Monthly Archives: August 2010

more pics: 15th august, 2010

The original and offending post is here: 15th august, 2010 – this being the jaundiced coverage of the celebration of  the 63rd anniversary of Indian independence at nammashaale.

And yes, young Vinod too has uploaded his photos at: http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0SauGzdwyYsS2

Thanks, Vinod!

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15th august, 2010

This year too, at nammashaale, we ended up celebrating the anniversary of Indian independence from the bdastardly British Raj.

There was a de riguer flag hoisting & unfurling, distribution of the (my) dear Kanti sweets, singing of some select patriohic songs in Hindi, Bangla & Kannada (yes, even the erdkinder, our dear (oh dear!) adolescents – sang too, okay, okay – they were only slightly offkey and all that, but then their spirit counts more than anything else, eh?).

a section of the gathering (thanks, Sanjay)

The highlight, in fact, highlights of the programme were two flag hoistings – one of the national flag and the other – that of the Bharath Scouts and Guides movement.

Yes. The scout and guides (actually for bulbuls (for the little girls) and cubs (for the little boys), right now) programme was formally launched at the school – under the able guidance of the ably trained  Sudha (bulbuls in-charge) and Vasu (cubs in-charge). It was a sight to see the children wearing the uniforms, strutting about like peacocks and going thru’ the motions, cheered on by some enthu parents!  (thank God, there were no offbeat drums and offkey trumpeting and marching-past and all that racket that usually accompanies formal celebrations like this)

an impromptu marchpast (Sanjay's handiwork)

And um, it is another story as to how, during the previous week of the run-up towards the inauguration/launch, the parents were endlessly harassed by the children (nono, not by the nammashaale school) about getting the darn (not darned) uniforms from Seshadripuram, which I think is near some war ravaged godforsaken battlezone  in Iraq. The only saving grace for me was the fact that, in Iran, there was this NavaKarnataka Booksellers and I could pickup some good ol’ Russian titles on science and yes, some nice novels of Fyodor Dostoevsky! Lovely.

Well, I actually used to think that these montessori children would not condescend to even think about wearing an uniform, leave alone actually getting down to wearing them – how silly of me!

I have since been thinking a lot about this puzzling thing & the future. And, you know how difficult it is for me to think… Now, after a whole lot of  such difficult cogitation, I have come to the conclusion that – defying all Darwinism, Genetics and all the other realms of science, eventually the bulbuls will become cows and the cubs would become bulls, not. Sorry.

the chubby and cherubic chief guest, driving by on Charles SUV (Thanks, Sanjay)

Thanks to young Sanjay Nambiar of FilmCamp.TV, we have a slew of photographs at: http://gallery.me.com/sanjay_nambiar#100232&bgcolor=black&view=carouseljs&sel=0

I think, young Vinod would also eventually upload his photographs to some suitable site and let us know the url. He was seen wildly clicking away to glory, along with a few others. Vinod?

Sanjay and Vinod are both nammashaale parents. (and NO! They are happily married – but NOT to each other, sorry to spoil your wildest dreams)

indian right to (elementary) education ‘act’: redux

A couple of months back, I had posted about  the right to education ‘act’ (2009). This contained a gist of the union act, concerns and comments on it, along with a gratuitous list of questions.

Of course, a lot of water has flown under the bridge since then and  is now beginning to flow over it too! There have been quite a few meetings by genuinely concerned individuals  – a few that I know of were held in Pune, Bangalore and Mysore – and I attended the Bangalore one. Some fantastic people have gotten together, to represent and air the voices of multifarious small & ‘alternative’ schools, subscribing to little known, but holistic learning philosophies… The signal-to-noise ratio in the outpourings of these folks has been very high. Hope all their efforts to retain the diverse fabric of Indian Education scene will bear fruit…

In the meantime, as predicted by me earlier, madrasas (the ‘islamic’  institutions) are going to be made exempt from this so called RTE act, thanks to Kapil Sibal’s (who is the Indian Union Minister for Human Resource Development) intervention.

Kapil Sibal, otherwise a brilliant thinker and doer, does what is expected of his congressish political persona – and dishes out a token solution to appease; at one level, these kinds of  random ‘vote oriented’ concessions are actually disrespectful to the minority communities. It is one thing to make certain clauses (from the act) exempt for the minority schools, and it is an entirely different thing to exempt them in toto from the provisos of the RTE act. Anyway, here is the offending link from The Hindu: “Madrasas will be kept out of RTE Act”

So may be, all the Montessori, Steiner and ‘K’ schools, the latter as in Kafka – and all the other so called ‘alternative’ ones – all need to loudly proclaim that they are practicing a religion, and that their religious practice commands that they don’t subscribe to the RTE rules or whatever, why not?

I am wondering what all the gazillion Christian ‘missionary’ schools going to do, post the announcement of Kapil Sibal!

In the meantime, our Karnataka state government has come out with a draft version of the RTE rules as applicable to the state.

The draft is here: http://schooleducation.kar.nic.in/SSA/pdfdocs/rtedraftrules.pdf

Till the end of august 2010, one can submit memo / note / requests / suggestions of modifications etc to the competent authorities – stemming from the draft rules.

I sincerely hope that at least some of the readers of this weblog will take up the task, in the interests of education. (I am definitely going to send my views)

(( I still feel that the heart of the union RTE bill is in the right place, but it is only with a few contentious points that I have grave problems; of course I also feel that the implementation of the ‘act’ will be fraught with issues, both for the official machinery and for the targetted schools ))