doing 10th. I am sure 99% do it.Why?If ICSE/CBSE syalabus is so great why should they change it?Answer is simple,both the syallabus are different.Thats the main point.I am sure that even you would have done that.

I had read a surevey saying that 90% of the students who scored first 100 ranks in CET were from states syallabus.And this was a similar pattern over the years.

 So what does it prove?

ICSE/syallabus teaches you things bit earlier than state syallabus.But state syallabus dos not do that.But the world does not guage you how earlier you learnt the skills.Its how efficently you learnt it.A syallabus though simple still could be effective without overloading students.Its like comparing Microsoft and linux.Linux is sooper Os but harly many like whereas MO is effective even after so many drawbacks.

When i go to a interview they do not ask me when did i study calculus,in 10th or PUC.They just ask me weather i know it well r not. 

So first thing is it is the education atmosphere which matters more than the syallabus.offcourse syallabus have to very bad to overcome that which feel current karnataka states syallabus is not.

 Secondly if you have sudied in coastal area you should be knowing that kannada medium schools outsmart its rival private schools by a huge margin?Can you think why it is happening even in 2008?Coastal area people inspite of studying in kannada medium have achived a great sucess.Try thinking about how it happened,you wil get answers. 


s_yajaman's picture

Agree and disagree

If 90% of toppers are from the state syllabus, it might be because 99% of those who took CET are from the state syllabus.  That does not prove much.  There are 3 types of lies in this world - lies, damned lies and statistics :).

When I finished my Std X in ICSE, I got 82% overall (94% in Science and Maths).  I went to National College Jayanagar and Basavanagudi to apply.  I was waiting in line when someone from the office came up to check if there were any ICSE/CBSE students waiting.  I replied that I was from ICSE.  He looked at my marks card and saw that I had 82%.  He said to me and I remember this clearly - "Why are you waiting in this line.  There is direct admission for anyone who has more than 80% in ICSE.  Go pay your fees and join".  The cut-off for SSLC - general was 86% in both those colleges.  Why?

I joined NCB because of its outstanding faculty.  Some of them were simply brilliant - R Ramachandra for Physics, S Balachandra Rao for Maths, K Badrinath for English.  Attendance was not compulsory, but we went to these classes without fail, because they made the classes interesting.  Your point on the education atmosphere is relevant here.

The world also does not judge you on how early you learnt skills.  But it does judge you on whether you can associate a particular problem with a particular solution and not just solve a problem such as x2 +5x-10 = 0.  There is a column in Deccan Herald that gives Q&As for SSLC - read it for yourself.

I have not studied in the coastal areas, and so I cannot comment about that.  I will however tell you that when I went from my NTSE (National Talent Search B.S.) interview  just after class X, out of the 25 people that day, there was 1 person from SSLC.  I will also tell you that vs. TN and AP and Bihar, Karnataka is highly under-represented in both the IITs and the IIMs. 

We owe it to our vast majority to give them a better education and critical skills(whether calculus is there in Std X or not is not the point) and give them a chance to improve their lot in life. 

Srivathsa

 

 

 

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

tsubba's picture

education

sri, thank you now, first to santsub. indeed movies are a very very important thingie. but the most fundamental thing about movies is writing. and to write you require some sort of awareness of context and a ceratin facility with language to communicate that which you cannot communicate with visuals, right? rest of the rant later.
City.Zen's picture

Help these foreigners learn Kannada

Sorry that this is out of context. Deshpande Foundation, Stoneham, MA is sending 8 fellows from the U.S. to Hubli in June. They will work with an NGO for an year. They urgently need a CD and a book so that they can start learning Kannada even before they get to Hubli. Any suggestions?
City Zen
tsubba's picture

somemore rant

my most serious peeve against english medium schools is how shallow they really are. what is the purpose of education? is it to enable people to put the 2+2's of life together and be articulate enough to say 2+2=4 or is it to be half baked english sahebs and pass entrance exams? you get punished for speaking in kannada in half of these conment schools. articulation they have nothing to teach about. i dont want to name them, but there are these conments in blr, where they want state funding but they go out of their way to supress kannada, seventh standard kids are taught kannada at 3rd standard levels. what if the kid is from a kannada speaking household? how violent is it to problematize that kids background like that explicitly? or are they saying that kannada kids need not apply unless willing to abandon kannada? meanwhile, at these very schools the kids grow up learning english rhymes from southern confederacy that even even the current american south doesnot teach its kids. what are the the morals and lessons that you are teaching the students by doing all this? anywhere else in the world all these would have been scandalous. but not here. i honestly dont care about how much trig and calc one learns in school. trig and calculus i can be taught, in a p hour session if not in the regulation p/2 hour session, but one cannot teach them who they are even if they have p^p hours. for me the fact that we are screwing with a kids' pysche and problematizing their entire context is very very disturbing. the answer to yaen puTTa ninn hesarenu is not 'my name is p. tarle subba'.
s_yajaman's picture

I can say the same for almost all schools

Tarle,

You pick on English medium schools maybe with sound reason - but you paint all of them with the same brush.  You also seem to confuse English medium and convent schools.  I went to a pretty good school - St.Joseph's Boys' High School from 1979 to 1986 and don't seem to have experienced what you have written.  Unless I am so traumatized that I don't remember :)

I have never been preached to about Christ or the Bible.  On the contrary we received one hour of instruction each week on what it means to be a good human being - respect for others, for your parents, hard work, etc etc.  These still remain with me after 22 years.  There were kids from different backgrounds - believe it or not some owned ships and some were from lower middle class families.  But we were treated equally.  My parents did not pay a rupee as donation.

