Monday, 31 March 2008

Skewed view

Come April, new academic session begins. We all look forward to it, teachers as well as students. There does exist a sense of loss for the outgoing batch. When one has been teaching them for 7 years, one tends to get attached. We see them growing up right in front of our eyes, although we don't realise it until they are ready to leave us. There is this mixed emotion when they finally leave us to go face the world. Going for higher studies, or work or simply to start a family.

When one is in the protected environment of a school, everything is uncomplicated, apart from studies. Our infrastructure might not be what it should be, however, care, concern and safety are upper most. The govt tries to do its best, sometimes it does take that much longer to reach the masses. For a few years now, there has been virtually free education for girls, along with free books and uniform, for those who study in the state owned schools. Previously, there used to be many drop outs which has been curtailed by these incentive. This year onwards, there is a plan to start mid-day meal schemes for middle school students. It already exists for the primary classes.

Educating a girl is educating the whole family. An educated mother can take better care for her children and will not neglect on their studies. I have seen many mothers wanting their daughters to continue with their aducation and fathers wanting to get them married. In our caste driven society, parents do not want their daughters to speak for themselves and getting them married at an early age is one way of preventing it. A girl has no choice in this matter. Changes are visible only in the metropolitan cities. In the rural places, the mindset is pretty much the same.
What brought this topic to my mind today? Because, yesterday we heard that a 14 years old girl of our school was married off by her parents last week after her exams finnished, as they did not want her to study further. They took her class IX result and her school leaving certificate. It is kind death of all her dreams for which, we can't even sing a requiem. What can helpless teachers do when parents have skewed views?


And anyone who forgot my birthday on 22nd March, need not feel guilty about that fact. They can make it up by buying me books for the BAFAB week! Please do remember to mail me for my smail mail. Where else are you gonna send those books?!



  1. Guatami, this is a thought provoking post as always. I can't begin to imagine having my parents decide my future husband and life over studies or my own feelings for my future. And, to see that a 14 yr old is thrust into a marriage she probably doesn't want, much less understand, is horrifying. I think backwards I guess because I think you should be allowed to fall in love and marry who you are comfortable with and know up front. Thanks for sharing today. Have a nice day.

  2. Almost forgot~ Happy Belated Birthday. I hope you had a nice day and received many presents.

  3. This is such an important issue. Until women are running the world it's always gonna be a mess and eduaction is the first step. Keep fighting the good fight, they is no honour in victory only in struggle,

  4. Happy B'Day(belated).no,we dont know eachother.came across your blog and wanted to wish you.and have added you on my gtalk.hope you dint mind.and yes,its true that for a person who teaches mathematics,poetry comes very easily :)

  5. even here, the educational tools rarely if not, doesnt cater at all to the rural students. their lives are filled with limited choice. Certainly the old mentality of getting girls married of still prevails in India, as it is in Africa without proper education, in many poor Asian countries where there is not much to look forward in the future as in jobs. things will only get worst I think if the world economy continuing to sink and we are grappling with problems in the education system. create what for what?

    I like the dedication of teachers, all the best teachers I had are ladies, they have the way and passion to bring out the best in students. what the world doesn't acknowledge readily, shall always remain in history and the minds of the students as teachers are Gods too in one's life.

  6. You share the same birthday as my Mom. Hope yours was nice. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  7. I can only imagine. I've moved loads of times, so I haven't really stayed near any specific people except family.

  8. being a westerner.. i cannot even imagine such a society existing in the same world that i inhabit... i am not belittling those beliefs,, i just feel like it is from another time another place,, not here in 2008....

  9. It's heartbreaking that men can still play god and control the lives of their daughters in many developing nations.

    An educated Mother is a thing of beauty but she shouldn't have to sacrifice her dreams first.
    Love this lament.

    I was having a discussion with a friend from Kenya yesterday and asking how his family back home had survived the turmoil...they run an orphanage near Nairobi and received 40 little lost souls during the horror.

