Friday, 25 April 2014

If you only look at this sputum…

As I was twinkling my gigantic pair of black rounded eyes at this luminous, goldish in color sputum, I was reminded of my own squelchy sputum which was probably snoring at the deepest corner of my foul reddish respiratory tract. The absolute freshness, greasy and calm mesmerizing sputum was hard to be ignored. The Worm-like stuff was heartlessly spattered against the whitish wall that read, “Do not litter here.” This blonde like sputum was staring at me as I happen to lay my jumpy quivering eyes at it.

 As I kept on piercing my dark marble like eyeball at this unsung piece of man’s creation, there was something more in it; her artistry display was too hypnotizing. Yellow like a yoke of an oval crimson local egg-she was screening. As she was meandering sluggishly like a snail, she began to pose S-like-naked formation with a perfect bulge at both the edges. Her, wetly exhibition with the aroma of lemon like scent could have made anyone grow wild like those patched hyenas of Africa.

Further, I saw the presence of those reddish networks of nerves like sticky stuff at the centre of her which ran from the bottom edge of her towards the upper edge; and that reddish sticky thing glowed to give her a sexy touch.  “Wow! What a sexy sputum, I wonder who had given birth to it and left her all alone!” I reflected to myself.

Then, as she was stretching herself-too much; she began to break lump by lump down into the dry dust below.  She was falling down-hard; those lustful dusts couldn’t ignore her eroticism-they were puffing out toxic smoke. She choked-breathe hard but those dusts kept on piercing through her virgin body and engulfed her, never to be seen again.    

Earth Day
courtesy: Google-Wikipedia 
On 22nd April, we all stopped for while-shook our self hard- only to realize that we have indeed gone far-far from our mother earth.  The day reminded us shamefully that we have given nothing but had always taken almost everything from her.  Amid our selfishness, we have always overlooked our mother earth's needs. The day brought us down to earth-we were guilty that we were flying high.   

There were some concerned teachers in Mendrelgang MSS who understood the desperate call of our mother earth-they became restless-they wanted to respond to her call. Mrs. Namgay Dem, Mrs. Choki of and Mrs. Kezang and Mrs. Pem Choden of Nature club spearheaded the idea to mark the day in style-they wanted to organize class competition where each class was asked to rack their brains to make something out waste-especially pet bottles-plastics and papers.

The day was marked with speeches-models out of waste-educational audio-visual clips and message oriented songs and dances.  Judges arrived from primary school next door-indeed it was bustling day-day that brought us back to our mother earth. 

Organizers thank you for enlightening us from our slumber- sleep of selfishness-thank you for helping us to whisper: “MOTHER EARTH WE ARE SORRY. WE STILL LOVE YOU!” 

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Resurrection of poetry
Poetry is an art of romanticism; you don’t just read it -you got to feel it!  On 19th April, 2014 our school-Mendrelgang Middle Secondary school went off the pages cruising up on to the stage to recite our favourite poems.  Hats off to Mrs. Dorji Wangmo, Mrs. Pem Zam and Mr. Samten Dhendup(Literary Club). Their idea to organize the Poetry recitation was timely. We could indeed see the revivalism of poetry in a true sense.

In school setting, Poetry as a literary genre is not that appeasing to kids compared other genres.  Kids often complain about that unseen element in our English literature exam-where an unseen poem is given.  “Sir it’s harsh upon us that we have to deal with a strange poem in the exam.”  This is an issue which needs to dealt sensible rather then quickly jumping into some kind of harsh conclusion.  But one thing is sure-it is the “unseen elements” that gets into their head which rattles their confidence otherwise poetry is like any other genre.  I believe it is more of restoring their confidence…

Nevertheless, in our school kids and teachers got together-interestingly science teachers, economics and mathematics teachers particularly seize the moment to share their love for poetry by helping their respective classes.    We could see poetry bringing teachers and students close to each other-I mean the intensity of interaction-interaction of emotions through poetry was tremendous. 

Saturday, in Mendrelgang MSS- poetry as an art came alive-background music- colourful costumes-characters –children enjoying recitation-indeed it was poetry in motion.  This thoughtful events powered by creative teachers and students really touched all the observers.  Such celebration of poetry will be hard to forget-once again hats off to all the students and the teachers.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

I love death…
As you go on with your life-you hear death at one stage of your life-and then you instantly run deep into death and began to ask. “What the hell is this-man?” I get to fix this out!”  And amid your bustling life you corner out some time to figure out death because-deep inside you know very well- that you can’t go on and on playing easy upon it.    “At one stage I have to stare eye to eye with it-I must be prepared!” That’s what you keep on reminding yourself every now and then feeling bit scared about it.

Then-your vodka-bloody punch-perhaps your favorite tequila shots gets into you; you yell your heart out like passionate wolf-“Death catch me if you can-I know you are jealous because I am flying right?  Come on! Come on! You are jealous right?”  Things get pretty mixed up for while-and you don’t even want to hear death.  You want to calm yourself saying that you have lot better things to do in life than simply brooding about death.  “I have a sexy girlfriend to handle-serious job to impress and loads of cigarette to puff out! Death-you’re a misfit in my life-I don’t care about you anymore!”  At this stage you have simply lost the plot! Confusing at times leads to ignorance and that’s what is happening with you.  A fake bliss swirls around you and you act like a heart broken lover-trying to forget everything knowingly you can’t.
Then-then-you feel the vibes-I mean the positive vibes.  Like those starving hyenas in the Animal Planet-you look for a book that reads about positivism-perhaps throw a surprising party to friends or roll your sleeves for some community services or hit the theater for some comedy masala.  You’re doing this to keep yourself aloof from death-you know this very well…

After few days-months or after few years-death will certainly pass by you-perhaps through illness-a fatal accident to your friend-or  let’s say you switch on to CNN and suddenly a very animated reporter sparks you with the images of civilian being bombed-blood-bodies everywhere- then-then you see the death again which you have been avoiding for so many years. 

