Sharmila Adhikari

Spring time! Flowers bow and bob up and down in the generous and condescending breeze. The gardener is walking within — proud, confident and loving. This perfect picture frame could have bordered pedagogy and its nuances even a decade ago. Today pedagogy is walking up the cobbled streets, sometimes getting ankles twisted …. And the ‘ouch!’ resonates.

A tsunami of changes not entirely unnoticed has lashed upon the shores of education. But wait —ironically the leaves of books and sheaves of paper are still housed in dark monuments and moth smelling libraries. Teachers dapple and drone away with the same curriculum year after year and what most of the teaching faculty has stumbled upon is the response to their attempts of permeating knowledge. Arched eyebrows insist that knowledge dissemination should be a potpourri of entertainment, enthusiasm and emancipation not to forget — a true teacher inspires right?

However, in the marathon race of education, the teaching gentry is grappling and groveling at the end row. Knowledge? Who wants it? The window is always open isn’t it? The ‘looking up to’ has met a slow death. When I don’t need you, why on earth should I be made to feel so? Students by and large share this sentiment. Do I sound cynical or bitter? No I am not because it is true that if we fail to create a phalanx around our growing children the tsunami of insecurity, of retorts and a compulsive disdain will deluge us or take an epidemic hue!

The onus is by all means on us. The time to recognize the abysmal situation is knocking at our door. The clutter of permeating only applicable knowledge should now give way to healthy, holistic ways. Parents have to stop bringing up sanitized and deodorized children and rather teach them to ‘stumble only to straighten up’ and to forge ahead.

All grandiose and lofty teachings have to give way to ‘teach through examples’. The simple meaning of ‘bouncing back’ should form the core sentiment while as a potter, the parents set out to shape the core assumptions of their children.

We as grownups should unfold the sheet of priorities to our children and the list should be something like country, a thought gesture, an analyzing mind, a healthy response and so on and so forth.

Most importantly we have to teach our children the line of limit — the limit on speed, limit on speech, limit on ambition, limit on day dreaming, and a limit on pining to make quick money.

Often I have seen students writing, ‘My best teacher is my mother’ so my appeal to all mothers (the most wonderful specie created by God) not to awaken to a grey morning ridden with the issue of a compulsively rebellious or an in secured child but to a bright chirpy morning with children primarily as good, holistic human beings, children to whom milestones have a different connotation.

As a teacher when the charity of making holistic human beings begins at home, we can pick up the lesser knotty threads and make an attempt to  run to the goal post somewhat unhindered.

When teachers are able to push themselves to clutch the willing and extended hands of parents, I am sure we will not see tsunamis but sea beaches with bright skies, happy faces and ships of ingenuity waiting to be moored to the world of future.

(The writer is an English teacher teaching senior classes. She has been writing articles for magazines and local newspapers like Purono Kolkatar golpo in Kolkata and Samvada in Delhi. She has also written many articles for her school magazine. I am an avid reader and like to read almost anything that interests me)

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