28 February, 2021

Passage Through A Blackboard

The two essentials: students who push themselves, teachers who draw them forward

Swapan Nayak
Passage Through A Blackboard

I have a secret to tell you: when I was at school I was a bit of a truant. It’s not that I wandered off to watch movies or smoke behind the bike sheds, it’s just that after a while I reached a point in some subjects where I was learning faster by myself than I was in the classroom. So occasionally I’d take a day or two off and work from home. The habit became more frequent. Until, by the end, my mathematics teacher noticed that I was more often away from class than in it. The thing is, even though I didn’t win any prizes for good attendance, I topped my year.

My tale might seem to add weight to Jairam Ramesh’s observation that good, hardworking students are good, hardworking students no matter what environment they’re in. It’s become a common notion that as long as good students have enough of the right books, then clever teachers and fancy classrooms are little more than a comfortable bonus. But is this really true, especially in the intellectually demanding world of higher education?


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