Sunday, October 26, 2014

Paradigm Shift

Paradigm shift is a term often used to describe the changes in the areas of economics, politics, science, literature, philosophy and more recently mobile technology. However, I want to apply this term to the current system of primary and high school education in India and envision what could be a change in the pattern of teaching and learning . I can think of a few things that I felt might have made my learning experience better. When I say this, I am NOT talking from the perspective of budget or standards of syllabus or the curriculum or the role of the government in the above. But rather, I am talking from the perspective of a person who just wants to enhance the experience of learning.

Our schools can be widely categorized as public and private schools. There are a very few private schools that ensure high quality of education for its students and most often are also those schools that fall under the category of NOT affordable for a common man. Once again, this is not my focus. So, that leaves us with the private schools a normal middle class man can afford and the public schools that run on govt funds. Often these schools have faculty  with required qualification, however they are not trained on the methods of teaching. Or may be even if they are, the current system fails to produce the desired efficacy. If the expected result is to see how many qualified professionals we are producing and outsourcing then we are far beyond the expectations; but if it is to see the average number of students enjoying their learning experience in school then we are not so good. When  it came to school ,all I remember was homework, tests, exams and holidays. I don’t recall experimenting , searching for answers, thinking to solve a problem, struggling for a perspective. So what needs to change and what could be different? This is NOT a difficult question but probably has more than one answer.

Talking about how things could be taught brings out one of the answers. Physics and Chemistry can be better taught with experiments that support theories and definitions, Biology becomes more interesting with a microscope and set of slides, Mathematics is less detesting when applied to the interesting fields of science and discovery, Economics is not boring when learnt with house income balance sheets and current problems of nation’s economic crisis. Geography becomes invigorating with projects on survey study. The mastery and beauty of languages and literature is better taught with perspective and essay homeworks. History can become interesting with stories and life studies. Subjects as dry as civics can as well be refreshing when given a perspective and application. So what is that we are NOT doing right? It is a question that has to be answered at various levels of the existing system and only then can we enrich the experience of learning.

Learning should be fun and I cannot think of a better word. It consummates the transformation required in the current system. It is essential to have a grading system because competition is necessary to bring out the best of talent; but often this is how the system is defined and that should change. The primary focus of early education should become a student’s first step to think, question and even fail rather than just be a journey of credits and grades. The focus that can make learning “fun”.

We need a system that enforces this shift of thought. A system that increases inquisitiveness of a student, forces to think and contemplate and present a perspective if required. This cannot be done unless there is a dire requirement that dictates this aspect of effectiveness;  a paradigm shift in the system of primary and high school education that demands change at every step.

If you want small changes in your life, work on your attitude. But if you want big and primary changes, work on your paradigm. - Stephen Covey

P.S: I present this today only as a thought because this is a change that just cannot be done overnight. It is a process that needs a vision and action. Every element of this current system needs change and it starts from every person in it.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Enchanting Blue

The wide serene blue setting of the sea, the bright shining crests of turquoise glowing under the burst of sunlight, the silent rhythm of waves rising and falling drifting with time ,the mellow scent of summer breeze lacing the shore and caressing the sands, the lucid grace of undulating rays of light softly touching the droplets ,the gentle rush of crisp water dousing the rocks ..a deeply enchanting landscape of quiescent solace.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

True Legacy

This is a tale of two lives; of hard work and simplicity, of reverence and kindness. A tale of two different personas that influenced my life. Above all a timeless memory of love. One was a man of riches and splendor and one was a man of austerity and compassion. Both noble , independent and men of their well earned stature.

Life can be too overwhelming in the face of true plight. To stand amidst of this plight as a child makes it difficult to embrace life. However, this was the boy who fought with his fate everyday and put himself through school. He stumbled over many obstacles and yet steadied himself and held on to the anchor of life.  Opportunity may be a gift but hard work is always a choice. The duo has made him a man of mettle. He started his career as a school teacher , then made his way through life as a banker. He didn’t stop there, he taught himself the skill of making money and mastered it. Earning is just an ability; an ability to work for money, but it takes intelligence and discipline to make money work for you. It was that skill that made him who he was. He went on to build an empire of wealth and lived a life of purpose and fulfillment.

There is only a little I know about his childhood, but only that life can be very unforgiving at times. He lost one of his siblings at a very young age and yet he didn’t let death traumatize him. He became a civil engineer. He worked for HUDA and had overseen many wonderful construction projects. He was a walking dictionary, an encyclopedia of current events, a mythology expert , a man of integrity and above all a selfless monk. It takes a generous heart  to help people in need and a great heart to do it without expectations but it takes a brave heart to help in the phase of financial insufficiency.He was later diagnosed with parking sense disease but even then he didn’t have trouble talking about involutes in engineering drawing. For all I remember, he was the magic man who made my troubles go away. He was a man who lived the life of nobility and contentment.

I  always thought about them in my life and the legacy they left behind. A legacy of confidence and character. A legacy of life in memories.

In loving memory of my Grandfathers....
Nageswara Rao Paramatmuni
Yeswantha Rao Komarraju

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Give thanks for a little and you will find a lot

Here is a thought that I never give it a rest, a simple notion of being thankful for everything I have.

We are living in a world full of inevitable things that engulfs us in its undeniable brutality. A world where some peace still prevails due to the threat of violence and war. A world that uses power and fear as its weapons for restoring order in chaos. A world that can use some more humanity.

We see the injustice of times that makes us loathe the very existence of us. No matter how hard we try, we are bound to feel helpless at times. A helplessness that tears through the soul. We see it around in the eyes of little children who are brought into this world by the people they never knew. We see it in the lifeless souls of street walkers who are forced to make the most toughest decisions we can never contemplate. We see it in the pain inflicting atrocity of animal torture that never ends. We see it in abandoned hopes, desperate choices, insufficient love, extreme hatred, unforgiving abuse and greedy lust. But, some how  some of us still have a reason to smile everyday. Something that is not forcing us into the abyss of this cruelty, for which we have to be thankful every living minute.

Some of us are fortunate to have the gift of love, family, care, health,wealth and things we often don't acknowledge enough.So please be thankful for everything you have and that may make you tolerate the savagery of this world. But, don't stop there; Give it back. Give it back with humanity and see if you can make this world a better place.

"Give thanks for a little and you will find a lot"

- Hansa proverb

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

EE kalavaram

kavvinche kaluvala kannullo
merise aa jabili jilugullo
medilindi ee cheetaki roopam
marapinche taarala mungitlo
murise aa nisidhi vakitlo
sagindi ee ratiri payanam
alise talapula sanditlo
nisha raagala kougitlo
karigindi ee kalala mounam
kanureppala sadilo
kanupapala vodilo
vaalindi ee nayanam

Haayi sankellu

challani ee vendi vennela
saage aa chirugali eela
hayini penche meghamala
ooyalaluge mallela baala
laalinche aa chukkala jola
vodige madi talapula ala
bigusukune kalala vala
karige edoo mattulaaa
nidurai ninde naa kannulaa