सोनाम वाङ्चुकको अन्तर्वार्ताले सिकाएका केही कुरा

१. ज्ञान र शिक्षा फरक कुरा हुन् ।
२. गलत शिक्षा हुनुभन्दा नभएकै वेश ।
३. शिक्षाको उद्देश्य सिक्ने या बुझ्ने हुनुपर्छ । त्यसो नभएसम्म शिक्षा र शिक्षा प्रणाली गलत हुन्छन् ।
४. उत्सुकता र प्रकृतिसँगको निकटताले मानिसलाई ज्ञानी बनाउँछ भलै उसले औपचारिक शिक्षा नपाएको होस् ।
५. दक्षिण एसियामा मातृभाषामा ज्ञान पाउन धेरै नै गाह्रो छ । मातृभाषाबाट हुने सिकाइले बालबालिकालाई उत्सुक बनाउन सिकाउँछ र उनीहरूको आत्मविश्वासमा समेत मद्दत गर्छ । मातृभाषामा राम्रो पकड छ भने अरू भाषा सिक्न पनि सजिलो हुन्छ ।
६. भूगोल र माटो अनुसारको शिक्षा उपयोगी हुन्छ । युरोपेलीको नक्कल गरेर अघि बढ्न सकिन्न ।
७. सरकारमा रहेका/प्रभावशाली व्यक्तिका सन्तानहरू सार्वजनिक शिक्षा प्रणालीमा नभएसम्म सार्वजनिक शिक्षामा केही परिवर्तन आउँदैन ।
८. प्रकृतिमा प्रकृतिसँग सिकेका कुराहरू वास्तविक ज्ञान हुन् तर त्यसतो मौलिक ज्ञानको साटो हाम्रा शैक्षिक संस्थाहरू युरोप र अमेरिकाका कोर्सहरू कपी-पेस्ट गरिरहेका छौँ । यसले हामीलाई पछि पार्छ ।
९. शिक्षाका तीन माध्यम हुन्छन्: (१) श्रुतियुक्त (सुनेका र पढेका कुरालाई महत्त्व दिने), (२) चेतनायुक्त (सुनेका/पढेका कुरालाई मनन गर्ने र तीमाथि तर्क गर्ने) र (३) भावयुक्त (अनुभव लिँदै सिक्ने) । हाम्रो शिक्षा प्रणालीमा अनुभव लिँदै सिक्ने कुराको अभाव छ ।

सोनाम वाङ्चुकको अन्तर्वार्ता

99 years: Is Tri-Chandra showing signs of Old Age?

The Past

When Tri-Chandra College was inaugurated 99 years ago, the then Prime Minister Chandra Shumsher JBR had said, “I have done a mistake. This college will end the rule of the Ranas.”

Though Chandra Shumsher’s division of the Ranas into different classes was among the primary reasons for the fall of Ranas, he was not wrong in understanding the strength of higher education, in changing the society.

The Present

On Sunday, 5th Bhadra, 2073 (23rd August, 2016) the 99th anniversary of Tri-Chandra Multiple College was celebrated. I am not sure what the Tribhuvan University, college administration, students’ union thought about the programme that was organized. Personally, I was not excited. There are several reasons behind my dissatisfaction.

The management of the college is not satisfactory. I am not sure how this college is managed. New students are met first by the cadres of “Students’ Union”. They guide new students well- which is nice. When it comes to handling complex situations, the college administration should guide and help students. The administration, however is almost inaccessible without the mediation of Students’ Union. Because of the inefficiency of the administration, the Students’ Union have been influential over the students as well as the college administration.

There are several unions “for the welfare of students” but none seem to be effective in managing the infrastructures needed for smooth running of the college. The college, divided into two blocks: Ghantaghar block and Saraswati Sadan block, looks better as long as you are outside of the latter. Inside, it has several problems beginning from staffing to the classroom infrastructures.

The Ghantaghar block, the older block gives me a Gothic impression. The building is old. Whitewash has been replaced by mosses and lichens, walls have inhabited ferns and Peepal, the classrooms have infrastructures seemingly from the other century, and the recent earthquake worsened its state even more.

On the Ghantaghar is a Sports Hall. This is also the hall where the 99th anniversary of the college was celebrated. The preparation was evident. The hall looked cleaner than ever. The outside of the hall had been recently painted. The black colour on pillars was painting the hands as well. Grass was cut after more than six months, revealing the junk that had been hidden. No one had cared to throw them, though. (Incomplete preparation, oof!) 

Talking of problems, I must tell you that anyone can enter the college with no restriction, whatsoever. And not all of them come to study. Everyone has seen people smoke marijuana within the college premises. Yet no one does anything to them. There are two reasons, basically: 

1) They can do anything when they are “high”.

