Monday, May 30, 2011

Yet Another (Un)Educational Reform in Kerala

Disclaimer: The fact that my second language is Special English has nothing to do with this post.

The latest buzz in the Kerala state educational circles is that one IT period will be cut per week to accommodate more Malayalam classes. And this seems like another bead in the string of stupidities of the education department.

I could start a rant about how ridiculous and moronic the education sector in Kerala is, and never stop. The textbooks, instead of being guides, play the part of workbooks. What's more, they have innumerous mistakes. One small example: My 9th standard Geography textbook mentioned that Ecuador's capital was Quetta! (FYI: Ecuador's capital is Quito, and Quetta is in Pakistan. The authorities were off by a few thousand miles.)

Back to our topic. The plan to increase the periods is supposedly the part of a proposed move to make Malayalam the first language. I'm not saying Malayalam is unimportant - it's my mother tongue after all. Agreed that the popularity of the language is decreasing, with more and more importance being given to English. But will forcing such decisions upon students make them like Malayalam overnight? Moreover, won't the cutback on IT classes affect the students?

Face it. This is just another doing by someone somewhere to benefit someone else, not students. If this decision is really going to be implemented, we students have to bear the brunt of it. Most likely, this means lower scores in IT, especially in Government schools were there are no separate teachers for the subject. More than that, it means that there will be a little or no change in the number of Malayalam fans.

The bottom line: The number of periods allotted to a subject is NOT directly proportional to the students' interest in it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Changing Dynamics of the Parent-Child Relationship

Today in class we had a debate on "Old Age Homes: A Need or Not?" During this, I noted that everyone was quick to place the blame on the children's/youth's attitude. Granted, the youth's attitude shift is disturbing. But is only the younger generation at fault? This is a completely different take on one aspect of the topic.

Until around thirty years or so, the relationship between a child and his parent was quite precious, pure and uncomplicated. But ever since new technology came, and with it the Western influence, matters have taken a turn. Take, for example, a typical scene in most modern households. Both parents working, and the keys of the flat are with the kid(s). After they arrive from school and have food, they stay glued to all the serials, reality shows, item songs etc. etc. Otherwise, it's computers and internet - with Facebook and Orkut and, god forbid, porn. Enter the parents, around 8 o'clock in the night, dead tired from their work. Just a few casual words exchanged, and then it's bedtime.

Where has the love gone? The care, the concern, the affection, the queries about school and life? Where are the bedtime stories and "bonding time"? Most parents don't even know what's going on their children's lives, and vice-versa. Parents have been reduced to just ATM cards and children to spenders. Is this what you call an ideal parent-child relationship? One without any communication, any connection?

I don't. And for me, this is one of the crucial factors in the current surge in the number of old age homes. The first question in the blame game is always "What did you do for me?" and parents will be left answer-less. And no later, packed off to one of such homes. I don't like the concept of these, and neither do I support abandoning one's own parents. They're our parents, after all. But it would be good if parents remembered to say "We love you" to their kids at least once a day, and kids to reciprocate this love. Because these words, even though only three, have immense power.

And remember what I told about matters taking a turn? It's up to the youth to decide whether the turn is for the better or worse.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

My First Poem

I was just sorting out all the old files in my PC when I came across this poem. It was the first one I ever wrote, back when I was in 6th standard. Reading it brought back old memories; seriously, getting into tenth standard has made me nostalgic every single day! So, anyway, here's the poem...

The Call of Nature
Nature calls you always,
Do try and listen.
She calls and calls,
She wants you to play with her.

She has trees with emerald-green leaves
And fruits and flowers to add to the beauty.
Water's there to quench a thirst 
And be a home for many lives.

Air's there for you to breathe;
And to carry the fragrances of flowers
Over distant lands;
Without air how'd you live?

Sky's where the sun, moon and stars shine
And clouds float in different shapes.
The sky changes its colour like a chameleon...
It's so wonderful to see.

Nature's waiting for your answer,
She's wishing
And hoping that you can join her.

Nature loves you so much,
So please be kind to her.
She can also be very angry,
And wreak havoc everywhere.

Nature's calling you, so
Go play with her.
Nature's waiting for your answer,
Do respond to her call.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My Last Year...

Don't worry, I'm not about to die! :P

I was talking about my last year in school - I'm now officially in tenth standard! The results came yesterday, and everyone in ninth was promoted to tenth. No time for dilly-dallying, 'cuz classes start for us tomorrow, May 4th, itself.

I'm really excited, but slightly nervous as well. The prospect of being in PHSS for completing my last year in school, it's all so overwhelming. I still remember my timid, eight-year-old self who was trying to take in the new atmosphere, when I came to Presentation for the first time. To imagine that so many years have passed, so quickly... it seems to me as if someone has pressed the fast forward button.

I want to make my last year in school the best one ever. I hope I can get through this year gracefully and pass my SSLC exams with flying colours. With your prayers and support, and my hardwork, I surely can do this!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Movie Review: Udaan

The best movies do not always have to be the ones which have the highest commercial success; Udaan is yet another movie that testifies to this statement.

The movie narrates the story of 17 year old wannabe-writer Rohan (enacted by Rajat Barmecha), who is forced to live his hardhearted father's (Ronit Roy) dreams instead of his own. What's more, he suffers physical and verbal abuse as well. Rohan also has to put up with a little half-brother he didn't even know existed, called Arjun (Aayan Boradia).

So what does Rohan do? Admit defeat - and abandon his dreams? Or fight back and pursue them? Watch Udaan and find out for yourself...

Udaan, meaning "Flight", is a straightforward and touching movie that inspires us to stand up for our dreams, to live them despite all hurdles. A fine plot, accompanied by Vikramaditya Motwane's fab direction, ensures that the movie keeps us captivated. The lead cast does a good job of bringing the characters to life, and the music by Amit Verma adds to the beauty of the film.

All in all, a superb movie that teaches how important one's flight to freedom is.