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Are we educating our children properly? 
Anjuly Mathai
 Story Dated: Saturday, November 10, 2012 21:25 hrs IST 
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Recently, I went to a party and saw something. A mother was engrossed in a conversation with a group of people. Her son kept pulling at her shirt, asking her something. The mother would keep brushing him off, too caught up in the conversation. Ultimately, the child lost his energy and went to a corner of the room and sat quietly. The mother may not have realized it but the child was so obviously craving for her attention. And how disappointed he was when he didnít get it.

Children are so innocent. Weíve all been told this but have we really realized the implications of their innocence? Theyíre like a clean blackboard. What they grow up into is a result of what we, as adults, write on those blackboards.

Now letís come to our education system. Itís based on rote learning and not on analysis. As a student, I was weak in Mathematics. Before I could wrap my mind around a concept the teacher would move on to the next point and I was lost. After a while I would give up trying to understand. Iíd think to myself that Iíd go home and work it out myself. But of course, this was too difficult for me. And I never had the courage to raise my hand or go to the teacher after class and ask her to explain it to me.

Are other children also facing this difficulty?

As a society, our education system encourages rote learning. I remember mugging chapters of History for my 10th boards Ė the independence movement, the partition of the country, the constitution of India. But did I really think about all those events? Did I wonder why Gandhiís strategy of non-violence worked so well in India? Did I empathise with Lord Mountbattenís herculean task of smoothly transitioning power from Britain to India?

We need to teach our children how to think. We need to make them understand itís not their fault if they donít score marks in school. Every child has something unique to say. Letís try and listen to them.
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