Tag Archives: Schools

India’s other education crisis: The English Teacher

This is a guest post by ‘The English Teacher’
Here are some statistics detailing the current state of education in India. 4% of Indian children – eight million – never start school. 57%, 74 million, don’t complete primary school. 90% – 172 million children – don’t complete secondary school. To call the situation alarming is an understatement; we have in our country a full-blown disaster. 90% of our nation’s children are victims of this disaster, with barely 10% emerging as survivors. But how fortunate are the 10% really?I’ve been a teacher since 2010, a year after I graduated from university. I taught social studies for a while, pottered a bit in the areas of curriculum and school policy development for a while longer, and have, for the past two years, taught English to middle school students. If these terms – middle school, curriculum and school policy development seem a bit foreign to you, it’s because they are. I happen to work – or happened to, until very recently – in an international school.

When you hear “international school” you may imagine any number of a range of things  – let me tell you right off, though, that we aren’t talking top range international school here. As far as school infrastructure goes, my former place of work is a damned sight better than any of the schools the 90% go to in our country, but as far as international schools go, mine lay in the majority of them that are just coming up in the country, especially in Mumbai. The sort that’s less than ten years old and an educational disaster zone of its own kind.

School Days…

I sometimes wonder if Foucault had gone to school in India if he would not have written his opus on punishment on the school rather than the prison. Anyone who has gone to school in India will tell you there is no institution that combines discipline and punishment in quite the same way as school. Everyone has tales to tell. Continue reading School Days…

School’s Out in Chhattisgarh, (But the Force is in!)

School’s out! In Kerlapal, Dantewada, battle-weary soldiers of the B Company of the 2nd Battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force peer over barbed-wire fences as skinny schoolboys in sky-blue shirts play cricket. The force has occupied the senior school and with it the basketball court and part of the playing field; but the game must go on.
As paramilitary troops pour into Chhattisgarh to fight the Maoists, the absence of military barracks has forced soldiers and children to share the only concrete structures in the countryside — the village school.

Muslim Madrasa Modernisation

A rather animated debate is on among different sections of the Muslims as also among the civil and the uncivil society in India about the Madrasa, their importance, the role they play and the need to make them more modern, thereby converting them into institutes that are more relevant to the contemporary requirements of both the Muslims and the market. The former is openly stated while the latter is rarely articulated.

Before proceeding with an exploration of some of these concerns and to try to understand the trigger behind the proselytising zeal to modernise the madrasa, let us understand the institution of the madrasa itself. Continue reading Muslim Madrasa Modernisation