Education & Culture

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Sitting in a cafe last night with an old friend and student – Dr Khalid Hussain – we had a very insightful and lengthy conversation about education and its purpose. The conversation was interspersed with sweet cardamom tea and added more flavour to the discussion. It propelled me to write today’s blog.

One of the deeply rooted superstitions of our age is the notion that the sole purpose of education is to benefit those who receive it. What we teach, how we teach, what subjects we encourage, are all utilised for one underlying purpose – “what do the kids get out of it?” And this ignites another more detrimental question – “is it relevant?” – and by relevant they mean “relevant to the interest of the kids.” From these superstitions have arisen a multitude of other problems such as the abhorrence of rote learning. Continue reading →

The Fundamentals of Language: Parental Pedagogy

Parents have a responsibility to ensure that their children get the best education possible. Fundamental amongst the preliminaries of education is language.  Language is the basis of all communication and doing it correctly requires training. Therefore, talking to the child in proper meaningful sentences is the first step. Similarly, reading books out loud to your child helps building language skills, even before the child can speak. When you go about you daily chores, explain what your doing to him/her e.g. ‘I’m now chopping the onions’, ‘I’m going to the cereals aisle to buy some Corn Flakes’. Encourage the child to speak by asking questions ‘What am I doing now?‘, ‘What do I need to bake a cake?’ etc.

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