How different are the rest of the schools regardless of medium of instruction?  What do they teach you about life?  If it were the case that vernacular medium schools produced only noble and articulate souls, then we ought not to have been in this mess.  My own theory is that good people come out of schools inspite of them and not because of them :) 

One of the important reasons why children should go to school is to learn how to get along in this world; that they (being special at home) are not going to be given preferential treatment in a group, that they have to fight for their rights.  Half of education happens in the playground and we don't have enough of those.  I can teach my kids maths and science easily at home (as you say).  I cannot be a substitute for his/her peer group.

As parents, we need to avoid putting biases into children early on in life anti-Kannada, anti-English, anti-Hindi, whatever.  Let them develop their own thoughts and convictions.  Indian adults (I have seen this) are often very insenstive to a small child's feelings and needs.  Teachers need to be taught this.

I also agree that regardless of the board, we are learning just words and being clever with words.  There is no attempt made to interconnect different subjects.  History and geography are interconnected (read Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel), but they are treated as independent subjects.  Children need to do and experiment more than just listen to words and regurgitate them.  True learning comes from doing.  We confuse wisdom and cleverness.  Our education system needs a big overhaul.  The purpose of education is to produce sensitive and thinking individuals. 

Srivathsa

 

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

sarvagna's picture

Kannada learning CD

please contact total kannada dot com in this regard.I heard that they have good kannada learning CD's.

 Check for their websites.

 


City.Zen's picture

Atmosphere, IIT/IIM, Quality of education, etc.

Again a little out of context, but the words "atmosphere" used by santsub and sarvagna and "IIT" used by Srivatsa inspired me to write this.

I first heard this theory from Mr. Bhashyam Srinivasan, he of REC Trichy and IIT Chennai.

Those of us who have played tennis or table-tennis might have observed that our level of play tends to rise or fall to match that of our opponent. If we are playing with someone who is superior to us, we make all out efforts to improve our game to match that of our opponent. If it is someone whose play is inferior to ours, we tend to be careless and our level falls to his/her's. Similar is the case with academic learning most of the time for most of the students.

How does this game theory apply to IITs and IIMs? Peer influence! It is not their infrastructure, nor syllabus, nor the Professors which makes these hallowed institutions great in the whole world. It is simply the quality of the students who get into them which makes them great. When one competes with the best, naturally one's performance improves dramatically. Just like how Indian companies now figure among the world's best because post liberalization and withdrawal of protections they were forced to compete with the best in the world. Alas, now these temples of excellence are being forced to dilute their high standards. Instead of making other institutions better - starting right from government primary schools, the government is bringing in equality the other way round. The Government could have simply started newer institutions with whatever per centage of reservation they wanted instead of meddling with something that is working well.

City Zen
City Zen
s_yajaman's picture

CityZen sir - a bit self contradictory :)

City Zen sir,

You have made out the perfect case for reserving a few seats in each of these good institutions for members of the underprivileged sections!

In your own example, you say that we excel when we play someone better - I agree fully.  But for that to happen, the other person should be kind enough to accommodate us in his/her game.  The game you are describing is theoretically impossible - it is only possible between equals.

Which has been my argument with a lot of people that deserving students from the underprivileged sections (socially, economically) need to be able to compete with the very best so that they can raise their game.  Diversity is good for all concerned.  Putting all the underprivileged people into one group is sort of an apartheid which is not good for the long term sustainability of this country.

In the company I used to work for (the worlds largest consumer goods company), every business unit was expected to have different nationalities from the region we worked in - Thai, Vietnamese, Indians, Filipinos, Australians, Indonesians, Malaysians, etc.  In some cases it might have yielded better short term results by having just Indians - we usually will win in most skills against people from some of these countries.  But our company saw some long term benefits from this policy.  You get fresh perspective and people learn to listen better - put 10 Indians in a room and it will explode as we are too clever for our own good.  It was not as efficient but was far more effective and was seen as a good business strategy.

If I were the government I will turn around and say - if you disagree with this, don't write JEE or CAT.  People have choices - go to MIT/Stanford/Caltech or to ISB.  Why do you want to join this lousy institute where you have to coexist with OBCs and SC/STs?  What might be a student's reply?

Srivathsa

 

 

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

City.Zen's picture

Quality of education in Karnataka

@TS: An interesting discussion. Thanks for initiating this. Your very first sentence, "At the outset this, has nothing to do with the civic life of bangalore as such" reminds me of the Bangalore's lower and middle income group residential streets each of which has at least one house where private tuitions are given. So, your topic is relevant to Bangalore, after all. I too studied in a catholic Kannada medium elementary school some decades ago where when the teacher found out that I had not understood something, she asked me to stay back after school hours and she also stayed back for half an hour and explained it to me with patience. Why is such commitment, dedication lacking in most of today's teachers who ask their students to come to their homes for better coaching? I fully agree with your argument that some subjects must be taught in Kannada which is better equipped to impart subjects of local flavor. But what is the quality of text books and study material available in Kannada? In English medium textbooks, Oxford and Cambridge University Presses, Orient Longman, etc. have done excellent work in producing very attractive, low-priced colorful books with easy narrative and on the whole making learning fun as contrasted with Government-printed Kannada medium textbooks full of factual and printing errors on shoddy paper making the whole thing not fun but funny. The key to improving quality of education is to concentrate on teacher-education, raise the bar and pay them handsomely and inculcate in them a sense of dedication and moral values. I would agree with Srivathsa's words about christian schools, having studied in one myself for some years. In fact, I have great respect for the christian missionaries who have done and continue to do pioneering service in the field of education. - City Zen
City Zen
s_yajaman's picture

