Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Teachers discard Morals, favor Realistic Approach

Educationalists in Meerut initiated a debate over shaping the moral conduct of children and the society and refused to take over the responsibility, saying that their duty is to make the student realistic, so that he may sustain in the present corrupt scenario

Educationalists sparked a new debate over the inclusion of Moral education in teaching plan after some participants flouted the idea as outdated and irrelevant in a seminar organized on Monday at Western UP Chamber of Commerce in Industry.

Organized by the department of education of the Apex institute of Management and Research, in the seminar “Teacher’s Role in the Context of Present Social Scenario”, the seminar was to discuss the future role for the students who want to pursue the career as a teacher. But a Professor R.P Bhatnagar, the ex-head of the department of education in CCS University and now the member in many panels related with higher education, sparked a new row by suggesting the audiences to discard the concept of morality and ethics from the educational process.

“It is not the duty of a teacher, rather let the student pick for himself the set of morals whatever suits them”, said Professor Bhatnagar from the dais. “Teacher should focus on clearing the concepts related with the subject”, he suggested while adding that the excess of morality in a student leads him to a failure. Also he suggested that students should rather be practical in order to sustain in the present scenario where the whole system is corrupt.

The idea of professor Bhatnagar was applauded and supported by most present on the dais. Most of them supported the idea that the teacher should look for the mental and educational development only.

“Let the family and society shape the morality as it is their primary duty”, said Dr. Suraksha Pal, the Dean and head in the department of education in CCS University. Although she accepted that teachers too have some role to play in shaping the morals for society, but he comes last in the hierarchy comprised of family, neighbors and the society along with them.

Interestingly, most of the scholars and academicians supported the idea to discard the concept of moral education. Very few opposed and that too in a very weak tone.

“It is a sort of illusion”, claimed Dr. Ganga Sharan Sharma, ex-head in the department of education at N.A S College. “May be Professor Bhatnagar was frustrated with the system”, he added while claiming that Professor Bhatnagar in his times always favored morality and now his words are more in sympathy for his obedient disciples
Whatever may be the reasons, but Professor Bhatnagar has raised a question that need to be answered. Society looks towards the teachers to shape the moral values and if they are not ready to accept the responsibility, then who, is the major concern now.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Living with ajab ghazab identities

How correct was Shakespeare when he said, “What’s in the name”, if we go through the words by which certain places and persons are tagged with denotes their identity.

Who may not be confused to listen the Ajab , Ghazab and Vichitra names (which means strange) to identify a person, but these are among the popular names in western UP, where in almost every village there is one or the other Ajab Singh or Vichitra Kumar. To add on these typical rural names there are words like Lathait (cane stick) Singh, Jhunde (wild grass) Singh. There are Buddhu (fool), jumma (Friday) and also Bundu, Chandu, Chhajju, Rajju, Bijju, Natthu and Billu who even themselves cannot explain the meaning of their name, but they are called like this only.

“Often people were not used to take a trouble to find a name’, says Dr. Mohammad Ghazi, a linguist adding that in older times people were simple and often named their child on the day or the month they were born like Muharram (first month of Urdu Calendar) Ali, Sawan (a month in Hindi calendar) Lal and Kartik (another Hindi month) Singh.

Not even the human beings even places carry some strange tags for their identity. A village carries a name Bawli which in Hindi is denoted to a person who has lost his mind. There are Mundali, Dhikoli, Jhunda Mafi, Lawad, Nagli, Chhollas, Jharcha, Nangloi, Kudey Mafi, Munda Pande, Chhajlait, Jirauli, Wawai and Ikrotia. These words may not be found in any dictionary or encyclopedia of any language but they exist in this very world.
“Name of places are not same as they were originally named”, says Ramnath Sharma Raman, a poet and a historian. “Actually the name get distorted with times and linguistic errors’, he adds.

Whatever may be the reasons but the human and destination chronology often confuses our minds. But we are like this only and not today but for ages. These are the colors of life and our culture. So next time you go through such a name just take it as a ray from iridescence and never try to mingle your mind behind the meanings

Friday, December 24, 2010

Teachers, please end the rule of stick

For long educationalists are constantly trying to chalk out a system where the students shall be allowed to grow naturally without fear and burden of studies, but most of these approaches are child centric, ignoring the behavioral and psychological studies of the teachers.

Some three thousand years ago, Greek philosopher Plato drafted a plan, thought to be the first human effort to comprehensively design the education system and the curriculum. Since then, various scholars have drafted hundred of plans, but rarely anyone talked about the behavior of teachers or their psychoanalysis.

“Teacher is an axis of any educational system”, claims Professor Suraksha Pal, while suggesting that the education system should be learner oriented. “If the teacher has some behavioral problem, he will spoil the entire system, she adds. In addition she suggests that education system should be learning oriented instead of teaching oriented and the teacher should be an impressionist.

Most of the educationists while suggesting the reforms in system favor no-punishment format in schools, as they feel that punishments are not the solution but the problem itself. Jeremy Bentham (1748) called the punishment as revenge. He suggests that teacher should be reformative in action and not punitive.

