Thursday , 21 June 2018
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“To The” or “My Dear” is the question

Aasima Jan

It’s onerous to be a teacher. No doubt passing exams and qualifying interviews authorises us to be teachers, but does that make us educators in real sense? As I was supervising class 8th exams, a student from affiliated school wanted me to explain the question paper and in particular question 5, which read; Write an application to the headmaster requesting him to issue your discharge certificate. I responded by saying that it’s a simple application that you are supposed to write. But the tiny tot wanted me to be specific whether it was ‘To The‘or ‘My dear’; the argumentation I am well aware about. So without wasting any time I told him that it’s ‘To The’ and he knew it right away what he was supposed to write. These students have been caught in this vicious web; the more we try to come out of this entanglement the more often we hear it from our students. For them every application is ‘To the’ and for them every letter is ‘My dear’. This is how they comprehend and once they get the right cue; whether it is ‘To The’ or ‘My Dear‘, they are on to their task.

So, where lies the fault? This is to be envisaged and you can’t blame teachers, it needs a broader analysis. What can a teacher do?; he is bound by limitations and obligations. Being a member of this department I have felt that one has to be ‘yes Boss’ in many respects. The syllabus is to be completed in stipulated time and simultaneously there are training’s which a teacher has to attend; whether you get anything out of those training’s or not but I assure you that the Biryani they serve tastes awesome. The system has been plagued by Nepotism making a teacher mentally and emotionally unhealthy. This nepotism is running like blood in the veins of the department. The nepotism has made its entry in such a way that it has weakened the trunk, has rotted the leaves and branches of the department and is now trying to attack the fruits of this tree of education. Nepotism has become the Achilles heel of the department. In such circumstances it is difficult for the teachers to work freely. A teacher needs to be healthy- both mentally and emotionally so as to give his best. There are certain steps that department needs to take so as to strengthen the tree of education. I feel perplexed as who is on the other end to lend an ear to me? Perhaps nobody ! To give a vent to my feelings i publish my write ups.

The nepotism has made its entry in such a way that it has weakened the trunk, has rotted the leaves and branches of the department and is now trying to attack the fruits of this tree of education.

 

 This ‘To The’ or ‘My dear’ has been incorrigible since ages but in order to correct it we need to take few steps and I assure you the results will be magical. First of all we should concentrate on primary classes more. Those teachers who are highly educated and dedicated  should be posted in primary schools ,but the department work’s in antithesis to this. Few years back a trend was followed where highly qualified teachers were posted in high schools and higher secondary schools, may I have the permission to ask my authority with all the humility and gentleness at my disposal that what made them to think that highly educated teachers should be posted in high schools and higher secondary schools when the current should be opposite? In every primary school  it should be ensured that language teachers posted there are gettable because at this critical stage, the imprints we leave on the fertile brains of the students will  give deep roots. When the roots are strong, whole body will be strong and the tree will be firm and established. But unfortunately we follow the opposite trend where importance is being given to high school and higher secondary schools.

At primary level emphasis should be given to listening and spoken attributes. We should forget about chalk and talk rather we should stress on talk and talk. Teach them both, letters and sounds, give them freedom to speak whatever they want, let them say don’t correct them in the first go. Like Einstein has said,  I never teach my pupils. I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn. Let them learn themselves. Our focus should be to give them such an environment. They will correct their mistakes themselves when they will be exposed to correct language .That is where the need of language teachers with extraordinary speaking skills becomes indispensable at the level of primary schools.

Teach them both, letters and sounds, give them freedom to speak whatever they want, let them say don’t correct them in the first go. Like Einstein has said,  I never teach my pupils. I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.

Students should be given exercises on creative writing but their writings should be limited to simple pages so as to develop their writing skills and acquaint them with the graphic representation. Maximum time should be given to teach languages because what we see is that our students are usually weak in languages particularly English that is why they have selected shortcuts like ‘To The ‘and ‘My Dear.’

The need of the hour is to move such teachers to primary schools who can speak English and have capacity to handle tiny tots with utmost care, love and warmth, as they say ‘warmth is vital element for growing plant and for the soul of the child. Language teaching is a tricky game . Up to 8th standard we should not teach our students rules of language because once we start with the rules they get confused and treat it very boring subject and that  is where they get stuck . Nobody taught us the rules of Kashmiri language but still we can speak Kashmiri properly and correctly ! Once they start listening and speaking properly then and only then we should shift towards grammer. 

Finally, every primary school should have a Nannie. For that we need women with good hold on Urdu and English language they should know how to plan and organise. They should be positive and confident. Nannies should be able to speak properly, clearly and softly. It is not necessary that Nannies should possess pyramid of degrees and certificates but they should have plethora of methodology to treat the tiny tots who have puerile behaviour and nanny pamby traits. Time has come when teachers and nannies need to work together because if the teachers teach you, nannies groom.

Let us work together so as to make our future bright and strong and let’s try to teach them the way they want to learn.

 

Author can be mailed at aasimajkhan@gmail.com