Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The magic fades

When I lived in Tamilnadu, I often heard praises of "Neeya Naana" a talk show that encouraged participants to share their views and conducted debates between groups that held conflicting view.
After I moved to hindi speaking state, where I started working from home, I happened to watch snippets from this program, and then got to watch a couple of these shows along with my daughter.

Although I sensed a bias and an 'I already know what you gonna say" attitude in the facilitator, I was deeply hurt at how he handled the teachers in the public vs private schools debate,

Firstly, how can you ask teachers in private schools what they provide for kids? These teachers are paid very low salaries, and rarely have a say in what the management decides. Secondly, how can you dismiss their claims of being motivated, and their ideas as empty jargon? And point out that their jobs being insecure, they could not be motivated as they claimed to be? Can we quantify their honest approach? Also, how could you praise government school teachers on facilities provided by the government when they also never get to participate in the process whereby the govt decides how much to spend and what to spend on these schools?
He clearly wanted to say that government schools provide a lot for student community, all of whom should rush to be admitted in them. But it looked he was anxious that he could not get his point through, without cutting private school teachers in the middle of their speeches, and without springing questions at them almost as soon as they finished each sentence. The government school teachers however, were not meted out the same treatment.
I worked as a teacher in private schools for over ten years. May be that was why it hurt a lot. I know numerous stories of government schools without walls, without teachers, with dust laden equipment that no one knew how to operate.Poor young men from villages have shared horrendous stories of how their teachers used to demand Pepsi from poor kids and told them if they got him what he wanted they could go home. The teacher would fail all of them,and then call the parents asking for favours such as goods from their shops, and promote them only after the parents gave them what they wanted.

I am not digging deep, because people in my state know how much worse these stories can get.
Coming back to the program, the facilitator conducted an impromptu quiz for the teachers. Fortunately most of the private school teachers managed to do well. This episode made me realize how humiliating it can be to be at the receiving end of such public debates.
The expression of the private school teachers turned dead, and even the smug smiles of the government school teachers soon became forced and fixed.
Such programmes are supposed to have enthusiastic participants. Now sensitive people like me should keep away from them, I guess.

1 comment:

Vaishnavi Prasad said...

True mam. These debates are meant to increase TRPs by provocating the participants to become emotional and churn out sympathies of the audience. Gopi will have a view on the topic and wil try all to endorse it if not you will b bullied by him.
How all fall prey to fame and give up being truly honest is surprising..