Everything to do with civic life

TS,

You need to modify your introduction.  The topic that you have posted has everything to do with civic life.  It is the pathetic state of education that is mainly responsible for the mess we are in.  All we are taught is competition and fear and that spills into every facet of our lives.  Teamwork and cooperation don't seem to feature.

Srivathsa

 

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

City.Zen's picture

Srivathsa Sir - Impeccable Logic In Your Argument

Srivathsa Sir: Your argument seems to be flawless, and the Government has every right as well as reason to do what it has done in the institutes funded by it. I see that I was under the wrong impression that we were proud of and needed our IITs and IIMs the way they existed until now with the same reputation as they have enjoyed till now. Obviously, if the Government's objective is to help the aspiring masses rise to the level of IITians, then the present reservation policy is an absolute necessity. Yes, "what might be a student's reply?" I think students will simply stop bothering about IIT and IIM. They will start concentrating on MIT, Stanford, Caltech and ISB which are outside the government intervention as you rightly said. The enlightened students will flock to the universities abroad just like the pre-independence days when IITs and IIMs were not born. Just as I see the logic in your argument, I also see sound sense in what Narayanamurthy has pleaded about allowing private players in higher education. I suppose it all depends upon deciding what exactly our objectives should be Mass education or Class(y) education. However, in spite of your very convincing argument, I feel that the Government should concentrate extensively, if not exclusively, on primary education and leave alone higher education. If it cannot stem the rot in primary education, what good can it do for higher education? Remember what the SC said on this point recently? It said the moment an OBC, etc., secures graduation, he/she stops being backward, or some such thing. It would be interesting to see what would happen if the Ministry of Sports also copies this policy of Ministry of H.R. Already, Indian Hockey has deteriorated.
City Zen
City.Zen's picture

Everything to do with civic life

I fully agree with you here, Srivathsa Sir. Brilliant perception! TS will have to drop the word Karnataka too in the title, because thousands of migrant population from all over the country are flocking to Bangalore for livelihood. Their education also matters, I guess. -- City Zen
City Zen
City.Zen's picture

Kannada Learning CD - Thanks

Thanks very much, Sarvagna, for this valuable information.

-- City Zen

City Zen
s_yajaman's picture

Agree with you on some points

City.Zen sir,

I qualified my statement using the word "deserving candidates".  That is the hardest part and political.  I was just playing the devil's advocate with my last statement. 

I studied in IIMC.  Even then there were 20 odd% of the seats reserved for SC/STs.  No great damage has been done in the process to its reputation.  I cannot also say that I was the among the 250 most deserving candidates to get in that year.  Luck also plays a huge role.  This merit argument has a number of holes in it when 150,000 people compete for 1000 seats.

There are two basic assumptions hidden in all this

a. That the candidates who come in this way are no-hopers and no inputs under the sun can make anything out of them.

b. They have robbed someone else more deserving of a seat. 

What we fail to realize is the small number who anyway make it here even in the general merit.  Why are we not demanding more such excellent institutes so that more get in from all sections of society? 

I have seen a number of chaps from IIT/IIM who after getting a subsidised education go straight to the US, get green cards and settle down or become brand managers in FMCG companies.  If the government asks them - in what way has India or Indians benefited from this fabulous education you have got apart from other Indians feeling good and proud, what might they answer?

Let me also let you in on another secret.  Companies come to IIMs because someone has done the hard work of filtering resumes for them.  The input that we get from profs is decent.  the content of the course was outdated.  Companies know that they are getting a reasonable intelligent lot to start with.

What I find strange is this - we don't think much of the govt, we don't think much of their schools or much of a govt job (even that of an IIM Prof).  But this set of govt institutes somehow needs our protection from the govt itself :).

Good to have a discussion

Srivathsa

 

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

ramesh_mbabu's picture

Learn Kannada CDs available at http://buzzers.org/

Learn Kannada CDs available at http://buzzers.org/
City.Zen's picture

Indians (Innocents) Abroad

@Srivathsa: "If the government asks them - in what way has India or Indians benefited from this fabulous education you have got apart from other Indians feeling good and proud, what might they answer?" Migration to wherever a person can bloom to full potential is always good for everybody including the country of his birth. Look at the following examples:- The whole economy of Kerala State at one time, it is said, used to run on the remittances of NRI Malayalees. The Deshpandes whom I mentioned earlier have done lot of good for India and Indians and IIT-C. Had they stayed back in India after their IIT education, they would not have prospered as they have done and consequently would not have done much good to India. In fact, my own joint family has seen tremendous prosperity just because one person went abroad TO WORK. On the other hand, my grand uncle soon after WW-II returned to India after studies in London because of his love for motherland and thereby limited his career to just being a deputy director of IIT-B and some corporate directorships. Had he stayed in Europe or migrated to the U.S., where better facilities were available, he might have been far more successful in a short time and become much more useful to India and his fellow-Indians. Re: "But this set of govt institutes somehow needs our protection from the govt itself :)." -- I must be very careful talking to an IIM alumnus, but even to my limited knowledge it seems these elite organizations thrived and built up their reputations largely because of the autonomy they enjoyed. It is this autonomy that must be protected now is what I feel. Of course, if by destroying autonomy we are able to produce thousands of highly capable technocrats and managerial talent from amongst the backward classes, then that is what we must do. I agree with you, it is always good to have a healthy discussion - we get lots of fresh insights which otherwise would not occur to us. Thanks very much.
City Zen
tsubba's picture

conments

hmm, i need to be careful. no, no that was not what i meant. nothing against any denominational schools. will get back on that. thanks.
s_yajaman's picture

