The Reality Check

The real reality

Of experience in and out

Of the world and life

Has to be supra sensual

And supra mundane.

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Masha and the Bear

It is a beautiful folk tale.

Question and answers

1.Where did Masha go with her friends?

Answer: Masha and her friends went to the forest.

  1. What did Masha do when she lost her way?

Answer: She walked all over the forest looking for her friends.

3.What happened when the bear came back to his hut in the evening?

Answer: He was pleased to see Masha.

  1. What plan did Masha make to escape from the bear?

Answer: Masha told the bear to let her go to her village to take some pies for her grandpa and grandma. She hid inside the basket of pies which the bear took to her house.

  1. Was Masha clever? Give reasons to support your answer.

Masha was very clever. She thought about a plan to escape from the bear. She succeeded in executing that plan.

Education system in India

Before thinking about this entity, let us reflect on what was Indian education system in the remote past.

What was

In simple terms, it was a Gurukul system where the students stayed with Guru or the teacher and learned from him.

The teachers were the final word and sole possessors of knowledge. The syllabus included life skills and common notions about life.

What is

The arrival of British people changed the education system in India substantially. It laid emphasis on Western liberal thinking and learning of English Language. Now, the system is not at all promising. It is an utter chaos. It is hypocritical. A great danger is looming. It creates a generation that values only fluency in English.

It conveniently forgets that English is just one of the languages. English mastery is not a criterion for knowledge. It does not respect the core values of Indian culture which can in fact be the guiding star for the entire world.

What should be

I would like to address this heading by the following sub headings:

Teaching

In my opinion, teaching is not a destination but a journey which begins from the womb and ends at the tomb. Teachers are not just those who appear in the classrooms but those who influence and interact with the child throughout the teaching-learning process. However, to be practical when it comes to schooling where teachers’ role is significant, the teachers have to be versatile personalities. He/she has to be a mentor, parent, friend, guide and a reservoir of knowledge, skill, understanding and wisdom.Teaching should be holistic which suits to nurture the innate nature of every learner.Teaching must be dynamic and ever growing.It should be adaptive and adoptive to fit into the transformation happening in the society culturally, institutionally, psychologically, technologically and physically. Teaching cannot be limited to the four walls of the classrooms or to some syllabi with prescribed textbooks. Rather, it should be life-based, skill-based and aptitude based.

To sum up, teaching-learning process is a serious, intellectual and cultural activity in this modern multi-cultural scenario.

Learners

Each human being is a learner. Nowadays, the difference between the learner and the learned has been minimized. Learners learn better in a group. A healthy rapport should be maintained between the learners and the educators. The focus of education should be the learners.Learners should grow improving their skills, developing good attitudes and realizing their potentials.

Parents’ role

Parents play a vital role in education. Both formal and informal education are not complete without parents’ involvement. Parents need to be psychologists as well. They have to guide, counsel and direct their children. They need to be role-models from whom they can draw inspiration and energy. They should make their kids self-responible and self-reliant. As teaching is a collaborative endeavour which substantially sprouts at home, parents’ involvement in teaching learning process is Sine qua non. The formation of the child is not the sole responsibility of teachers but it encompasses the whole hearted co-operation and constant grooming.There must be healthy and timely interference and interaction between the parents and their children. Frequent parents teacher meetings would enable us to realise this vision. Orientation or awareness programmes for parents can also be conducted to realise this noble end.

Discipline

Discipline should be a fundamental value in one’s life.It should be realised than insisted among students.The quality of one’s life depends on how disciplined one is. Discipline is not adhering to some rules and regulations. It should make one organised in her/his thoughts, words and deeds. A disciplined person fruitfully makes use of his time. A disciplined one is morally good. Ethical principles guide one to choose between right and wrong, good and bad, desirable and undesirable, and acceptable and unacceptable.

Use of Technology

Nowadays, technology has facilitated the formal education easily accessible to all and sundry. However, it should be manipulated with caution. It should be our tool. It cannot substitute class room teaching. Chalk and talk is still relevant. Technological advancements beautify, modify and improve the system of education.It minimizes the laborious burden of documentation.

Assessment and evaluation

The assessment and evaluation of the child’s progress must be skill-based and value based taking into consideration the attitudes and aptitudes of each learner. It can be carried out with standardised tests as well as practicals, seminars, research and constant updation of the tools of evaluation and assessment. The assessment of the student improves the quality of education. Evaluation judges what the students have learned during the course of study. Different assessment methods should be used. Evaluation should be both quantitative and qualitative. It should be both formal and informal.Neverthless, a reliable and authentic outcome should be the sole objective of such a process.

