project why

project why

PT as we all know or at least presume stands Physical Training and is a high school ‘subject’ in India. It would be reasonable to again presume that it means playing games, training for individual and team sports etc. Not quite so in the Chacha Nehru Hindi High School, Bhiwandi. There you also have written exams! In the annual exam for class IX this year, the students were gobsmacked when the came across one the questions: Who is Virat Kohli’s girlfriend? For the uninitiated he is India’s Cricket team Captain. This was a multiple choice question and three known actresses were the  choices given.

Does one laugh or cry?

This was  a question out the prescribed syllabus. If one peruses the NCERT syllabus for the said subject, one learns that its aim is to :  provide the required theoretical and practical inputs in order to provide an integrated
and holistic understanding and developing positive attitudes, values, skills and behaviour related to health and physical education at the primary, secondary and senior secondary levels.

A somewhat obscure definition but still one wonders how the knowledge of who is the current love interest of a cricket star does not meet the guidelines in any which way.

So one wonders why the question was included by the teacher who set the paper. Was is just for fun and popularity to be the ‘cool’ teacher? But what about those who have no interest in cricket and even less in the love life of the players. The question are endless but none seems to be satisfactory and acceptable. Parents are worried that their kids may have not known the answer as it was ‘out of syllabus’?

It is true that cricket is a passion and that many young people are totally aware of facts and trivia but not everyone. In a country were education is primarily by rote, even the brightest student may not have known the answer.

But it does not end there. Many deeper questions come to mind. The first one is about the seriousness and competence of the teacher. If one were to play the Devil’s Advocate one could say that the teacher was trying to test the student’s interest in other matters: did s/he read the newspaper, watch the news etc. But this does no stand ground as everyone knows that in the present system even half a point can make the difference between college or no college and hence you do not play around with the syllabus in an exam question paper.

This is indeed a very small matter but it does once again shed light on the critical importance of the need of an complete overhaul of our education and marking system, so that children can be freed from the stranglehold of impossible marks.

Project Why is very conscious of this anomaly and strives to take education outside books and walls.