A bit more about IITs

City.Zen sir,

Agree with your views on migration - but why should the government have to so heavily subsidize one set of people but not be able to set some terms and conditions of its own?

A bit more about IITs from Wikipedia

The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), are a group of seven elite autonomous engineering and technology-oriented institutes of higher education established and declared as Institutes of National Importance by the Government of India. The IITs were created to train scientists and engineers, with the aim of developing a skilled workforce to support the economic and social development of India after independence in 1947. The students and alumni of IITs are colloquially referred to as IITians.

The candidates belonging to the general category must secure a minimum aggregate of 60% marks in the qualifying examination of the XIIth standard organised by various educational boards of India. Candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Physically Disabled (PD) categories must secure a minimum aggregate of 55% in the qualifying examination.[25]

The IITs follow a reservation policy that is notably different from the quota policy elsewhere in India. As per the rules of admission to IITs, 15% of the admitted students must be of the Scheduled Castes, and 7.5% of seats are reserved for Scheduled Tribes.[27] (As of 2006, no separate reservation exists for the Other Backward Classes in spite of the Mandal commission recommendations). The IITs are not bound to fill these quotas of seats, and many of them remain vacant owing to the nature of selection process. In 2004, 112 out of 279 seats reserved for ST candidates, and 11 out of 556 seats reserved for SC candidates, were left vacant.

As per the rules, all the Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidates must take the IIT-JEE with the rest of the students. Based on the results of IIT-JEE, those SC/ST candidates who score more than two-third of the marks scored by the General Category student admitted with the lowest score are admitted directly to IITs.[27] Another group of candidates who do not meet this relaxed admission criteria are offered a "Preparatory Course" comprising of English, Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics at the IIT concerned. After one year of study, those candidates who are able to secure a grade higher than the prescribed cut-off mark during end-of-semester exams are allowed to continue regular studies. There is no relaxation on the criteria for passing the exams or graduating a course. The candidates admitted through the reservation policy are also subjected to the same criteria as the general candidates for graduation.

I see nothing totally unfair in this system - the very best don't anyway suffer; the ones at the margin get knocked out but not by a completely worthless adversary.  What we need to eliminate is the creamy layer.  If I have benefited from the reservation process then my kids should not get it.  A new set needs to gain the benefits.

The risk of ghettoising the reserved category is that it is easy to neglect them systematically.  You can't do that easily in an already reputed institution.

Hope this helps.

Srivathsa

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

City.Zen's picture

Medium of Instruction

"(Tarle Subba) towards universal education, why cant we have: kannada, social studies, including civics in kannada. english, science and maths in english...." "I(Srivathsa)think all of us should have the right to choose the medium of instruction" These things like medium of instruction, etc. were laid down a long time ago when India was a very poor country with very scarce resources and outdated notions. Now that we are affluent and can easily afford it, why not have the best of both the worlds, Kannada as well as English. Let the child have the freedom to study in whichever medium it likes and take exam in the language of its choice. So, every school must offer enough choices. Every school library (Thanks to the initiative of Infosys Foundation and its chairperson, Sudha Murty, every school in Karnataka does have a library, yesterday I had been to a village, Ennegere, where the school chairman told me that Sudha Murty had donated 3 computers to his school) should have enough books in both languages covering information beyond the syllabus and prescribed text books, plus internet access. The children should be taught and encouraged the pleasure of exploring topics on their own, like how Shivaram Karanth experimented with his children, one of whom (Ullas?) did not have formal schooling? -- City Zen
City Zen
City.Zen's picture

Stop subsidizing higher education

@Srivathsa: "but why should the government have to so heavily subsidize one set of people but not be able to set some terms and conditions of its own?" Yes, the financier certainly has the right to set any terms and conditions. But, is financing still required at all? The elders in our joint family all had their post matric education through private loan scholarships (from such sources like the founder of Canara Bank, Ammembal Subraya Pai Memorial Fund, etc.). When students do their college studies through such LOAN scholarships they will be more serious and responsible. On the other hand, my son studied at REC (now NITK), paying just Rs.6000 tuition fees per annum, though he could well-afford what private colleges were charging (about 41K). So could most of his batchmates most of whom came from middle class families. Therefore, the rational thing to do would be to stop this government funding totally and allow the NITs, IITs, IIMs to charge enough fees to cover their needs, which the poorer students can pay by availing LOAN scholarships. With the stoppage of such subsidizing of higher education, the government can and should spend the money so saved on improving the quality of primary education. Think about it: which is more important - having millions of illiterates and semi-literates getting a decent and quality primary education or a chosen few thousands getting good higher education? I have a suspicion that the government is deliberately continuing to subsidize IITs and IIMs just so that they can continue to have a say in their affairs. Thanks Srivathsa Sir, because you raised this topic, it occurred to me to suggest to my son to make good the subsidies he enjoyed in his college and post graduate education. Maybe directly to the institutes or sponsor a poor student. -- City Zen
City Zen
s_yajaman's picture

Agree with you sir

You hit the nail on the head.  My own regret(?) is that the first government of India did not make an all out effort to eliminate illiteracy by 1957 (10 years) and make it the number 1 priority.  We are still paying that price.  This is not out of disrespect for Nehru - every PM works within a set of political constraints.  I don't have data - but the fact that we did not have a Cabinet Minister for Education for a long time says a lot.

