Restore not remove

Restore, not remove is an article I urge you all to read. In the wake of the decision of scrapping class X Boards, it comes as an eye opener and is quite unusual as it urges the powers that be to restore two jaded institutions namely the NSS and the NCC as ways of continuous evaluation of children as continuous evaluation seems to be the flavour of the day.

I must confess that I would not have thought of this and yet the more I ponder over this suggestion, the more I like it. I had blogged recently on the grade system wondering how it would actually work in situ. The task seemed daunting as one had to train teachers to accept new ways and that is no easy task. Kaveree Bamzai seems to have come up with the ideal solution, one that does not need any new inputs or training as both the NSS and NCC are part and parcel our education system. As she says in her article today's over active and energetic children would be better off playing soldiers and doing real social work than watching useless TV programmes targeted to the young.

The NCC and NSS may at first sound a little passé and outdated. But I urge you to look at them with fresh eyes. The NCC teaches discipline as well as opens new avenues to young minds who can learn a host of activities ranging from battle tactics to para jumping. The NSS is a way of teaching compassion and responsibility. What better values than we think of. I myself can never forget the weekly visits to the orphanage during my school years in Saigon. I think somehow what I do today finds it first seeds in those visits. Instead of finding new ways of creating good citizens, a relook at these two institutions could do wonders. They just need some smart repackaging.

In earlier days free time was spent reading books. Sadly today children have stopped reading and watch TV instead. The slum children or their parents never savoured the joys of reading; they just jump started straight into the TV era. Parents both privileged and underprivileged have scant time for their progeny, schools have abdicated their real role and the huge void thus created had been filled by useless and often absurd activities. As the author of the article points out the youth of today, our so called good citizens go on UTV Bindass' Dadagiri to look for cheese cubes in a bowl of leeches and eat sauce mixed with human hair.

We desperately need to look at education again and why not restore what was good and healthy like the NSS and NCC or the forgotten SUPW (socially useful productive work) which took children to slums and old age homes.

We cannot afford to have a generation of MTV roadies. If this does happen we would be responsible of having failed our children as children are just what you make them to be.