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Friday, February 18, 2011

Education. Between Resolution and Implementation lies Breeding Ground For Corruption

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I stay in Indore (MP). The other day my maid's 7th standard daughter came to me with her science book. I had left science long ago. I was therefore a little hesitant. Moreover the book was in Hindi. That again posed a problem. But realizing that she had no other help, I decided to teach her as much as I could. The little girl flipped open the Revision Questions and took me to the question on Acids, Bases and Alkalies.
 I asked her,"Have you read the lesson?"
 She answered sheepishly that she hadn't. "Okay, fine.Let's both read and try to understand."
The lesson talked of how a turmeric stain could turn red. There were pictures of Glass Tube, Beaker and several other equipment. In a casual way I said to her, "The teacher must have showed you this experiment in the lab?"
The girl gave me a confused look and said sheepishly, "I study in a government school, you know."
That was not my intention to hurt her and so I felt bad.
" Look dear, all government schools are properly funded by the government. Anyway, if there is no lab in your school, this text book should not have been prescribed."
Whatever, the Unit Test was close at hand and I had no desire to upset or scare the girl. And so in a layman's language I explained that if a turmeric stain is washed with soap water, it turns red.
The girl understood the example very well.
The entire incident is a sure sign of mismanagement and corruption. I am not sure if I should blame the government entirely for this. But then there has been a mistake somewhere which has resulted mismanagement and corruption. The only solution could be a surprise check once a while. If not, the MP government will have to be prepared for a large number of school dropouts, in spite of heavy promotion of literacy in the state.