    I apologized for sounding like a twat when I told him that Westerners recoil in horror at the brutality of the tribal conflict in his homeland..especially since we are making orphans, with much more sophisticated weaponry, in the the Middle East.

    This world is so full of injustice. We can keep shining a light in the dark corners and looking for survivors but educating every child on Earth is essential.

  10. this brought back so many good and "bad" things about teaching
    thanks gautami

  11. Very well said. It is tragic that young girls are not allowed the opportunity to have an education.

    And, I did not know it was your birthday, so Happy Belated Birthday!

    Thanks for participating in Jane's Inspirations!

  12. Gautami that is truly sad, as there is surely no hope for that child and many like her. Old traditions are hard to extract with generations upon generations of roots choking the soul. Thanks for the post.

  13. This is such a shame. But if its any consolation, I left school at 15, and have done no organised study since then. Rather, in my late 20s, I decided to educate myself.
    I THINK I did a good job.

  14. I guess the modern world hasn't become all that modern yet. I suppose she can further her education later on - it's never too late but marry at the age of 14? Sound so archaic!

    And Happy belated birthday!

  15. I like that notion that educating a girl is educating a family. I must remember that. I'm educating two.

  16. it is very sad that young individuals are deprived of education in such a way...

    and... *shuffles feet in embarrassment*
    happy (belated) birthday!

  17. ¡¡¡ ʎɐp s,ןooɟ ןıɹdɐ happy !!!

    OK, OK, I found out just a moment ago that this is actually the day after April fool's day for y'all, but, oh well. It doesn't say anywhere that literate folks gotta be SMART, too.

    Now, about these books.
    What kind of books? Hopefully you're not talking about LOTS of books....not that I couldn't find a few or more, only that I am as poor as a turned out pocket and can ill afford the postage.

    And as for the predicament of your location versus humanity.... dang! How is it that folks can remain in the dark about such important matters?
    Oh, I see the idea of clinging to the past because it got everybody to where they are, now. But for crying out loud, there are some GREAT women in our time that, had they been taken out of school and married off....we wouldn't be living in the modern times we have, now.
    I suppose this all sounds somewhat selfish. I want women everywhere to get a grip on their lives and destinies and go after what they think is important because they thnink, too.
    It is owed them for whatever that may count for.

  18. ¡¡¡ʎɐpɥʇɹıq ʎddɐɥ

  19. Gautami: Again, wishing you a happy birthday. Hope it was a grand day.

    Click here to download your book:

    Note: I spent some time with Sri Aurobindo's work. Studied under one of his students this past year.

    The lesson of surrender is a most difficult one for most of us. Giving up the fight with ourselves is among the hardest to surrender.

    My last course in the consciousness studies program focused on the Bhagavad Gita. Much learning from it. My last course in the program. Shortly, the thesis begins...

  20. ... i think that was one of your most beautiful thought provoking posts for me... when my son was in school i always appreciated the teachers hard work in participating in forming my son's thoughts and life.. and i made of point of introducing myself and letting them know my feelings... seeing them everyday, i agree how hard it must be in a strange sorta way to see them go and wish them well in their lives... regarding the young girl of 14 i cannot possibly imagine such an event happening here in the usofa... we forget the everyday freedom of making choices of our own free will.. at 14 young girls are still going to school.. my heart goes out to her and what she is thinking, what she is doing... thank you for the awesome post... many happpy belated wishes b-day girl...

  21. First Happy Birthday! Mine was the 30th. A great month, LOL.

    Teachers can do what they do so well, instill a love of learning and furnish them the tools to go further should things change - whether societal or sheer strength of the young woman's own will. And by changing your own lives you set examples for others....

  22. your post/prose/poem brings up one of my greatest challenges as a teacher--balancing that line between welcome advice and too much! in this case, certainly, you probably had little voice.

    and happy birthday!

  23. Gautami-
    It must be heartbreaking to watch when a promising young girl's education is not valued by her family - in America, those parents would be arrested for not forcing their child to go to school until at least 16!

    Happy very belated birthday, also!