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To read or not to

What I now consider to be one of my worst experiences in life happened at a tuition class. It led me to question the very efficacy of the school education and teaching system. It was my first day in the tuition class and the teacher was dealing with the physical world and the vector system. The leap of science subject standards from high school to higher secondary level is so huge that an average student finds it hard to comprehend much of what is taught. I was in a state of confusion as the teacher poured out theory and practical questions all in just one class. My mind was veering to the idea of running away from the class, and just then she made a statement: “You should not waste time reading the newspaper daily. Utilise that time to practise some problems.”

It was a moment that made me question the meaning of the very system, how it has come to have too much focus on gaining marks and not on learning for the sake of acquiring knowledge or using learning in life.

In a lower grade class, I remember a teacher who took the effort to teach us poems, enact plays and improve our pronunciation through reading: the seeds he planted keep blooming.

Our teachers ought to advise us to develop the newspaper-reading habit and emphasise the importance of general reading. It is such teachers who will prove to be true guiding lights. Instead, here was one who was more concerned about text book ‘problems’. Contrary to the advice, I have always ‘wasted’ my time reading newspapers and it is certain to stand me in good stead all through my life.

sheetalskumar1996@gmail.com

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 8:10:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/To-read-or-not-to/article14483443.ece

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