Real wealth

To be wealthy or to be healthy; which one would you opt for? To be wealthy for those who are healthy and to be healthy for those who are wealthy. Do they go hand in hand?

To be healthy is an ambiguous phrase. It has a deeper meaning which penetrates into the varied dimensions of one’s personality. It is not a physical phenomenon alone.

Wealthy man is not the one who has a big bank balance. He is the one who has a broad mind and universal thinking. He has a global perspective. He is a world citizen. He is not narrow-minded. He does not act with selfish and ulterior motives.

If one saves more than what is necessary for the next generation the latter becomes lazy. They will lead a n extravagant life and squander the hard earned money of their parents. The richest man is the happiest man. The poorest man is the unsatisfied man.

Happiness mantra

Happiness is the ultimate aim of whatever one does in his life. It is a byproduct of what we are. It has nothing to do with your past.It has no bearing on your future. It is embedded with now, the present moment.It lies in living one’s present with purity and politeness.

Once there were two patients confined to their beds in a single room. One was lying beside the window and the other was near the wall. During the evening, thell one who was near the window used to describe the beautiful sights outside- the beautiful lake, thick trees, pleasant passers by etc. And one day he died. The other patient asked the hospital management to shift him to the window side. As soon as he was shifted he looked through the window and found a scary sight. Nothing was spectacular. He asked the nurse. The nurse said, ” he was blind and could see nothing. Perhaps he was trying to keep you happy by describe ing beautiful things.”.

Loss and pain are not tragedies but to surrender before them is. You cannot trace back the past.The amputated leg cannot be rejoined. Trying to do so is futile. Instead try to run without that leg. Such killers of loss and failure give hope to healthy ones. Try to accept what cannot be defended.Try to accept what is unchangeable. That is when happiness and satisfaction sprout. It is better to make others happy than to make yourselves happy. It is better to give self confidence and courage to those who are with you and depart from this fragile World!

To be happy in one’s life one has to seek other’s happiness. Making others happy adds happiness to your life as well.

Difference between ICSE and CBSE

Many parents, students and teachers are really confused about the subtle difference between ICSE and CBSE which are the two prominent syllabus followed in India.

In fact, the difference are the following.

  • CBSE is a board and ICSE is not.
  • CBSE focuses on Science and Maths where as ICSE lays emphasis on English Language and Arts.
  • Most of the universities in India and abroad accept both the syllabi.

Teaching-learning-a paradigm shift

Having spent almost fifteen years in the field of formal education, today I am intrinsically forced to rewrite my assumptions on the present education system.The system has degenerated into a factory of manufacturing workaholics and ‘politicians’ who are practical minded and ethically detached. Ironically, instead of forming confident and competent human beings for future, it produces fearful individuals who are always melancholic and phobic. In order to avoid these apparent inabilities they plunge themselves into partying, alcoholism and ‘workaholism’.

The fundamental question has to be answered- What is education?. Is it from womb to tomb? Is it that enables you to procure an employment? Is it that makes you literate? Is it that differentiates you from animals and birds on this planet? Is it that makes you more creative and innovative? Is it voluntary or involuntary? Whether so called educated ones are better than others? Is it just a social conditioning? By formal education, whether the learners are equipped with life skills or other skills? Are they capable of leading a happy life after their formal education?

Answering to all these questions would make one probe into the very essence of education. All educators, curriculum developers and mentors should contemplate on this gravely and have to come up with a sound education system which would encompass ethical, social, physical, psychological aspects of it.

How to teach English to 6, 7, 8 years old students..

The beginners of any language are blank papers in which anything is written. Therefore, the little learners can be introduced the world of language using any effective method. When it comes to learning English as a new language, the same method by which a child learns his/her language can be adopted. How does a child picks up his mother tongue. It is by listening and imitating to his/her parents and relatives. When he joins a schools, the classmates also start influencing them.

It is very important that we must make a passive learning community where the learners learn passively with ease and without much effort. It happens only when teachers, and his or her friends start conversing in English and in a flawless manner. If errors are made by them they are perpetuated. Teachers must bear in mind that language is a skill than a subject to be taught. It should happen effortlessly. Let the little children learn passively. Vocabulary and grammar should thus be learned automatically. Children of this age tend rely largely on teachers. they trust their teachers deeply. They think their teachers are infallible. They never make any mistake.