The face of India would (IMHO) would have been very different today.  Our population might have very well been 650 or 700 million vs. the 1100 million.  But that is only a matter of conjecture.

Financing is no longer required for the majority of the people (at least at the IITs and IIMs) and should be targeted at the poorest.  IIMs at least have taken drastic steps on this front and rightly so.

The other question to ask is that there are several hundred private colleges.  Why have the not risen to the standards set by the IITs and IIMs.  Why are IITs and IIMs in so much demand?  The opposite is true at the primary school levels (Tarle might disagree!).  why this dichotomy - I don't have answers.

I think (and I could be wrong), we are focusing excessively on IITs and IIMs.  There is no point in having 15 institutions which are 9.5/10 and 1000s of others at 2/10.  Getting the 2/10 to 6/10 should be the goal.  Whether 100 OBCs replace 100 general merit(?) students will not make or break the country.  We are producing too many unemployable graduates.

IITs and IIMs are seen as the only/limited route to a life of prosperity and wealth. Which is why I think these policies cause so much ill-feeling among the middle class.  I can bet Rs,1000 that half the students there take up branches of engg that they have no real interest in or passion for. 

My very good friend did the same.  He was JEE #2 in 1988.  He took up Computer Science because it was what all toppers did.  He finally lost interest, scraped through.  He finally listened to his heart and did a PhD in maths and is a happier person for it. 

Great to have this discussion with you.

Srivathsa

 

 

 

 

 

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

City.Zen's picture

Lack of counselling for Engg. students

"I can bet Rs,1000 that half the students there take up branches of engg that they have no real interest in or passion for" Absolutely true! Vivek was one such student who took up Information Technology, was disillusioned soon(outdated, useless syllabus as the stream itself was newly introduced) but nevertheless finished the course just for the sake of getting an engg degree and soon after graduation went on to pursue his newfound love - speculation in commodities, shares, and forex, made millions in a couple of years and is today successfully running a broking company in Mumbai. The preparation to JEE/AIEEE ideally starts from 9th standard. I think we should have good counselling sessions around that time advising students on every specialized field in humanities, science, and commerce. Recently, a girl from Calicut having just finished PUC came to Bangalore for the sole purpose of testing her aptitudes to find out which course to take. She had zeroed in on chartered accountancy or interior decoration but wanted to know which one to choose. I advised her to consult Eduquity where a psychologist tested her aptitudes and found out that she was an extrovert person who liked dealing with people. She was advised to go in for BBA and then MBA. We have deviated enough from Tarle's original point which was about teaching some subjects in Kannada at the primary level.
City Zen
s_yajaman's picture

Tarle would not mind

City.Zen sir,

Fear not.  The point of putting up many of these posts is to generate discussion and debate.  If it takes us off track but to other relevant topics, it is okay.  Tarle won't mind.

All the things we have spoken about need to be taken into account when coming out with a policy.  It is never as easy or simple as it appears.  If it does, we simply have not thought through it well enough. 

There is now talk about a new Bill on schooling.  Things like points based admission criteria, having each school reserve x% of seats for backward classes, etc. 

I sometimes feel that grass roots education (and not merely schooling) has been systematically neglected because having a thinking and informed electorate is a disadvantage for politicians.  What is in it for them to have a well educated public?  More trouble?  It means a discontinuous change from their comfort zone.  Why would they?

Our democracy is "of the elite, by the elite and for the elite". 

Srivathsa

 

 

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

City.Zen's picture

Problems in pursuing one's interest

""I can bet Rs,1000 that half the students there take up branches of engg that they have no real interest in or passion for" One reason why this happens at least in NIT/IITs is that there are not enough seats in popular subjects where demand is more. Seats are allotted purely on their CET/AIEEE rankings. So, a person who is way down in the ranking list is likely to get mining or metallurgy, even if his aptitude and interest lies in electronics. The solution, I would say, is to increase the number of seats to match the demand which happens easily in private colleges or where governmental stranglehold is absent. Let the government get out of higher education and let a thousand private organizations like ISBs bloom!
City Zen
City.Zen's picture

100% Literate Vs. Well-educated

@Srivathsa: "What is in it for them to have a well educated public? More trouble?" Look at the two most literate States, Kerala and W.Bengal! Do we really want 100% literacy? I note that you have used the word well-educated. Guess we should differentiate between literacy and true values-based education. Anyway, you know better, having lived in Kolkata for two years.
City Zen
murali772's picture

education reforms

Very interesting discussions. What I had listed under 'education reforms' (see below) in my blog captioned 'manifesto points' resonates well with what City.zen has suggeted. Mr Ramalinga Reddy, the Congress candidate from our 'BTM layout' constituency, and formerly Education Minister in the S M Krishna ministry, is coming over to meet us and seek our votes coming Sunday. I propose to raise the matter with him.

