The Open Page articles on November 13 were enlightening. As a student, I did feel initially that many of my teachers were tyrants. But when I think of a few instances in which their stern looks helped, the image appears different. Teachers are under constant pressure — they have to complete the portions, conduct activities, submit assessments and so on. Really strenuous. But we, the poor students, are under more pressure. We have to complete our assignments, prepare for the never-ending tests, write century-old notes, make photocopies, enact mock drills, and prepare charts, herbariums, flowcharts, skits, radio shows and what not. My grandmother almost fainted on listening to my list of activities.
And, unlike teachers, we have to handle multiple classes — listen to science, and social science with books under the desk. We also have extra classes. Discussing television serials, movies, and even saying ‘hi' to one another have become a thing of the past.
A very big ‘thank you' to teachers who are kind to us. But we will enjoy ourselves more if they think of the pressure we face, which cripples our intuitiveness and mental ability. After all, we are 14, not 40.
I have had the opportunity to visit a few schools as part of my job. In many of them, the situation is pathetic. Students are crammed in small classrooms, forced to spend 6-7 hours without fresh air or exercise. Teachers wield the stick whenever children become listless. Throughout the day, students either listen to their teachers or take down notes from the blackboard. There is no interaction, no creativity — only little minds absorbing facts.
The situation is worse on the outskirts and in rural English medium schools where there are no qualified teachers to teach. Once I saw a teacher threatening and beating up LKG students for 45 minutes to make them learn the spelling of the word ‘pencil.'