Now, I really don’t know about you, but I grew up in a class of 60-70 students. My teacher never saw my hand in the sea of hands that raised to answer a question. She only saw me when she could sense my fear, because I did not know the answer.
The calculus and momentum equations that I couldn’t solve were noticed. A big ZERO in trigonometry was a big deal and an A+ in clay modelling, flower arrangement, instrument playing was just nothing at all.
Like I said, this must not be your story. But it was the story, it’s safe to say now, of at least 50 of those students who studied with me and were forced to do things they did not like. But there was always someone who believed in us, our parents or one of those hero teachers who actually stepped out the education module to shape a kid.
But my heart breaks for these Kerala students who need rescuing. In a very shameful case, as reported by Matrubhumi, a school in Malappuram, Kerala has issued two different uniforms for their students.
The academically smart kids will wear white shirts/tops and the average/dull students will wear red check shirts/tops. Al-Farooq English Medium school introduced this practice in June in order to promote ‘healthy’ competition in kids.
The parents are against this baseless policy that has been implemented to improve the class of the “second category” students. One of the concerned parents spoke to Hindustan Times and said,
“We were told the average students will yearn for white and work hard but we find it too discriminatory.”
Parents are worried as this is causing metal agony to the children. They have informed the Child helpline and they have intervened as well.
The concept of ‘uniform’ in schools was to promote uniformity – to teach students that no matter where they come from, they are all equal. Labeling a student as average is demeaning on so many levels! You are destroying a child’s confident to such an extent that he/she will grow up believing that he/she is nothing.
Toppers/smart people are gifted and hard workers, but I don’t need to tell you that Mark Zukerberg, Aziz Premji and Mukesh Ambani are all college dropouts. They are not average now, are they? They were bigger than the education system. They knew their calibre.
It’s just so sickening that a system that is supposed to shape/model a child’s entire life is branding them as average/dull. Is academics the parameters of everything?
You have no idea what side of a child you are killing when you make him/her give everything in mugging up formulas/answers they are not going to use after the next 10 years.
Let the child also explore his creative side. You never know, maybe you’re slowly poisoning the next Sachin Tendulkar, Lata Mangeshkar, Usain Bolt, MF Hussain, Priyanka Chopra, Oprah Winfrey, or Narendra Modi.
Do you think we are at the liberty to lose them to such petty rules that not only brand them but also kill their individuality?
Also, it will mold the impressionable minds of kids who would definitely see the bias and would identify themselves in groups. Kids will look down upon each other and from what the history has taught us, our leaders fought to eradicate discrimination. The Britishers ruled us for years because we were busy fighting among ourselves. We united and we stepped our game to become one of world’s biggest superpowers!
The call is ours, do we want to build a country that is going towards the 21st century or just going back to the 18th.