Whereas India could easily become the knowledge capital of the world if the initiatives by the private sector in this field, particularly Higher Education, are harnessed properly, we are today faced with an unfortunate situation where we are not even in a position to meet our own demands for skilled man-power. The bigger irony is the growing levels of unemployment amongst the so-called 'graduates'. The cause of this tragic mis-match has clearly been identified by the 'Knowledge Commission' as resulting from the stranglehold of the sector by organizations like UGC, AICTE, Medical Council, etc, which has recommended their replacement by a more liberal regime under the overall purview of a Regulatory Authority. This needs to move on a war footing.

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
City.Zen's picture

Allow The Saplings Space To Grow... Doing Away With Tests

@Srivathsa: "grass roots education (and not merely schooling)" Jayant and Meghna are two smart 9-year-old distant cousins of very good pedigree and studying in two well-known schools. Jayant goes to the Little Rock Indian School in Brahmavar and Meghna goes to the Rishi Valley School near Kanakapura where there are no exams at all until 10th standard or so. Is this why Meghna's knowledge is more extensive than Jayant's? The government schools also have a practice of not failing any student and don't make any student to repeat a grade. Why do government schools and rural private schools lag far behind than reputed schools? While all the schools teach about subjects, why life skills like presentation skills, oratory, communication skills, exam skills, etc. are not taught? At what level should these be taught? While they teach the subjects from an exam point of view, why do they fail in creating an interest in the subject among the children? Why is there a general fear of science, maths, and English amongst the Kannada medium students? Answers to these might hold the key in improving mass education and take it on its way to becoming class education. - City Zen
City Zen
tsubba's picture

education

great going folks, have touched up on many of the critical issues. engaging each of them will take a while, meanwhile let me start with a few. as sri said, the specs for primary education cannot be drafted without considering end user. IIT/IIM are just one such end users. there are many other spheres of life like that. but capacity increase and capacity utilization is just one component of the IIT/IIM issue. how to make the JEE or any other entrance to any of our 'elite' institutions more accessible and approachable? access to these institutions is very much an urban phenomena, barring very few genius type outliers. can somebody from kollegala or a naragunda have a fair and decent shot at JEE? alternately, among other vocations, the next big kannada writer, thinker, linguist, kannada professor, historian, dramatist, singer, movie maker, comedian(not in any particular order) etc etc... is not likely to be incubated by our best urban schools. these have to be incubated by underfunded schools and erroneous textbooks. that there is the fundamental problem. we have divided our lives and localized our resources where part of our society cannot benefit from the cross pollination by the other. note we have not created special science or arts schools, that would be reductionism and that would be a nice problem to have. but what we have is segmentation. we have divided our people and our existence, and in the process completely underwritten the notion kannada is useless for urban life, which it turns out is increasingly the more gravitating way of life these days. mandatory, universal kannada subject is not a solution either. you only gain partial literacy and some facility in kannada by doing that. that is like teaching only maths, and no physics. social studies has to be for kannada what physics is for maths - a field where you can think and employ the abstract fundamentals of the parent subject. bcoz we teach only abstract kannada we are quickly losing facility to employ it for anything more involved than verbalizing basic involuntary realizations like hoTTe haseetide, ayyo novvu. more later.. in this two points: access and segmentation. achieving meaningful facility in kannada. city.zen as i submit this i see your response very important issues.
City.Zen's picture

What the experts say....

My two favorite columnists in TOI are Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Ayer and Gurcharan Das. Here are some of their writings. http://www.swaminomics.org/ In the search box paste the following topics A New IIT Every Year Higher Education is Private Property Human capital is property Money Can't teach kids to read and write Create Harvards, Oxfords in India Don't Censor Caste Data When Masterji Becomes Netaji Pitfalls of Universal Education xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx http://ccs.in/gdas/?p=182... End This Killer Raj -- by Gurcharan Das City Zen
City Zen
s_yajaman's picture

Aiyer for me more than Das

City.Zen sir,

I read swaminomics and find Aiyer to have a more balanced view of things.  I find Gurcharan Das a bit too "milk and honey" to digest.  He used to be the CEO of the company I used to work for (and so I might be biased!).

I don't know if you read his latest article on the OBC quota in IITs.  It was highly based on opinion (his own) and he makes a statement that is misleading at best - "it is not good to put a 20th rank with a 20,000 rank".  he provides no data that such things happen.  Even if it did - the 20th ranker can keep to himself or mix with the 21st ranker.  These sort of statements need to be made with care coming from someone of his stature.

We also need to teach our youngsters that intelligence (in physics, chemistry and maths) is but one aspect of a human.  It automatically does not make him or her superior.  Anna Hazare probably did not know any more than high school maths - but he changed a village forever with common sense and determination.

There was a boy in my batch in IIMC.  he grew up washing plates and cups in a tea stall and somehow finding the time to study thanks to the stall owner's kindness.  He  did not get great marks in his class XII and degree - but even 50% marks under such circumstances is more creditable than a 99% for a boy like me.  It was the most humbling experience talking to him.  if out of a good reservation policy we could unearth 5 such boys/girls each year - would it not be worth it?  He is one of the reasons I have come to view the talk about meritocracy with a pinch of salt.  If a boy/girl in a remote town with uneducated parents can get 50% it is a great achievement and given the right inputs he/she can go to great heights.

