The tyranny of notebook

Anu takes hours to complete her notebook.She is in fourth standard and loves her Science teacher. Every time a lesson is taught,she creates a visual based on it in the notebook. She takes hours on end to sketch and colour her master piece. Next day, she is sure to get a good or very good from her favourite,Latha Miss. Anu’s mother complains how she will learn only from her notebook,those  answers dictated by the teacher. Anu refuses to do anything that her Latha Miss has not  asked her to write down in her notebook.

Sheathed in brown paper, Pokemon adorned, with neatly filled pages ticked in red -the note book is a constant companion to any school going kid in India. Its sometimes his pride and at other times the cause of his embarrassment.

As integral as the note book is to the student, so it is to the teacher. To the teacher, the notebook, that of her students is usually a reason to celebrate when she happily goes around sticking those smileys or those golden or silver stars in them. Sometimes its her nightmare and causes her much distress especially when her(students) notebooks fail to live up to the mark of a good teacher.

The parent is also wedded to the notebook  if his  child is not good at copying down. Then you see him standing outside the classroom, fervently copying down stuff from the notebook the teacher has given to him -finishing his son’s incomplete work.

Notebook is certainly a document for the teacher to inspect,for the mother to agonize over, for the Principal to catch hold of to shake out those hidden skeletons from the  student’s/teacher’s cupboard.

Much thought goes into what goes into a notebook.First the teacher prepares  copious notes which she puts up on the black board and then is copied down by the student.The transfer of knowledge  ends with student writing down what he learnt as it is in the exam. The answers are marked, results are declared and an academic year comes to an end.

Text books come and go but the tyranny of notebook thrives!!!

We can  never expect to have an Ahmed moment in schools  because here in India, we dont allow children to be original. Our insecurities stop us from allowing our children chances to explore,to venture out, to fall, to fail and then to rise.


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