Before the most awaited results of the country are announced on May23, this headline of a leading daily caught my attention on May 3- ‘Arvind Kejriwal’s son scored 96.4% in class XII board exams’. I made a mental note of trying to follow Kejriwal more seriously. After all, his daughter had also cleared IIT-JEE in flying colors in 2014, as mentioned in the newspaper report. The man himself had shown a lot of promise, with myself being an early ardent supporter but he quite soon started grabbing attention for all the wrong reasons.
I could use a present day role model parent. My parents were great role models too but they had fewer distractions to shield us from!! Kejriwal has a brigade of admirers and not so admirers trolling him and is a very active social media celebrity!
We, as honest and sincere Indian parents, do all what it takes for a miracle performance on the academic front. Government employee mothers take their Child care leaves, the private working ones try to find the best tutor that is out there. And we all fast and pray so that they come out as number one ‘learned parrots’ in these dreaded board exams.
Do we all honestly believe that exam scores are full justification of all our talent? Even though, I was a high scoring academician throughout my student days and still proudly boast my exam percentages; but I don’t agree. The election commission doesn’t agree. A lot of great scientists and industrial tycoons do not agree. Albert Einstein, Thomas Elva Edison, Benjamin Franklin and the latest Bill Gates, dropped out of school and colleges to name quite a few. Our own Prime Minister, as by his own admission, has learnt more from his experiences rather than attending a fancy school.
Time and again, the learned have advocated a newer revolutionary approach towards school education system so that the natural curiosity and the practical skill based learning experience is encouraged and rewarded. But the newer schools are more proud to introduce revolutionary e-learning platforms for our wards.
Being old-school as I am, I think nature can never be replaced with technology. And power point teaching actually takes the charm of the real interactive learning away. When we give direct visuals to our children we take their power of creativity and imagination away. Quite the same way, that a movie adaptation can never beat the charms of the original story book; because in that the characters are playing in our mind.
The daily almond nuts are not helping my cause and my children and their nursery teacher are driving me nuts!! ‘Why don’t you make him rehearse the song at home?’ If one more time, I have to listen to ‘old Mac Donald had a farm’, I will go and find and burn that farm. ‘From the chick chick there to the oint oint there’, I imagine all the animals on the farm let loose in the shape of my two innocent sons, and bringing my humble apartment down. Coming back to the teacher, I meekly try suggesting her that perhaps taking children away to an actual farm for a school trip should be a good learning for this song. But she looked at me as if I was speaking bow wow there, and handed me the homework list for the coming week.
Anyways it is time of the day to put congratulatory messages on the face book pages of those relatives of mine whose wards had done well and to anyways send my digital blessings to all.
There was a time not so long ago when, we people would actually wait with baited breath for the newspaper to announce the day of the result. Would rush to schools or nearby cybercafes with friends to look up the results. An electricity failure, that could last hours, in those days is barely noticeable now because of invertor and power backups. I am sure that butterflies and the knots in the tummy, will exist today as well, but will last shorter because of the 4G speed that now we are accustomed to.
We, as parents, will have to apply the rules of moderation to set a good example every day. As our great Song of Gita dictates ‘ He who is temperate in his habits of eating, sleeping, working and recreation can mitigate all material pains by practicing the yoga system.’
So, practice we must, to try to emulate our great sages of the past. And we must break free from the shackles of social media distractions and rise to a glorious future ahead. We cannot take a pledge denouncing all that social media has to offer, but we can ourselves try to avoid unnecessary multimedia. For example, not looking up at Amazon midnight sale, if my shelfs are already full. To not give in to such an easy temptation, is a practice for self control for Yogis of this Kaliyug generation. It will be hard, as hard as it is, to not find spoilers before you have yourself seen the the latest episode of GoT, but we must give it a try. Otherwise we risk losing our current generation ( Generation Y? Z?) to the Tsunami of technology.