Srivathsa

 

 

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

City.Zen's picture

EQ > IQ

@Srivathsa: I agree with you cent percent. All of us are differently gifted. Marks are but only indicators in the particular exam, nothing more than that. The great Isaac Newton who is credited with extraordinary brains exhibited a lack of common sense when he drilled two holes in the door for his two cats of different sizes. I vaguely remember reading an article by Aiyer which advocated reservations and I had to grudgingly change my own views. City Zen
City Zen
tsubba's picture

kannada:ss

i just want to clarify, objectively, the relation between ss and kannada is not the same as the relation between maths and physics. but from a pedagogical perspective, my argument is true. you only develop facility in a language by actually applying it in a broader context. that is why they have lessons in second language kannada about mountain climbing, biography of a scientist etc etc.. these lessons have no linguistic merits, they are only inserted to expand scope. but these lessons are far and in between to add much value. real facility can only come from a dedicated approach. all these wonderful ideas that city.zen keeps teasing us with, when can the majority of ka or even a significant portion of bangalore dist ever get to be a subject of these experiments? when can we expect the folks from the hip and happening schools of bangalore to do some like this? http://www.youtube.com/wa... as i said before, 21st century mysorean, rocking the words of a 18th century seer of prehistoric indic ideas to the strains of 20th century western european music. idakinta cosmopolitan beka?
tsubba's picture

what is education?

i wanted to ask this. why do we teach science in school like we are going to make a scientist out of everybody and in the process turn it into a chore rather an introduction to a life process? in our dailylife we are not going to be proving pythogoras theorem, then why a sslc exam question asking to prove that? but music we hear every day. how about some appreciation classes in it? Classical music in schools favoured http://www.hindu.com/2008... DHARWAD: Reiterating her call for inclusion of classical music in the curriculum of primary schools, vocalist Gangubai Hangal has urged music enthusiasts to strive for the sake of promotion of classical music. She was releasing a book on music, “Rasagana Sudha”, written jointly by Pandit Venkatesh Burli and Hanumanth Burli here on Sunday. She said “I can only give suggestions on continuing the musical tradition. It is left to you (music enthusiasts) to take up the matter to its logical end.” Dr. Gangubai Hangal called upon the musicians of the younger generation to adapt the recent and novel compositions suitably. “A ‘bandish’ is not meant to be read in a book. The composition will be fruitful only it is adapted to music,” she said. Flautist Shambhu Bhat Kadatokar and music critic Sadanand Kanavalli spoke on the book. President of Avani Rasikara Sangha N.B. Bhat presided over the function. Ullas Gunaga welcomed the gathering. Dr. Hanumanth Burli made the introductory remarks. Rendition Later, Dr. Hanumanth Burli and his troupe enthralled the audience by rendering the new compositions (bandish).
City.Zen's picture

Kannada in Massachusetts

This is a story about the Deshpande kids of Massachusetts. During the days when CD-writers had just been introduced, one of the Deshpande kids wanted to own one but was told by his mother that it would be bought for him only if he wrote an essay in Kannada. Kannada can thus stay alive and thrive only when Kannadigas become adventurous and migrate all over the world and spread the Kannada aroma around.
City Zen
City.Zen's picture

Education is : Teaching structured thinking ???

@TS: "in our daily life we are not going to be proving pythogoras theorem, then why a sslc exam question asking to prove that?" Thanks to Mr. Bhashyam Srinivasan, here is another of his insights. The study of Mathematics (and science too?) is desirable because it helps one develop logical/structured thinking. These two are the only subjects where one can score 100%. A story goes that Girish Karnad, the student had a burning desire to go abroad with a scholarship and so chose Mathematics as major because that alone could help him score the highest and that is how he first landed himself in England. Too much of music, especially the heady stuff of Gangoobai, was what probably (added to the other related stuff of Naach) led to the eventual downfall of the mighty mughals.( both Bhashyam and I love this kind of music, and the infatuation has cost me dear). -- City Zen
City Zen
City.Zen's picture

Anna Hazare, Saalumarada Thimmakka.....

"Anna Hazare probably did not know any more than high school maths - but he changed a village forever with common sense and determination." and Kannada's own Salumarada Thimmakka!
City Zen
s_yajaman's picture

TS - maths is all around us

TS,

You certainly have a point - "floods don't make crops grow".  Maths and science can be taught in a way that relate to the world around us.

The way I taught my boys the concept of a number line was through "snakes and ladders", "pagade" and "ludo".  Addition and subtraction through Monopoly.  They never had a problem after that.  Concepts are very strong now.  Children cannot manage abstractions very well. 

All education does not have to be utilitarian.  The very fact that the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter is a constant is beautiful.  Similarly the fact that x2+y2=h2 regardless of the triangle is beautiful.  If there is no sense of awe at the how ordered the world really is then we have not taught properly.  There are 100s of proofs of Pyth. theorem, but we are taught one of the most complicated using all sorts of constructions, etc 

We need to teach music for sure.  Music teaches as much structured thinking as maths.  If you listen to most popular music - (Kannada, English, Hindi) it is structured around what is known as the 4/4 time.  Hard to explain on this blog - check it out for yourself.  Western music is built around scales, Indian music around ragas.  Both are super structured. 

