Guest Article #9: For the Joy of Sharing

School Education In Our Times

By Kajal Kataria
Home maker, Bangalore

Foreword by Venkat
The education system changes over decades and that includes methodologies, teaching medium and the learning environment. However, within this evolving paradigm of learning, certain instructions (reading habit, memory drills) have to remain the same for consistent and long term effect in language development and mathematical reasoning.

Explore the contrast in education methods in this warm and easy-to-read article bringing out subtly some important thoughts to ponder over.

As a stay at home mom, I realized I was passionate about creating value for my children and developing their seeking spirit. Then any subject you take up, it becomes interesting. Hence, I realized talking with people, with children, and talking and reading to them not only encourages them, but makes us aware of how creative the young minds can be if given the right environment. I hope to continue in this pursuit of making my kids always be inspired with this journey of life.

School Education In Our Times

“The only constant in life is change” is what Heraclitus, an ancient Greek Philosopher, rightly said. Then I realized that what we humans greatly fear is change.

While I started penning down my thoughts on school education in our times, I realized times have changed from when I passed school in 2004. Good or bad – I cannot be a judge of that. But our education in schools was definitely different.

I am from Ahmedabad, and I went to a school where education took precedence over any other activities. And I clearly remember my school Principal constantly stressing on reading and writing. I used to ignore these small lectures as his whims. But here I am, now raising a 10 year old and a 5 year old, and I realize, how wise this Principal was.

Our education system was structured, strict and non-compromising. Spellings, grammar, knowing your tables was a given routine. I remember our teachers making sure we know our tables backwards, we had spell quizzes and grammar tests. This discipline helped us in higher classes when we had to write long papers. But did this form of education go as far as helping us thinking “out of the box”. I am yet not sure if it did. We knew how to solve equations, how to answer questions with wordings changed here and there. Were we truly able to question our teachers when we did not agree with their points?

Earlier I think, we never got the chance to question. But now I realize, we never thought we can ask our teachers anything. Only the kids who truly had courage would ask doubts. It was ingrained in us to never question your teachers. It was not the teacher’s fault. The courses were huge, too much to finish in terms, getting good grades was equally important. And that’s how the systems were.

Now I think, the children have the chance to think totally different. There is a lot of play-based learning. My children are given open-ended scenarios and they can come up with the most imaginative solutions and no answer is wrong. They have the world at their feet.

This is a change for a person from my times, as it is definitely not easy for me to think like them. But I love the way kids have the freedom to question. I must admit, I do like the education system now more than ever. But do I regret my education? No. For our times, our teachers and parents did their best. And they did what was needed. Times change, and we learn from our past. And as my Principal said, “Read, read, read”. That is one constant which every generation must NOT change.

By Kajal Kataria

Guest Article #10: What Women’s Day Is NOT

Guest Articles: Archives

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J Vaidhinathan
J Vaidhinathan
March 7, 2022 8:17 pm

Excellent…thought provoking. Congrats to Kajalji…..yes…reading creates a great asset of knowledge,to learn style of language.
I developed my English, only by reading “The Hindu”, even reading allowed the Editorial.
Other thing: you have to expose children to banking, post offices, railway bookings, air booking like that. Ivused to send my children to bank to encash a cheque &;bring some small amount. In that process they gain self confidence, acquire practical knowledge, learn how to inter-act with others. Other aspect is constant writing, which with computer, is becoming out of date. Thanks

Reply to  J Vaidhinathan
March 7, 2022 9:15 pm

Such good advice sir. I realise your ideas while so simple, are so amazing for children to learn basic things real time. And it taught your children not only time management, but what financial management can be. Thanks so much for sharing such a brilliant idea and i shall definitely follow these for my children. Thanks for taking out the time to read and to give such amazing insight on bringing up children.

Nidhi Philip
Nidhi Philip
March 7, 2022 9:44 pm

Dear Ms.Kajal,
Your ideas and thoughts take me back to my school years too 🙂 Times have indeed changed and so have our education systems but like you rightly pointed out , there are somethings thay need to stay constant-perhaps the way we read or learn tables (i.e.the strategy used ) could vary.Thankyou for sharing your thoughts

Reply to  Nidhi Philip
March 8, 2022 7:05 am

Thank you dear Ms. Nidhi . I agree with you wholeheartedly. Teachers like you have shaped Mt daughter’s education system and my learning curve has increased. Thanks so much for always striving to do the best for our children. You are the reason this generation will be the bright future for our country

Vasundhara Srivathsava
Vasundhara Srivathsava
March 9, 2022 6:41 pm

I could not agree more on the importance of reading. Students these days are exposed to other more convenient sources of information such as youtube , videos, games and movies of popular books. They know so much more than we did at their age. But as we say in the education world, their knowledge is a “mile wide and inch deep”. Reading is the only way they can understand well enough to make connections and cement their thoughts about the world around them.