21 September, 2020

No Paperdart Policies In The Classroom

Getting serious about education calls for rigour, all-round effort

Illustration by Sorit
No Paperdart Policies In The Classroom
In a darkened room, 20 children were watching what looked like the desultory antics of a petulant Hollywood child star. The film turned out to be Home Alone-IV. This entertainment was part of summer school for students at a school in south Bangalore, run by Parikrma, an educational charity. As I stepped out of the room a few minutes later, about half the audience voted with their feet and were soon following the charity's founder, Shukla Bose, to her office instead.

Crowding around her desk minutes later, the 11- to 12-year-olds were soon trading questions about what the difference is between a novelist and a journalist. Their spelling was superb; both "journalist" and "ecology" were spelled effortlessly. And only the question "What does being prime minister require?" seemed to perplex them, till one answered, "Peace of mind."

Their high spirits were infectious; it is rare to see such enthusiasm to go to the "principal's office," typically a form of punishment in other schools. But what was remarkable about these children was...


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