“Ah mami let me sleep for the last 5 secs!!”, Alia moaned and shook her head as she lifted it upwards. Towards the screen which showed the stained black teams page and the names she had to see everyday.
“ Good morning everyone.” Alia jerked her head upwards. Riya followed suit rubbing her aching head. The bio teacher had arrived. Or opened her laptop, entered the password, logged in on Teams, shook her laptop again (because it will hang), clicked her bio class, and clicked the mic button. To speak “Good Morning”
Biology was the least favourite subject of the class. Teacher could repeat twice or thrice and one could still not get a single thing. A numb feeling of floating in the abyss would cease to do nothing. However, her booming high-pitched syllables (Can~ a~Lic~u~lar you got me students?). wasn’t the reason really there was a pin drop silence. In fact, her tone was almost weary. Almost feverish with old age, and fast with experience and was all the more easily evadable. It was actually…
Riya looked up at her screen delighted. She quickly typed a reply back. And almost an instant back she received a message. Leo, her best friend, had sent her an important message. A form of satire. She giggled and typed an emoji back. There she reverted back to the ever old screen, hurriedly finding the page where the teacher was on. She had learnt the tactic.
But no, she was not on some page. She had reverted back to Paint 3D and was drawing a bio diagram. And explaining. What a tactic.
“So, these are called pits as you can see here, which facilitate water transportation. Remember this. This may not be there in your book.”
what won’t be there?
“.. and I can ask you this. You might receive some questions at the end of the class”
A ding. Alia checked her phone. She felt the urge to pick it up again but eventually put it down. Listening ahead, a question formed in her mind. She asked.
“ Um Mam?”
“Can I ask something please?”
“Okay you go ahead”
“Umm you said pits facilitate water transportation in xylem. So, vessels as you have drawn seem to have more no. of pits. Doesn’t it mean there will be more water transportation. Since the holes are more”
“Yes, good observation.” Riya cringed and started typing.
“- you are correct, Alia. Vessels will do more water transportation. While tracheid will do lesser water transportation”
“Ok mam thank you!” Alia said. A huge smile formed on her face.
She is a bookworm. Riya typed to Leo. She instantly received a reply back. An affirmation, which triggered her to type another message.
Where does she mug up from? Rote learner. Probably from a bunch of some of the thickest books of all time!
Leo replied back “This is not real learning. She will most probably go to become a doctor. Always mugging up extra things and trying to impress, the bio teacher.” She wanted to reply back. But then it almost felt like she got caught by the teacher.
“ Ok Riya will tell us, what she observes in the diagram”, The teacher said fearing a pin drop silence again.
“Just a second mam. I am thinking.”
“ What do you observe in the diagram” she asked Leo. No reply. Riya started shuffling her book rapidly. Her mic was on.
“Ok tell me riya what do you understand by the function of Connective tissue.” The teacher asked again.
Ok so there is a paragraph describing the features of connective tissues.
Riya blurted it out. Just like most of the students do.
“Stop stop. I asked you the function of connective tissue. Pretty simple. Such tissues in our body connect. Like blood becomes a medium connecting all organs. Bone for another example”
And you picked up the definition from the book. You didn’t understand or noted a thing that I said”, Her teacher rebuked. In an almost dejected voice.
Riya couldn’t say anything. She fumbled for a reason. Was she rote learning?
Alia stared at the screen. she felt better… after… after all the shaming.
Alia checked her phone now. She smiled.
I was a lot skeptic to publish this. But when I remembered the times we had activities and history discussion there were complete silences, i was a bit unhappy. There is a notion about Indian schools totally working on rote learning. But well that is changing.( Quite!) Apart from some things, I speak object, and ask during classes as much as possible, to initiate a live discussion. but these days it seems most of the children are just clicking beside their teams window( You know what I mean).
Secondly, those who speak different in classes are regarded as bookworms or something. It is just the way of understanding and expressing things! And I have been bullied and joked that i am a nerd, which however some people say to ignore them is hard to ignore. I hope you guys liked this story. the concept maybe a bit alien. So I had to write this.
“A vast bushy tree of mango overhead to pluck from. Shouldn’t we try to pluck out chances to make difference in the prevailing education system? It is not just the teachers….”
Question at the end ” Do you believe reform in both sides? What do you really find faulty?