Scientific temper is important because it teaches us doubt and questioning.  Why does a cup of tea get cool but a cup of ice cream get warm?  Why is winter in the Northern Hemisphere when the Earth is closer to the sun than in summer?  Why does the day get longer in summer?  why does rain fall?  why are there seasons?  Can go on and on.

Rambling on as usual.

Srivathsa

 

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

navshot's picture

Education... my 2 paisa worth...

At a high level, education according to me has to develop these, broadly speaking:

1. Intellectual: Intellectual is to do with reasoning, is of theory. Without this, no development starts off. Pure sciences and mathematics are good examples.

2. Technical: This is to apply the intellectual understanding. Without this, reasoning of no practical use. This involves activity and actual work. Do not confuse this with only Hi-Tech. Even a farmer sowing the seeds a particular way might be technically sound in that area.

3. Emotional/spiritual: This is the guiding force. This develops sense of ethics and moral too. Also helps in discrimination - like intellectual/technical advancement of atomic is fine, but do you want an atomic bomb or an atomic energy source out of that?

 

-- navshot
City.Zen's picture

Parikrma Schools - project undertaken by PanIIT

(excerpt) The Proposition Parikrma provides an innovative, comprehensive solution that aims to help the under-served urban kids break poverty cycles and thus transform their communities. http://paniit2008.org/ind...
City Zen
sarvagna's picture

Classical music in schools favoured

Great to hear this.But i fear weather pseudo intellectuals start protesting against it saying that Government is forcing clssical music on students instead of rock music which has global recognisation.With the kind of people i see around,it might not be a surprise to see that day.

s_yajaman's picture

Tough balancing act

Tarle,

"the next big kannada writer, thinker, linguist, kannada professor, historian, dramatist, singer, movie maker, comedian(not in any particular order) etc etc... is not likely to be incubated by our best urban schools. these have to be incubated by underfunded schools and erroneous textbooks"

You seem to have a valid point.  Whether they have to come from an underfunded school with terrible text books is debatable. 

The best Russian literature has come out of Russia from people who think in Russian and who have lived and breathed Russia. I doubt it can be otherwise.  Same for Bengali or any other language.  It can then be translated into English for the benefit of the world.  The better translations keep as much of the original spirit alive as possible. 

So it is important that there are excellent Kannada medium schools that enable this to happen, and which can compete with the best English medium schools on their own terms.  (But does that mean we have to shut out English - no.  Just as everyone cannot be a scientist everyone cannot be an artist or a writer). 

They are also likely to flourish outside Bangalore - Dakshina Kannada, Shimoga, Mysore, Udipi, Dharwad (whether rural or urban I don't know).  We need to get out of the mentality of anti-urban=pro-rural and anti-English=pro-Kannada and vice versa 

Keeping the balance is going to be hard.

Srivathsa

 

 

 

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

City.Zen's picture

Underfunded schools, erroneous textbooks

"these have to be incubated by underfunded schools and erroneous textbooks" -- A solid example exists right here in Kannada - Dr. SL Bhyrappa. ( Read his autobio, "Bhitti"). Had he gone to one of the finest "conment" schools and studied Science and Maths, would he have become what he has and could he have written the books that have been known even in far away Rumania?
City Zen
City.Zen's picture

... be a subject of these experiments

Tarle: "all these wonderful ideas that city.zen keeps teasing us with, when can the majority of ka or even a significant portion of bangalore dist ever get to be a subject of these experiments?" I thought I was dead ernest, very sorry if it looked like teasing. I am only trying to make sense of the world around me. As for "majority of Ka or even a portion of Bangalore district getting to be a subject of these experiments, I believe things have been happening at various places. Like the Rishi Valley School of Jiddu Krishnamurthy where children can discover the pleasure of knowledge acquisition without the fear and inconvenience of tests and exams; Prabhodini gurukula (prabhodinigurukula.org)in Shrungeri which offers "a five pronged system of education imparting knowledge in Veda, Science, Yoga, Agriculture and Fine arts." Parikrma schools in Bangalore city which offer quality education, nutrition, and healthcare exclusively to slum children. The wonderful thing about these liberalized times is we have enough resources in the form of funds, ideas, technology, and committed people to experiment in translating our ideas into reality. It is for us to decide whether to take the plunge or simply sit back on the banks and look around with wonder and speculation, as I am doing.
City Zen
tsubba's picture

teasing

by teasing, i mean you are showing us the crystal ball and seducing us with images of what can be. when in reality we are stuck in a deep rut of prejudice and neglect. slb is a misleading example. also to be brutally honest, i donot believe in charity. not to belittle efforts of folks, but that is not scalable and not really their job. that is the job of the common govt we have elected and it is their job provide these type of services universally and create a system that works year after year after year. for a long while i was part of a group that was doing this volunteer business. enthu cutlet only i was. but realized a citizen's job is to observe and criticize and keep an eye on the govt not to do their job for them. in the worst case we are underwriting the inefficiency and the neglect of the govt. if we do their job, who will do our jobs? when ngos and others do it, it is bcoz it is their paying job. these are not some exotic causes that you are volunteering to preserve, these are basic citizens' rights. russian authors... if there is no hope of indian kids making it big in english then why do indians send their kids to english schools? what about narayan and anand? how come they were writing classics in samskrutha long after it ceased to be the language of the street?


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