TODAY -

Temples of learning

Snigdha Anand *



The beginning of this month saw the nation drenched in the discussions on the twin temple issues, the erection of temple of worship at Ayodhya and the need to bring urgent reform in the public schools i.e. temples of learning. The later grabbed my whole attention span as the time spent with hapless Ling Doi Ching sisters and the others the whole day reeled before my eyes.

In a remote, hilly tract of Churachandpur district of Manipur, as I sit in the office of a govt school looking after the usual works, an old frail man enters with twin granddaughters enquiring about admission in a mixed Paite and Hindi.

The girls in tattered frocks, chapped lips, dishevelled hair hiding behind the grandpa, look at me with curious eyes. I search for some toffees in my overstuffed bag and came across with a freebie bracelet that I clasped on their wrist . Throwing shy smiles at me , they run outside.

I decipher from the rather incomprehensible tongue of the frail man that he has no income and after having lost their parents, the girls have nobody else to look after. I register the children under RTE.

The other child who seeks admission in class 8, has lost her father while the mother married to somebody else . Another boy is thrown out of a private school due to poor grades and bad behaviour. And .. I keep coming across many such emotionally disturbed ones in need for compassion and care more than education.

Kudos to the young fighters who despite the hurdles including emotional, physical and financial are ready to fight the circumstances and grow up as healthy and happy individuals learning their true self in the process.

All these kids are worth lending our ears to , worthy of our love and attention. They need our help and support and a respectful seat in the temples of learning. Marks and grades, Majestic fees,Malfunctional family, study Materials, poor Medical records, any or all of them must not be a deterrent for the seeker of knowledge.

Praise to the vidyalayas and the teachers who help the kids bloom in self respect, dignity and confidence at the child's own pace rather than pestering and overfeeding the brains with facts and figures neglecting their needs and necessities to keep the school's position on top with max no of alumni in HIG list.

The society must recognise and acknowledge the schools on the basis of how fearless and loving atmosphere they are providing and how far they have helped in the growth of the individuals . Accredition be given to such temples of learning where children find happiness within and proudly pick up the threads of life .

These institutions are praiseworthy for showering unconditional love and care upon the children, helping them acquire language and life skills, nurturing sensitivity for the surroundings and evolving them into socially adaptable and strong personalities.

But the patient efforts of loving and motivated teachers of these schools go unreciprocated when society judge, accredit and rank the institutions on the basis of how many white collared persons they have produced rather than how many distraught, disheartened souls are nurtured and raised into happy ones.

Looking around the educational fraternity, it seems ,more reverence is conferred on Goddess Lakshmi and her glittering golds than the goddess of learning and soul searching has taken amost a back seat.

The passing out generation from the greedy institutions are naturally to carry the culture of corruption in society. The ethical values like commitment, compassion and cooperation is gradually fading away from our life.

Temples of the past used to be the storehouse of gold and treasures and thus easily plundered and looted. Had they been the lighthouse to ignorance ,we would have been a greater nation and there would be no signs of casteism , social division and the present day chaos and confusion .

Education is more than degrees on a piece of paper with a broader aim to instill democratic values, sowing seeds of equality and removing the germs of discrimination from the society. The divisive demons will vanish if the little gods sitting inside the classrooms are taken care of in true sense. In return, we will be assured of a beautiful, just and kind planet to live on.


* Snigdha Anand wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is principal i/c of Kendriya Vidyalaya Churachandpur
This article was posted on May 13, 2017.


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