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Unjust and Undemocratic Education?

A student’s letter to his Head Master

Dear and Respected Sir!

Love and Greetings from a student of 6th Std. I hear that you are good and ‘change loving’. I want to write to you a few things very plainly. My parents want me to get 7 A’s and thus bring fame to my family and my school. My teachers try their best. I want to ask you a few questions. ( I know very well that students are not supposed to ask questions. It is a sole right of teachers.)

Is education a way to understand the secrets of nature and live amicably with it or a product to be bought in the supermarket called SCHOOL to score high marks and get a good job? Why is that the knowledge transmitted in the school are in no way connected to the real life but to suit to the needs of business sector, the industry and the Government who want to hold and sustain power?

Dear Sir, Do you know that all Children who start in the primary school do not reach the higher levels. Many get dropped in between. Some children from poor families choose technical education. Only the students from an upper middle class and rich class go for a higher education. Why, dear headmaster, is the disparity and why not the education could be made available equally for everyone irrespective of social and cultural origin?

Dear Sir, Why should the syllabus, the textbook, time for learning, the place, the methodology, the exam pattern be decided by only adults and never by the students. Why is that education is given only in the peer group context and never in the mixed group context, whereas in real life we need to cope up with people who are different in age group, if what you say is correct that education is to prepare children for life? Why is that, dear sir, the school is projected as a world of silence? Why is that our skill of expression controlled?

Is it because the industries, the offices, the government administration and the service sectors like hospitals need ‘sized’ human beings who would be punctual, disciplined, docile and obedient that the SCHOOL produce their ‘product’ punctual, disciplined, docile and obedient? You see the forest, dear sir, it is multi cropping that is natural and sustainable. It is the selfish motive of profit making that encourages mono cropping. Do you not realize that every child is unique? has her own individuality? Is there any opportunity for the child to express her own individuality? Individualism is promoted. Competition is encouraged. But don’t you realize that letting the children grow, as they are in the multi cropping as in the forest is natural and sustainable?

Are you not aware that the concept of uniformity, treating all ‘ unique’ children in the same way, with same syllabus, in the same pace and evaluate in the same method kills the creativity of individual person? IS not the ultimate aim of education to ‘free’ a person from ‘FEAR’? Dear Sir, but, in reality, the students are punished and kept fearful by different mechanisms. Is it right? Why is this war against innocent children by grown up adults? Do you not pity our teachers who are poor species that need to obey their authorities, be afraid of the parents, get demotivated by non committed colleagues, fight with the set curriculum and get tortured by the ‘dull headed’ students?

Is it fair to expect the same result from every child when the living conditions, the place of residence, the neighborhood, housing conditions, attitudes, values, speech habits, differences in life experiences outside the school, differences in parents attitudes to school differ for each child? Don’t you think that we come out of school learning individualism and competition, mistrusting others, learning feelings of inferiority, of submission of respect for the existing order, have fear of conflict and instill dependence?

I hear that Globalization is taking place in all walks of life. Will the Schools ( production companies) produce students  with best possible education ( consumer goods ) as saleable in the global market as were producing for the national market? is this the future? Dear Sir, Can we have a system of education which will also respect the uniqueness of individual child, respect the indigenous culture, respect the mother nature and be based on human values of love, peace, harmony, justice and equality?

Dear Sir, we have lost our child hood but should we allow our children to lose theirs? Let us jointly change the situation.

Bye. Take care, Yours truly,

A hopeful Child.

But is our situation so bad? Have we not done anything positive by our education to our society? What is the impact of our education in the lives of people in the present society? Let us listen to this conversation.

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