Eating is an agricultural act - Wendell Berry

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Rural and Urban kids

spent 3 hours at the thattampattu middle school in kanchipuram dist in TN today. it is around 3 hours or so from chennai.
really inner inner village school.

along with a local ngo partner, we have been supporting school improvement projects in coastal TN over the last 1.5 years.

the session was special science summer camp !! yes, no kidding, around 25 std 5-7 kids were in this hot steaming classroom talking and discussing science experiments...unreal mate...they were awesome. talking about air pressure and related topics with ease and understanding.

ok, lunch time break is approaching, a quiz is organised. 3 teams of 8 each. one from each team is called to conduct and explain an exepriement.

am intently watching the class. this girl is out in the middle and is explaining an expt.
entire class, around 24 pairs of eyes are fixed on her, not a single one out of focus. rapt attention even though the girl is somewhat making life difficult for herself. for more than 5 mins, almost the entire class stayed transfixed. i could hardly believe my eyes.

in my poke-nose style i did a KBC style -"lock kar doon" and a WWE linked joke. absolutely no takers !!

i recall an earlier experience over a year ago, when i had done a series of classes in another TN village and felt a similar feeling. kids really pay a helluva lot of attention.

coming to the titled matter, i share this with my local pal. i say, "in my mumbai classroom, in that same scenario, it would have become a riot-police situation" way the mumbai kids would be able to maintain that decorum and patience. he said exactly same about the chennai kids he teaches sometimes (i.e., riot police situation).
so what it is about rural kids that they have a google plus level of incremental discipline compared to urban kids:
1. rural parents are more civilised than those in urban slums
2. rural environments/spcieties are more civilised than in urban slums
3. alcoholism is less
4. less tv - no WWE/cable
5. more outdoor games and exposure
6. closer knit communities in villages than in urban slums.
7. more real teachers in village govt schools than in urban govt school.

now you know why i want to be a village headmaster (a la oliver goldsmith)

No comments: