A prestigious school in my city is taking its middle and high school students on an Educational Tour to Europe. For this they are taking around 1 lakh rupees from the parents interested in sending their kids on that tour. And strangely people are giving it to the school administration willingly. I do not understand that why do the students need to go to Europe for learning? What sort of education does the school want to impart by taking them to Europe? Till class 10th all students study History under CBSE board and 80% of it comprises of Indian History. Rest is just World Wars, Dark Ages, Renaissance and Industrial Revolution as far as I recall.
Social Studies was one of my favorite subjects and I loved reading about the diverse cultures, traditions, tribes, dances and festivals of India in Geography. I also loved reading Indian History starting from Indus Valley Civilization of Mohenjodaro to Non Cooperation Movement. I used to sing along with public interest videos like Baje Sargam Har Taraf Se and Mile Sur Mera Tumhara, telecasted by Doordarshan even if it was shown 100th time. We had the Mahabharata and the Ramayan as supplementary readers in Hindi subject. I loved reading Amar Chitra Katha comics, Jataka Tales, Panchatantra and Hitopadesha.
I have serious doubts about students of this generation having any extra knowledge about Indian heritage or the the thirst of it other than that written in their textbooks and required to clear the exams. Knowing about the latest gadget or website is being modern and tech savvy but knowing about a simple tradition and following it is so old fashioned. By touring Europe for education, Indian students may become able to answer questions on Greek mythology or French Revolution but remain ignorant of their own history, mythology and folklore.
I don’t need to describe the vastness and the diversity of India as I guess most of my readers are Indian. Be it geographical, cultural or cuisine diversity; I think it will take an entire lifetime for me to explore each and every aspect of India.
I guess, to be able to boast that “my son/daughter has gone on Europe tour” to relatives and neighbors is priceless. Telling friends and that kid on the block who studies in a less prestigious school that “I have seen the Eiffel Tower and the Colosseum” is such a boost to the ego and image! Because I guess touring India is not “cool” enough!!
This reminds me of the famous song from the Hindi movie Jagriti (1954) – Aao Bachchon Tumhe Dikhaye Jhanki Hindustan Ki. Here is the awesome song