G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”

W H Auden: "But in my arms till break of day / Let the living creature lie. / Mortal, guilty, but to me/ The entirely beautiful."

Will Self: “To attempt to write seriously is always, I feel, to fail – the disjunction between my beautifully sonorous, accurate and painfully affecting mental content, and the leaden, halting sentences on the page always seems a dreadful falling short. It is this failure – a ceaseless threnody keening through the writing mind – that dominates my working life, just as an overweening sense of not having loved with enough depth or recklessness or tenderness dominates my personal one.”

John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."

Art Spiegelman: "You know words in a way are hitting you on the left side of your brain, music and visual arts hit on the right side of the brain, so the idea is to pummel you, to send you from left brain to right brain and back until you're as unbalanced as I am."

विलास सारंग: "संदर्भ कुठलेही असोत, संस्कृत, इंग्रजी, बुद्धिवादी, तांत्रिक, इतिहासाचे, खगोलशास्त्राचे, आधुनिक पदार्थविज्ञानाचे, शिवकालीन व पेशवाईतील बखरीचे, अगणित ज्ञानक्षेत्रांचे, अशा वैविध्यपूर्ण ज्ञानावर लेखन- विशेषत: कवितालेखन- उभं राहत."

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

India’s Present-day Society Lacks the Desire to See Every Child at School

Prof. Krishna Kumar, Director of the NCERT was interviewed by Frontline dated March 14, 2008.

“….There is plenty of evidence to say that India’s present-day society lacks the desire to see every child at school…

… Education is a long-term investment. To make such an investment generously, one needs faith in the future and the hope that we will get there. For appropriate investments in education we also need socio-political imagination and a social consensus on certain basic ideas, such as the idea that every child matters. In our country such a consensus has yet to emerge. Far too many people still believe that only the so-called bright or smart children matter and deserve education of the best quality.

Also, a lot of people perceive education as a private concern, in the sense that they worry about their own children but don’t feel hurt or pained when they see others’ children exploited or treated badly. In such a social ethos, any government will have difficulty in pushing radical educational reforms…

… In every area, from science and maths to social science and language children must be given a space to reflect, ask questions, wonder, and probe sources of knowledge outside the textbook…

If progress in examination reform has been slow, the case of teacher education is worse. The sector is facing a grim situation, with rampant commercialisation on the one hand and a lifeless, uninspiring B.Ed. curriculum on the other…

Teaching profession is in a deep crisis today and in certain parts of the country it is in a shambles, with unqualified, part-time para-teachers serving in place of professionally committed teachers…

We live in a very divided society. People just defend themselves and their own interests in everything. [Points to bottled water on the table.] We even drink different kinds of water, and education is like that. It all depends on class, caste, gender. For at least two decades there has been a high value placed on education even by the poorest. But the system has not evolved to the point where their children get the attention they deserve.”

I, me, myself culture of India's non-poor.....


'Look, we've discussed all this. If it gets the kids into a decent school, it's worth it...'
The Spectator 2008