Katturai Woes

So, my brother gets sent to the front of his Tamil class. Not because he is the teacher's pet, not because the teacher is pretty anal about seating students according to height variations and definitely not because he is ace in that particular language. The reason was because he kinda stalled on a certain comprehension assignment for the past one month. It was a moment of pride for me as I never thought this squeaky clean boy who actually LIKES going to school would ever replay my childhood mischief.

In secondary school, my teachers were of course pretty hard up on this whole hand up your assignments on time boat. Thank god that unlike primary school days, we needn't do corrections [in green ink] and hand it up again for a look see. Still, when a certain piece of work gets overdue, a new one gets piled up anyway so as time went by, it was ok to skip 1-2 pieces of work because the teacher is only gonna flip to the most recent page and start marking from there.

Don't we all know the woes of teachers and their painful marking stints. Then again, by the looks of the kinda people who inhabit the hallowed halls of NIE, I say fuck it. Obi good. Hope your hand pain and sprain and your red ink run out in the middle of the night with no replacement to be found. Of course my heart goes out to the veteran souls who know what the business of education is all about and are much loved, cherished and respected in their various institutions.

Now, back to the sibling. He isn't one of those play punk and hope to get away with it blokes. He's a pretty fine student and a student leader at that too. That this was all achieved by keeping out of the predominantly Yindian cliques is a fact, not the exception. By his explanation, amidst a whole lotta swearing, cussing [mother] and impending violence [rest of us] back home [reactions grow ten fold when the teacher actually bothers to call up the house instead of just leaving a note in the workbook], this mad hatter of a Tamil tutor actually was blasting them with homework every single day. And 1 composition and 1 comprehension at that.

Now, upon hearing that, you should have been here to witness the deafening long drawn pregnant pause. Comprehensions were cool. Look at the question, find the same coupla words in the passage and lift the damn answer, you get the full marks. But what kinda insane education program would warrant a daily composition? That's about 2 hours of prep before you even spend an hour writing the damn thing which you'd not only get borderline marks in cos you rushed it, you couldn't even be arsed to remember what you wrote about. Not to mention the prevalent practice of having to squeeze in some "proverb", "saying", or "thirukkural" by the end of it all just to earn a minor tick and some extra credit.

Thus, my brother was duly forgiven and teacher thought a cuckoo. Lesson learnt? The next time some educator who has lost his/her marbles decides to "do the right thing" and work "responsibly and with dedication" calls up your home to bitch about someone, ask them to shut the fuck up and politely in the same language remind them who pays their salaries. No brother of mine needs to write an essay every single day just so he can ace the exams, unless his life long dream was to be a freelancing columnist for a tabloid spread.

In fact, do read Nal's woes on her own kid's homework pileup HERE. He on the other hand is only Primary 1 so you would appreciate the true way education has moved on these days. From inspired teaching to substance-less worksheets.


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