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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Toads and cockroaches are no longer available in schools for dissection

    My daughter is now in Class-XI. She has taken Biology as one of the subjects. I have been mentally preparing her for dissection of toads and cockroaches for some time. Although her Biology practical classes started in June, 2016 itself, only very recently she was taken to the dissection room and near the dissection tray! Prior to the class, I had tried to explain the entire process to her as clearly as possible from my personal experience. On that day, she was very enthusiastic to do dissection for the first time. She was ready with gloves and newly-purchased Biology box.

    But Alas! She was totally disheartened at the time of dissection! Instead of live toad, the school authorities supplied her with plastic toad and cockroach. It was really laughable. These plastic prototypes can't give the same feeling during dissection. Moreover, students don't feel the need to remain extremely alert while working with the plastic prototype. Later I came to know that presently there are many restrictions on using live insects for dissection.

    I feel that the Department of Education of every State must ensure supply of toads, cockroaches and guinea pigs in every school and college for dissection. The students must get a proper feel of dissection. For the purpose of learning, ban on using these animals and insects, if any, must be lifted.
  • #578241
    On reading this I split into laughter and even shared the same with my children. Some times the school management fail to play reality and stress that students be taught on prototype materials. But I too feel that for a Biology student live Toads and Cockroaches would be more reality to learn the intricacies and probably the school Management were afraid that if they allow dissection of Toads then it amounts to killing of such species and that would be issue of discussion in media too. So probably to keep away Animal protection group from this episode the college might decided on prototype Toads for dissection.
    K Mohan
    I consider myself as the learner everyday

  • #578245
    Dissection of live animals first time in the biology laboratory in class IX gives a unique and rare experience not only to the students concerned but their parents also. It is a much awaited and very emotional moment. It appears that the child has taken the first step on the ladder of becoming a medical doctor and in due course will perform open heart surgeries in reputed and famous hospitals and thus save lives of many individuals. Thus not getting a live cockroach or frog is a major emotional setback and anti-climax.

    I vividly remember one episode which amply illustrate the point. During my childhood, my neighbor's child reached class IX. He had taken biology as a subject and the student was asked to bring a dissection box next day. The family was very poor and they had no money readily available on that particular day to go to the market and simply buy a dissection box. They were much disturbed and finally decided to sell one silver coin to buy the dissection box. This is a real story which I have myself witnessed in the early sixties.

    Let us encourage each other in sharing knowledge.

  • #578246
    #578245 : My daughter is now in Class-XI, and not in Class-IX. I also did my first dissection in Class-XI way back in 1983. I don't know whether dissection used to be initiated in Class-IX in 1960s.
    “Whenever I feel the need to exercise, I lie down until it goes away.” - Paul Terry

  • #578247
    Mr. Kailash Kumar's response has also reminded me about my dissection box ('Biology box' in the parlance of Bengali medium students). My father purchased one with great difficulty for me. My younger brother and my youngest sister also used the same. My parents still keep the box in our Kolkata residence as memory.

    However, I would like to know whether Govt. has banned use of live toads or cockroaches for dissection in schools and colleges.

    “Whenever I feel the need to exercise, I lie down until it goes away.” - Paul Terry

  • #578253
    Partha - It may be class XI only. I have not studied biology as a subject and therefore could not report the facts correctly. However, the core point was picked by you correctly.
    Let us encourage each other in sharing knowledge.


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