Therefore, when teachers make some grammatical mistakes in their talk and verbal communication, children learn them and start using them.So each teacher should try to use English carefully.

The Listeners by Walter de la Mare

Walter de la Mare craftily evokes in the reader a sense of mystery and suspense in the poem, “The Listeners”.  The opening question asked by the traveller, “Is there anybody there” with poses a question to every reader a fundamental question- Do we have an awareness of where we are. Instead of using ‘here’, the poet deliberately uses ‘there’ to evoke an indifferent attitude of the listeners. In fact nobody listens and responds. The ghosts just stand in awe but they don’t respond. The questions are again and again reverberated and resounded in the open air which indirectly teases the indifferent attitude of those who encounter the traveler.

The need of doing one’s duty without thinking or worried about the outcome or other’s reaction to it is aptly depicted when the traveller says, ” Tell them  I came, and no one answered that I kept my word”. The every word he uttered echoed through the shadowiness of the still house. Just do our duty and withdraw from the front paving way for others. Life after all a duty and a journey that happens in a wilderness or at a ‘house of ghosts’ where the expected response wouldn’t happen.

Exam tips for those who appear for board exams (CBSE)

Dear students,

Let me begin by asking you the following questions:

  • Are you on the verge of taking one of your most important exams in your lives?
  • Are you tensed?
  • Do prepare with a meticulous plan for the exam?
  • Do your teachers and parents scare you with their predictions and expectations?
  • How much time do you spend to study?
  • Which subject do you find it very difficult and easy?
  • Which learning materials and guides do you use?
  • Do you rely on some guides and other supplementary materials?
  • Are you confused?
  • Do you have exam fever and exam-related stress?

If you say yes to any of these questions, here are some tips for you:-

  • After all, your board exam is not the end of the world. You have a long way to go. Don’t take it so seriously that you spoil your remaining life. In my personal opinion, it is just another exam with some importance. It may be decisive of your career, but not your life. In the present exam pattern you are likely to come up with flying colours. So be cool and composed. Don’t be anxious and tensed up.
  • Make a plan for your study. Study systematically. Divide your time judiciously. Spend more time for difficult subjects like mathematics and science. But never neglect any subject totally. A meticulous plan will boost your confidence and will-power. Your plan should match with your school’s plan so that you may have a smooth run.
  • Spend some time for physical exercise every day. It is not scientific and healthy to spend too much time for study. You need to occasionally rejuvenate your body. Go for a walk. Spend some time talking to your friends. But don’t use smart phones because it will stress your eyes. Listen to good music. It will quieten your mind.Be thoughtless for some time.
  • Try to improve your learning skills through practice. Work on your hand writing. Try to improve your memory through some memory enhancing techniques.Improve your vocabulary through reading. Work also with your listening skills.
  • Know your strengths and weaknesses. Don’t try to live up to the expectation of your parents and teachers. They may have unrealistic dreams and hopes. You know who you are. Be happy with what you have. Stop comparing with others. Stop competing with others. Don’t be jealous of others. There may be some one who is better than you in some subjects. But remember you have your own unique ability which others do not have. Try to work on that instead of being jealous of others. Accept yourself who you are and what you are.

The triumph of Trump- An alarm to the world!

The euphoria is rising, at least among those who long for a hegemonic and imperialistic America, but on the other side, some well- wishers of the world is really serious and concerned about the future of the world politics. The earth is scared! Is it heading towards a Third World War? Who will be that anarchist who would expiate the untold atrocities of man kind to the the earth?

My fears, backed by the prediction of the ‘blind woman’ who is hailed as ‘the modern Nostradamus’ that Barack Obama will be the last president of the United States and so called ‘Islamophobia’ that is going on the western world today. I think, as many others think, the phobias of the USA are made by themselves. So seeking a solution from outside is unrealistic and impossible. It should happen from within.

If you are strong within there is nothing to fear outside. The problems started when America took the responsibility of the world police after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Then the the deciding factor was sheer military and economic strength. Now the scenario changed. The might of the nation is valued by its power to negotiate and interact with other countries. The country that makes a better place for others to live in is favored over the other.

life of odds

He was a seeker with many unanswered questions-

those which he asked whoever he met,

some of them were satisfactory to him

but most of them were illogical, irrational

and irrelevant to satisfy his quest.

Eventually he asked one question:

“Will I be in the tomb with those questions

to be asked to God in Heaven or Devil in hell?”