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Education … July 1, 2006

Posted by madhavi mullagiri in Uncategorized.
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I was speaking the other day to my house maid and explaining to her how my day goes and how I stay up late to watch football and hence have not been finding much sleep. She asked me if they play so late like 12:30 am, and I had to tell her they play in a different country where it is couple of hours earlier than that. And started explaining the whole thing of the earth being a sphere, how the sunlight falls on just a portion of the earth and how while we experience day and night there is another portion of the earth that experiences night and day. She sounded fascinated. Then I started to explain how the poles experience day light and darkness. She got the hang of it. And then I told her if she was literate, she could ask these questions and find stuff to read.

For many in our country education means literacy and especially so for people who come from villages where they are already learning a lot of stuff in vernacular medium.

My maid just studied till 3rd standard and now she does not even know to read and write! So when I asked her if she would learn to read and write, she was defensive and had no confidence. So I had to raise the bar and tell her literacy is only a means to get knowledge written in some language

She was smart again. She got the point. I am so glad she thinks it matters to know things that are trivial!

After I finished the conversation, I was checking on the net how life must be for people living in the poles. And I ran through Aurora Borealis. I had heard this word but never really found out what it is. I am literate but was not curious every time I had heard this word in the past. But then I went about reading about it, learning something new!
So I have been thinking education is knowledge that helps us know facts, events, learning from others to aid us live, interact with people, interpret and abstract the world we live in. Literacy is just one of the aids and equally important is curiosity – the thirst to learn.

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