B.ED DIARIES

Bachelors in Education
When you inform your relatives/family friends/ friends/parents’ colleagues about your decision to get this qualification in your kitty, you face myriad reactions. Why? Well, because everybody has somebody in their circle who has “done” this course while sitting at home. Because it is considered to be a wastage of time to invest for such a dainty, insignificant purpose. But when it comes to the leading Universities in Delhi, B.ed is taken very seriously. Getting a seat booked for yourself by clearing the entrance is a task in itself. Once you do so, it is no easy a road. For we have a regular 9-5 time table five days a week, with the regular subjects and add on’s like sports, Art in Education, House activities, Work Experience(Tie and Dye for me!) in tow. Not an easy life, let me tell you. It is very exhausting to say the least, just like the other fields of study and research, Education is one exhaustive sphere too!
Due to the ill informed peeps, my readers, B.ed has acquired a notorious reputation. And as a result, the quality of teachers we, as a developing nation, should have, is deteriorating. For being a teacher is the option supposedly chosen by those less talented, the ones not intelligent enough to pack their bags and go to engineering or business schools. To keep the negativity aside, I had the fortune of understanding the situation for gaps in achieving a good education system first hand. Now that they have increased the span of the course to two years, we spent a good 15 days this December for school observation. A group of five to seven people was assigned one school. Mine was a government school for girls, the location of which shall remain anonymous, for obvious reasons.
Coming from an English Medium, Private School, coming to a government school was a reality check. Having spent the initial months in discussing the pros and cons of the educational policies, or reading about philosophers, we had supposedly gauged the theory well. But what is the use of theory if not applied on ground. Here I learnt how much of a hurdle the no detention policy was. Sample this- there’s a class of about 80-90 girls, wherein they have divided the lot into the “reader” and “non-reader” group. The latter has absolutely no knowledge of how to read either Hindi or English properly. And you’ll find the segregation in classes uptil ninth. How difficult does it become for the teachers to teach, in spite of knowing that it’ll be an uphill task to bring these two sections on an equal footing. Now since they have to forcibly pass them according to the policies, even they cease to bother after a point of time. And since these girls are probably the first generation of their families acquiring an education, the onus is totally on the school to successfully “educate” them, in the real sense of the word. Not to generalize, for I did encounter exceptions, the lax and indifferent attitude of government school teachers doesn’t help improve the situation. Though we were there only for observation, we were often asked to teach, as in, when taking in the “arrangement periods”.
The girls were very shy and uncomfortable with English. So, I really felt guilty of having done this to the brilliant, aspiring girls. The pressure of learning the language as well as people like me has put an undue pressure on them. They are marvelous when it comes to having a command over Hindi, a feat I acknowledged every time I taught them. I tried putting use of the tricks and methods they’d taught me at CELTA. But I was unsure how long will they be able to retain the new terminology and concepts. In order to break the ice, I requested them to turn unabashedly confident. Also, smiling a lot, encouraging them to make mistakes and appreciating them for the efforts they put in did make a whole lot of difference. I advised them to read something every day, as it would smoothen their journey of conquering the colonial baggage thrust on them. Though they did promise me to work accordingly, I am skeptical as to how efficiently will they be able to stick to the it. Some teachers we met at the school initially questioned us the relevance of the two year duration. In hindsight, I can understand why it is so. Instead of learning the status quo as one embarked on putting teaching plans into practice, we got an idea about the way these schools function and this shall immensely help us to structure our lesson plans according to their caliber, instead of forcibly thrusting our plans down their throats, irrespective of if they’ll follow through easily or not.
Though it was a brief period of observation, I am glad I spent it fine-tuning my skills of being a good, impressionable teacher, with a roving eye, If I may add. Haha!

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