"Imparting an education is a two way communication process", says Dr. Shivali Agrawal, a Professor in Political Science. "Teacher is as important as the student. But I feel that punitive measures are avoidable and also that no teacher feels happy while punishing his student", she adds.

But question remains intact that how to deal the students and does the punishment become inevitable in certain cases and does the teacher loses the ground of morality, once he punishes his ward.

"After all teacher is also a humane", says Professor Beer Singh, an expert in human psychology. "Sometime he can get irritated with students behavior and minor issues shall be neglected.” He adds while suggesting that the teacher should learn to control his emotions and in no case he shall go violent against the kids.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

No safe road in Meerut

There is no safe road to pass through in Meerut, a city with highest density of private registered vehicles in western UP region and the worst roads to drive.

With almost two Lakh registered two wheelers and approximately 30,000 registered private cars, roads in the city remain clogged with traffic all around the day. To worsen the traffic situation more then 3500 tempos and auto rickshaws run on the city roads., along with 400 hundred city transport buses150 school buses. The city roads almost crumble every day with the burden of 4 Lakh veicles on them.

Interestingly, to manage this traffic on roads the traffic department has sanctioned the staffs of only 100 men out of them just 60 are available in present date. For these sixty men there is just one traffic car in the name of resources.

On an average the accidents cost at least one life a day on the city roads and another 5 are injured. According to the traffic department most of those who fell prey to accidents are found violating the traffic norms. The records of emergency admissions at Lala Lajpat Rai Medical College suggest that most of the victims were under age and were driving the two wheelers. Also most of those who lost their life were not wearing the helmets.

This data suggests that neither the traffic department is well equipped nor the citizens are properly educated in traffic rules and regulations. Although the officials responsible for the smooth functioning of the traffic claim that they do more then enough to minimize the accident risks.
“We focus mainly on educating the youth about the traffic norms”, claims Sudheer Kumar Singh, SP (Traffic) while adding that they have a traffic park to educate the children about the road signs and the rules. Also he claimed that his staff works round the clock for the smooth running of transport on city roads.

But the blood-bathed roads of city seem to falsify these claims and suggest that the traffic department is ill equipped to guard 1400 kilometers of municipal, cantonment and PWD roads through which the citizens run day and night.

“At most of the busy road crossings one may not find even a constable to guard”, says Dr. Dinesh Singh, a professor in CCS University. “ The population of the city is rising day-by-day and so the traffic, but not the number of traffic policemen”, he adds.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

How I got my name?

Everything is in a name as is the only attribute that a man can claim to be his own and attribute it to his identity and the very first gift he receives from his family and the society.
Jean Jacques Rousseau, a famous philosopher says that man owes nothing to himself, even his name that is often given by the family and attributed to him by the society. One can have many names but his identity will be attributed to the one that gets the recognition from the society.

“I don’t know how I got my name”, says Sandeep Mishra alias Sandy. “My mom started calling me Sandy and so my neighbors”, he says adding that now only his office mates know his original name and even close relative are e unaware of Sandeep.

There are many people like Sandeep and some of them have even forgotten their real names. Ask them, and they will tell they name by which they are referred with even if they hate they word.

“People call me chavanni’, says Raju, a boy working at a tea stall. ‘I hate this word but cant do anything and I have grown habitual of it”, he adds.

Very few people know how and why they got the distinguished name for themselves and many of them even remain unaware of its meaning. Some of them puzzle all through their life for the reasons, why they were tag specifically. But the name is name and no one can survive without this label, from whatever source he may have attained it.

“In our times a priest used to suggest the names or the elders in the family made the choice”, says Jarnail Singh, who got his name because his grandfather wanted him to be high ranking official in army and for him General was Jarnail.

Naming a child once was a sacred ritual and the names originated from the sacred texts, attributed to Gods and Goddesses and saints. War heroes, the kings and queens and the divine characters had followed them as the second choices.

But the time has changed so the method of naming a man. Joint families exist no more and rarely the priests are consulted. Professor google and other search engines have replaced the age-old system. Those who are not tech savvy, they rely upon their knowledge about film stars, the star players and the famous politicians to name their child, and the name game goes on.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The "Secular" Traditions: Indian Marriage

A wedding ceremony or a festive jubilation in India are the best places where one can find the deep roots of harmony along with the shared traditions of various communities and cultures bonded together.

No community in India can claim the cultural homogeneity for itself as one or the other tradition they follow may have been inherited from others and with the time have become the integral part of our jubilations at various occasions, including festivals and marriages.

For instance, the rituals of Mehndi are followed by most of the Indians, irrespective of their caste, religion, or ethnicity at their matrimonial delight. Mehndi ceremony has emerged as one of the most important pre-wedding ritual, a funfilled delight mainly observed at bride's family. Although originated in ancient India, the art of decorating skin can be found all over the world, but not as ceremonious as in Indian subcontinent.

“In India, Pakistan and Bangladesh mehandi has achieved the status of a saced rite that is inevitable, interestingly no Arab marriage celebrates mehndi, where Islam claims its origination”, says Naqi Mehdi a scholar. “The celebrations have come up in the present form by the intermixing of cultural values of the Persians, Indians and later with turks and Arabs, who had migrated to India he adds.

Intersetingly the tradition has strenthened the secular fabric of India,often boasted as the Ganga Jamuni Tahzeeb. Signifying the strenghth of love, mehndi is not the only tradition that is being shares across the communities.

“The rituels of Haldi, the Choori pahnai , Muh dikhai, Joota churai and much more to count , Indian marriages are celebrated more or less on the same pattern”, says Avnita Singhal, a social worker. “I was attending my friend’s marriage who is a Muslim, and I was ammused to see that everything happening was more or less similar to ours with minor alterations”, she says.

Not only the marriages, the festive jubilations also have much alikes that can confuse anyone to take the one festivel as other.The fireworks, sweet distribution and the gatherings of Shab e Barat can be placed with that of Diwali without much changes to observe. Similary Nauroz clebrations among the Parsi families and also the Muslims who claim their Iranian origin are almost that of Holi where colors and sweets add values to the festive mood.

“We can not change our past, including our shared heritage and cultural values as we have lived together for years and have shared all our good and bad with each other”, says Dr. Kamlesh Mahajan, a Professor in socilogy. “ It is not fair to call them a Hindu ritual or Muslim ritual, rather they are our very own Indian ritual, she adds.

The crossbonding is so evident that the search for origination is like searching a needle in the straw heap. Interestingly, no one bothers about it, and just want to enjoy the traditions.

“I don’t want to discuss, from where the traditions have come in but as far as they add colors to the celebrations, and didn’t voilate the norms of society, law and religion, they must be accepted openheartedly”, says Maulana Mahzar Abidi, a cleric. “If a ritual itself has shedded its communal identity, who are we to paint it in the name of a religion”,

The tones of Maulana Mahzar are also carried in the voice of Pandit Ramnath Sharma, a poet, who believes that religion and customs, although seem to be integral but have very less to do with each other, and says “We are human and the entire development we notice is the joint venture of humanity and not the race. It is our strength as a specie that we are the superior of all races and as Indian, the best from rest of the world“.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

School Phobia

India registers one of the highest dropout rates in schools at primary level and it is often credited to the faulty system and the fear among students.

Fear of punishment and lengthy homework force many of the students to leave their studies midway suggests some surveys. Fear of homework and punishment for unfinished work create school phobia among the kids. Most of try easier ways to escape this phobia.

"I left my studies after my teacher humiliated me during the assembly for my unfinished homework", says Ravi alias Chhotu who now works with a motor mechanic. "For last two years I am here and have no regrets for leaving the studies", he adds.

Another student Amol (name changed) tried a different trick to escape the punishment for his incomplete homework. He made a hoax call to the school, claiming that he is from Mumbai and has placed a bomb in school premises. Later through surveillance police traced the origin of the call, the whole story was revealed.

"Sometime teachers try solve the problems their own way", says Dr. Seema Sharma, a child psychologist. "They lack the skills to tackle the child and this results in much bigger problems", she adds.

Experts in the field of education suggest orientation program for the teachers too. As says Dr. Shivani Singh, a professor in Education
"Teachers shapes the society and before he starts his job, he himself should be in a good shape.

Innovation is Fashion

If you believe that to be fashionable, one needs money, then its time to change your thought as little innovation can add colors to your life and you feel lot ahead of others.

In the era when people have gone mad for the brands, homegrown fashion must have become the utopian concept; instead it is quite popular, especially with the youngsters. Youth in the city seems to be celebrating the ‘Think Hatke’ euphoria. Surprisingly youth go beyond general imagination while creating a fashion trend. For instance necklace being as wristband, rubber band as bracelet can shock even the fashion industry legends.

“Brands cannot give the variation, whereas I don’t believe in being stereotyped”, says Rajat Jain, a student. “I have found a way in innovation and I try to find a fashionable accessory in everything I find on street and even at home”, he adds.

It looks as if there is an innovative fashion designer in every individual. They do it as if it is a child play and comes out with new designs and trends.

“Material is available everywhere and one need to arrange them in order to get something new” claims Shaheen Zehra, perusing Business course. “ I just arrange and re- arrange a set of beads to get a new necklace everyday” she says.

There are many others who remain away from the fame of being an originator but many of such stuff becomes quite popular. One such occurrence comes from the village Mundali in western UP. Ashraf Abbas, a local crafted a necklace from the seeds of Melia Azedarach (Bakayan). An exporter who ordered him 50000 more such necklace instantly picked up the innovative creation.
Another local, Iram claims that she fixed her ear rings into her necklace and everyone was anxious to know the shop, from where they can get it. “My ear ring need to be repaired and I was just inspecting that, when an idea came to me”, she says. I just plucked the outer leafs from it and fused them with my chain to get a new necklace”, she says.