Insipid Life!

Once upon a time, a vivacious girl was she.

Jewels of happy times dazzled her cache of memories.

Her persona emanated a sprightly laughter,

until the pandemic struck.

Locked down within the four walls,

online, virtual space conquered her life.

With friends and family imprisoned on the screen

tentacles of loneliness clasped her breath.

Silent voices screamed within her head,

with thoughts, lost in the labyrinth of anxiety.

Her once effervescent soul, today is anemic.

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced schools, colleges and educational institutions to shut down since March last year. At an age when the primary fulfilling factor is interaction with classmates and enjoying school-life, a shutdown has wreaked havoc in the daily life of students. We have seen an alarming rise in the mental health problems faced by them. Acknowledging this issue with timely treatment can make a significant difference in helping them cope better with the situation.

Reena’s exploration challenge #174

Eugi’s weekly prompt : Jewel

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Virtual Classrooms!

Happy to share that this poem is featured in prohzeonline publications.

Young lady typing on keyboard of laptop in living room
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Normally at this time of the year, the schools here in India, would witness a fusillade of squeals and chatter, welcoming the students after a two month vacation. The glee and excitement they feel on the opening day, is absolutely contagious. Dressed in a new uniforms, with new books, new classrooms, meeting old friends and new, they are all geared up to take on another academic year in their stride.

But alas, this year things seem to have gravitated from the normal. With uncertainty looming large in all aspects of life, and no clarity on how long this pandemic will last, schools have resorted to virtual classrooms with online classes for most of the grades. It is a huge adjustment for the teachers and the students alike. Everybody is desperately waiting for things to fall back to normalcy.

The deserted school waits in vain

for its classrooms to be filled,

with boisterous brats and nerdy brains,

 innocent laughter that echoes to the corridors

tiny hands that crayon a masterpiece

the endless debates of the thinking minds

experiments, hobbies and art classes

assignments, projects and field trips

 endless squabbles and punishment

the favourite teacher, the secret crush,

surprise tests, boring classes,

cheering buddies and bruised knees

pandemonium on playground,

innumerable memories created

within the periphery of school.

Today,

the languid souls confined to their rooms,

desperately try to focus on the lessons online

missing out on all the fun and learning.

Restless, they wait in anticipation

to step back into their classrooms

to fill  the canvas of their school life

with bold strokes of joyful learning.

Marks = Intelligence ?

current-education-system

“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Albert Einstein .

Jubilation, celebrations, disappointment, reprimands, humiliation and in a few cases suicide! This is pretty much the scenario in many Indian homes in the months of May and June as it is the season of results. The boards and many other competitive exams are out with the results of lakhs of students who appeared for various exams across all formats, ages and classes.

This breaking news dominates all newspapers, social media, workplaces, parties, meetings etc. The question arises, why this hullabaloo for student’s marks? Grades are just a quantitative indication of one’s performance in academics. While one should appreciate the hard work put in by children who have done well, it is equally important not to humiliate or put down the others who did not measure up to the expectations.

“ In school we learn that mistakes translates to bad grades. This unfortunate lesson gets burned into our brains, and we go through life shunning challenges that might end in failure. ” Mark Frauenfelder.

I am pained at how some schools and parents stop all other activities for their wards with the sole aim of cracking the exams with top grades for the Xth and XIIth boards. By doing so, they fail to realize that they are laying impediments in their child’s path to progress in the long term. With the prime focus only on the numbers, they ignore training the child in life skills which is so essential to deal with challenges that life throws at them. No wonder today the demand for child physiologists and counselors is on the rise, in our country.

I truly believe that marks are not the true reflection of a student’s intelligence. Is it fair to judge a student solely on his performance for the 3 hours of exam? I still can’t fathom the Indian parent’s obsession with their child to achieve a near centum in all subjects. As parents, we all want our kids to do well academically, but if his results are not top notch, it definitely is not the end of the world. Our society seems to link the grades in this crucial years to a matter of life and death.

“Grades don’t measure tenacity, courage, leadership, guts or whatever you want to call it. Teachers or any other persons in a position of authority should never tell anybody they will not succeed because they did not get all A’s in school. ” Thomas J. Stanley.

With the ever changing world, isn’t it time we changed our outlook regarding this grading system? Today there is no dearth of opportunities for a student to excel in any field.  His interest and passion for a subject can help him make a successful career out of it. As parents and teachers, it our responsibility to identify this in our kids and allow them to pursue subjects of their choice.

“A child’s mind is not a container to be filled out but rather a fire to be kindled.” Dorothea Brande .

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Let’s not link our child’s worth to his mark sheet, but give him wings to soar across the beautiful horizon and charter his own path to emerge victorious!

So, do you think marks = intelligence? Would love to understand your views on this system.

 

 

 

 

किन्तु परन्तु अपितू – But, but, but…….

hindi

कोई भी विद्यार्थी से उनके प्रिय

विषय  के बारे में पुछा तो होगा,

जवाब अनेक मिले होंगे

अंग्रेजी,भूगोल,गणित,विज्ञानं

क्या कभी किसी को हिंदी बोलते हुए सुना?

भाई ! मेरे कान यह सुनने के लिए तरस गए

देश भर सैकड़ो स्कूल में घूम चूका हूँ

परन्तु अभी तक एक भी मित्र न बना पाया

न जाने क्या दुश्मनी है बच्चो  को मुझसे?

शिकायत हमेशा करते है

क्यों पढ़े हम हिंदी, पूछते है वो,

बोलना तो ठीक है, पर कहाँ आज कल लिखता है कोई

नौकरी के तलाश में जाओ तो

अंग्रेजी आना बहुत ज़रूरी है

कोई यह नहीं पूछता , आप हिंदी बोलते है?

मुझे राष्ट्र भाषा का सम्मान दिया है

लेकिन बच्चो से दोस्ती के लिए में तरसता हूँ

किन्तु, परन्तु, अपितू

ऐसा सौतेला व्यवहार मेरे साथ क्यों?

  *********************

But, but, but…..

You may have asked many a student

 about his favourite subject

they may have given you many answers

English, Geography, Math, Science

But have you heard anyone say Hindi?

hey ! my ears are dying to hear this

I have travelled to schools across the country

But have not yet befriended anyone

I wonder why the children dislike me?

“Why should I study Hindi?” they ask?

“Its fine to converse, but who writes in Hindi these days”

To face an interview

it is essential to know English

Nobody asks, “Do you know Hindi?”

I have the honour of being the national language

But I crave for friendship with children

But, but, but

why is this step-motherly treatment given to me?

Image courtesy: articles.indiatimes.com

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