Seldom do we get a chance to talk to those who are building the future of the country and are equally passionate about it. I had an opportunity to visit Raikot, a small town of Punjab where parents prefer sending their children to Canada to drive taxis than supporting them to become graduates.
Since the town does not have good private schools, people who want a quality education have to go to Ludhiana, a one-hour drive away.
A majority of students dream of going abroad without even planning what they will do over there. And to be very true, a majority of them go there to do labour work.
Being a teacher in such a region is definitely a tough job. You have to teach students who have no motivation to study and excel. So, what should a teacher do in such a situation?
Well, I talked to one of the government school teachers of Raikot. She teaches students till 10th standard in a nearby village. The discussion started from the point that CBSE is reversing its decision to grade the students in the form of CGPA to the percentage system. I was happy about the decision and why shouldn’t I be happy? I was always a bookworm and remained among the top students in the class. I thought having a percentage in your grades will tell the students the actual efforts they have put into and will motivate them to do better. But I never realised that this thought was just limited to a few studious students in the class whose aim is always to study.
However, the lady teacher I met raised some very pertinent questions –
I was confused, and the questions shook me. I never actually thought of the problem this way. She told me that in every class, she comes across four kinds of students. First – Intelligent and self-driven students. Second – Average students who can do fairly well. Third – Students who need a push to do well. Fourth – Those who are not interested in studies at all and come to school just for the sake of coming.
She said that a teacher should never be biased towards intelligent and self-driven students. In fact, for a teacher, it’s a challenge to make the lives of those students who are unable to take care of their own career.
I used to think that government’s policy of not failing any student till 8th grade is demotivating, but according to her, this is a boon for many of the students in her region.
After clearing 8th grade, a significant number of students go to the army and live a decent life. However, if they were not given this opportunity, they would have spent years in one single class. It’s true that not all students are meant to become engineers, doctors and pilots, but those who have lesser means, can at least have a decent living and probably provide a good life to their families.
Her views totally changed my perception towards government rules. Education is not just the right of only the intelligent students. Every parent dreams of their children doing well in his/her life whether he/she is academically strong or not.
We often ignore those who are academically weak and believe that it’s their mistake. However, it is not. Not every kid is same. They have a right to live a decent life. It’s our duty to provide them career guidance but at any point in time, we cannot force them to do what they are not capable of.