14 Oct 2021  |   05:24am IST

Where have we failed?

Where have   we failed?

Belinda Jacques

Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil, said C S Lewis.

How true this is for the present system of education that we are imparting online to our students. Students, who are the future of our State and more importantly of our country and the world at large. 

A look at the Goa Board results of Class X for the academic year 2020-2021 proves that the above quote is true. All this under the garb of Covid. Students who would otherwise, not even get through were elevated to a first class or even a distinction. Barring a few schools in the entire State of Goa, most had secured a 100 per cent result. If we do a honest soul searching, have we as educators failed our students? Students, who looked up to us as role models and students who would emulate us? Actions speak louder than words.

Let us do a little soul searching, go deep down into our conscience and answer ourselves honestly. If we were to meet these students whose mark sheets were enhanced without thinking about the consequences, these students who received a percentage they did not merit, would we be proud of what we did? What about the good students in the class who, despite their hard work, had been put on par with students who were known to shirk off? As a teacher or as the head of an institution, do you think you have been just with these students? 

We entered the new academic year 2021-2022 with a lot of hope and desires in our hearts, but the pandemic followed us this academic year too, like a faithful partner. 

Online classes once again, we said in the month of June. 

Frustrated with students not joining classes, network issues, voices breaking etc, we faced it all as teachers. In August, it was time to evaluate students and get to know how much they had succeeded in learning. We were in for a bigger shock and found it hard to digest. We knew about students copying from one another, students opening books to copy, accessing Google to cheat, all that could be taken in stride.

Students being helped by tuition teachers to copy thus rendering them handicapped for life is the latest trend. Pray, tell me honestly will these teachers be respected by their students? Isn't this also a form of corruption? We have the audacity to turn around and complain about corrupt politicians and leaders. Aren't we in the process of training our students in the art of corruption? 

Finally a last word to fellow teachers. We are a literate lot but why do we behave like educated fools? Don't we know how to write? How many of us have dared to write about the system and the wrongs we are facing? Why are we silent on issues concerning the future of our students? Whom do we fear? 

"A good teacher is like a candle it consumes itself to light the way for others."