2) They have connections with Students’ Union.*

And the weed is dense behind the Ghantaghar block.

And the college has always had ill fame for its gang wars.

I have already talked about academic problems in my earlier post: Why Classes Become Boring.

The Future

Based on the number of students being admitted to the college (which is mostly artificial**), some leaders of Students’ Union had said, “Tri-Chandra should be a university.” 

I had agreed then (when I was a newbie there); I differ now. With the problems the college is facing, and the negligence of administration as well as that of Students’ Union in solving them, the college does not have a bright future ahead. Unless the problems I have mentioned are solved, the college will remain infamous as the centre of gang wars and fights.

* Having a lot of Students’ Union is beneficial to some extent. Nobody dares to touch others because of the the connection they might have.

** The number of students is mostly artificial. Most students admit so that they don’t have to lose a year or two while they try for medical or engineering seats. 

Why Classes Become Boring

“A student is characterized by his curiosity,” some wise man had said. But most times a student has no option but to be bored in the classroom. Why do students (including me) are often bored in the class? Let’s first look at a case and then my experiences on being bored.

bored
Because I am not the only one!

A Sudden Realization

Yesterday, as I was studying the Himalayan evolution (chances are that you will be bored by the wiki article), I involuntarily let out these words: “There must have been a trench in between the Indian and the Eurasian Plates.” (Watch an animation of the collision here) My sister looked curious. I asked her if she had heard of Java and Mariana Trench. And then went on rambling about the evolution of the mountains in the Himalaya. When I ended, she said, “I understood just one thing.” It was that the plates collided to give rise to the mighty mountains. Other than that she understood NOTHING.

A Little Time-Travel

Last year. . .

My teacher (with due respect) used to give a non-stop lecture on the Himalayan evolution. At first, I felt curious and understood a little. A little later, he came up with heavy technical terms. Had I gone through it earlier, I might have felt it easier. But the heavy vocab killed my curiosity. Within less than a month, I was leaving classes.

Obviously, that is the reason I am studying Himalayan evolution NOW.

Back to the Present

I realized I was in the same condition last year as my sister is now with respect to the evolution of the Himalayas. I also understood why I left classes: Because I did not understand anything, and I felt bored.

The Mistakes Teachers Make

I have not taught in any school yet. I am not sure if I can handle the noise the students make. I don’t intend to hurt the feelings of teachers. However, I am a student and I can tell what mistakes of teachers bore me. So, here I go.

Mistake 1: When They say, “This does not belong to the course.”

Whenever my teachers say, “the thing I am teaching is not in your course/syllabus,” I react by slowly bowing my head and closing my eyes. I feel doomed. An hour for something that won’t fetch me numbers in the exam (no matter how practical that might be). I respond by taking a short nap or talking to a friend beside me (either disturbing myself alone or the whole class).

Mistake 2: When They DON’T Interact

Teachers think, Teaching is just giving lectures. In universities like mine, where there is very little time for the course-completion, this is absolutely true. There is almost no  interaction between the teacher and the students in the class. Teacher goes on giving hand-written notes/showing presentation slides, and students (includes me) are busy copying them. The teacher does not raise questions which make me involved in the lecture. And as I have very little background information, I cannot ask anything.

Logically,

  1. Teachers don’t ask relevant questions = Students don’t feel interested
  2. Students don’t feel interested = Students don’t answer
  3. Students don’t answer = Teachers feel superior
  4. Teachers feel superior = Teachers boast
  5. Teachers boast = Students get bored
  6. 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 5 = NO Interaction
  7.  Also, 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 = NO Interaction

 

Mistake 3: When They Look Confused

What can I say about anything if I don’t know it well? My teachers are learned. They have achieved doctorates, but they do seem confused at times. Maybe they don’t have time to prepare. Maybe they feel they don’t need to prepare. I don’t know. But when they are confused, I get confused as well. I might try solving the confusion later; but only to point out their mistakes, sarcastically.

Mistake 4: When They Use Heavy Vocabulary

The first step in my education began from the letters: A, B, C. Then I was taught words: Apple, Ball, and so on. After that, I was taught to read sentences, paragraphs and stories. My language skill did not develop by magic. It took time.

I need time to understand my lectures as well. My teachers, however think that I should know everything within an hour of lecture. So, they rush on. When they use strong vocab and do not explain them well, I am gone; stumped.

A Look to the Future

index
What if?

I might have to teach people who are going to outsmart me (logically as well as technologically) in the upcoming days. Let me be guided by this post then.