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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    How hard did they (the earlier generation) work?

    While my wife and myself are feeling the intense pressure of our daughter's gigantic project work, my mind travelled backwards during that time when I had been staying at Karol Bagh. At that time, to kill boredom of the Bengali mess where I had been staying, I started to teach some local children. Almost all children were first-generation learners, Out of those five children, a boy was very meritorious. He used to work hard, was very good in Science subjects and Mathematics (but poor in English). He used to study in a local Government school, but his performance was really very good, especially in Science and Maths. However, the boy told me that he hated project work. He also stated that although he had had to spend lots of time in completing projects, he didn't get good marks. I advised him to take the help of his parents, but he simply said they were not capable to do project work.

    Today I am thinking about the difficulties faced by the first-generation learners. They don't get any support from their parents. If the learner is the eldest child, then his/her problem is of Himalayan proportion. Very few people are available to help such learners.

    No doubt, the first generation learners have to work doubly hard to succeed.
  • #618921
    Though the earlier parents were having less formal education or not any formal education at all, they were giving rock solid support to their children in other ways. They used to be awake along with the studious children, be ready with black coffee with ginger in the winter nights; they used to be very cautious that even their coughs did not disturb their children's study. They used to earmark the best part of anything to their children and consume only the residual part.
    But, yes, in those times children also used to understand these and reciprocate and help their parents in household matters. Children used to go to the market and bring grocery, firewood etc carrying on their shoulders or bags or in big sacks.
    Yes, the children did have some problems as they were first generation learners. But let me say that I was taught many things by my maternal grandmother, even though she did not have any formal education, which helped me in my academics. She used to ask me to read from my books and with her native intelligence and logic correct if I went wrong. She had good power of repeating maths tables. which she learned orally from her father and then from her husband (my grandfather). She would test my capacity to recite tables.

  • #618936
    Now a days every parent wants to have good education in a best school for their children no matter the parents are illiterate and they wont know what is being taught. My wife is working for a fully digital private school and invariably the project work is given to the students on various subjects. While the students show much interest at the time of announcing the topics in the class, the next day they come with no projects done as the parents wont have idea about that nor they cooperate to at least attempt one. This has made the school to rethink on giving project works. Though the parents are ready to shell out hefty fees every month, they are not capable or caring to attend to project works and thus the children feel neglected and those who are intelligent in that lot feels negated and watch the proceedings of other children excelling with their project works and thus their moral is extremely affected.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #618954
    The support from the parents for the first generation learners in this house comes in a different way. They may not be able to support the student in executing the project work but they will help him in many other ways. In the villages, I have seen when his child goes to a school, the parents who never went to a school feel that their child is a king in the house. They give him special treatment. Whatever support he asks for carrying out his educational works they used to give him by struggling. They don't want their child to look inferior to other students. They support him by giving him a helping hand in his other works. I have seen families where they eat only rice with buttermilk but their school going children will have two or three extra varieties in his lunch. When parents support them like this, they should work extra hours and see that they will be outstanding in performance in the school. That is what the child can give in return to the parents.
    These days schools are giving more works like project works which are very time consuming more to the parents than the student and I am not able to understand how this type of works will give an advantage to the students. Instead of that a group of students coming together doing the project in the school itself with cooperation from a teacher will be advantageous for him in understanding the subject.

    always confident

  • #619308
    Glad to hear that you were teaching needy children. Yes, the pressure of current education is palpable, our children are reading things 3-4 years ahead of what we used to learn at their ages. The earlier generation parents and grandparents worked with sincerity, honesty and commitment. Shortcuts or illegal earnings were not often seen among common middle-class families.
    Parents went beyond the call of duty to provide for the education of their children. The hardships faced by them would make us look relatively ordinary. They used to work long hours with little time for recreation and diligently saving their hard earned money. Those days sending children to a convent school was a matter of pride and achievement. My parents put in one such school for a few years, those days I used to see my father in the morning at 7:30 after he dropped me to school on a cycle and by the time he returned (around 10 PM) I used to be fast asleep. If, I can do half of what he has done, I would have achieved something in life.

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