At that moment a distressing kind of feelings- gushes up-you feel sad.  You feel like kicking yourself for your naivety and then secretly-finally you learn to embrace death-“I was naive that I ignored you-now not any more. I am sorry-very very sorry!  It is you who made me value life-If you weren't there I wouldn't have learned to appreciate my life!” You simply can stop crying...

“I love you death! I love you!”

Friday, 18 April 2014

I always knew that bird was not free...

Scared! Do you understand when I say-scared!

I was damn-bloody scared! But not anymore.

Let my lungs burst to death,

Let my body be crushed,

Let the blood ooze out,

I am not weak anymore.

I stand before you-

You may play deaf-dump-or blind

I don’t care anymore.

You may argue-fight

But today I stand-I stand strong to say:

“Brother you were wrong!

Birds were never free-never!

And I always knew that-I was just too scared!

Not anymore! Understand? Not anymore!”

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Academic versus Non-Academic

Often I am left scratching my head wondering, “Why are there differences among the kids in terms of academic learning?  Why can’t all they be same when it comes to learning? Why is that some are able to comprehend quickly and some slowly-and some- they just struggle through to fail?  Why is it that a child has to be excellent in academic?  Is non-academic excellence not at par with academic excellence?  Why is that Dawa’s awesome sketch always gets overshadowed by Tashi’s 10/10 score in mathematics?”

 Does it imply that a child who is superb in formal subjects is more intelligent than the child who is superb in non-academics? Sometimes I wonder whether child’s grades really reflect his intelligence. Simply ask yourself-was three hours exam papers enough to judge your intelligence when you were a high school boy?
Kids are today trained like circus animals-they don’t have their will but of their parents and teachers. If the kid is not healthy in academics-the notion prevails that he is not good in studies.  It isn’t surprising rather damn unfortunate that a kid with an awesome non-academic intelligence struggles get good living; gradually fading away in the crowds.  Perhaps parents and teachers have right to instill fear and impose-“Son! Give me good grades-or else you are nothing!” look around! Success is indeed defined by school grades rest is casually taken as compliment to academic success.

Poor toddler! He should be speaking sharchop but since his mom and dad feels that dzongkha is taught in the school and would enhance his learning by the time he gets enrolled-they push their baby with dzongkha and thus their indigenous language is brought to stand still.  Even some schools-“Let’s have only commerce and Science-these are job oriented streams.”   Practicality of such nature is hard to swallow.

Our kids’ intelligence is directly shaped and determined by job markets and that is where people like me are at sea.  Kids are oriented according to market situation-whether these kids have their own dreams or not-that is not the concern.  A talent is not intelligence-intelligence is talent; that’s what lingers around our society. Intelligence is proudly associated with academic learning.

 Perhaps we should have schools that would solely cater to those kids who are brilliant at non-academic fields.  How about having theatre-music school, athletic-boxing-football academy and many such academies.  Let’s face it! All kids enrolled in the school won’t make to offices.  Seeing kids who are intelligent in non-academic fields fading away-seems strongly unfair.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Civil Society and Democracy
Civil society is an intriguing revelation to our country. It is so captivating that large sections of Bhutanese intelligentsia have closely looked upon it and sensed it as a new medium that can seriously boost Bhutanese society-especially in terms of dealing with complex social set up.  Such noble institution can indeed reinforce and refine existing Bhutanese social setting and it can ultimately lead to a design of a vibrant democracy which we Bhutanese yearn for.
Then, what is this so called civil society? How can a lay man comprehend about such institution? Why is there need for such body?  What makes such civil society to grow? These are the immediate questions which need to be answered in the most simplest-convincing manner by civil society in our country.
One thing is definite-Civil Society cannot be directed by the politicians nor can it afford to dance upon the tune played by business community. Chauvinistic character, syndicate like attitude, excessive bureaucratic temperament and showy outlook of any such body can never be termed as a civil society.
 Around the world there are few tainted and ambiguous- hyped groups existing in the name of civil society which in actuality seek fame and fund-and faction to sustain themselves. Such organization has enormous tendency to generate communal sentiment, communal assembly and confusion among people from various social background. Moreover, such body will breed corruption, disrupt normal functioning of the society and consequently people will be skeptic to such organization.
A real civil society can never ever politicize and at the same time won’t hang its tongue and be a puppet to any political party or business community. Again, it would also be naive on part of good civil society to exploit and toy with extremists and emotionally sensitive people in the society. Therefore it is obligatory for such body to be aloof from politics and power. And at the same time with much matured approach it can definitely create a sound social network. Thus, maintaining its independency and authority to function itself as separate entity in the society.
 If you examine the nature of civil society-It is not mere charity association but a commune that is firmly inspired by deep sense of volunteerism.  It is a foundation that exclusively believes in collective responsibility to strengthen and stabilize the community. Civil society itself is an institution-a model which believes in advocacy through hands on experience by public themselves. It’s a righteous copy that every other sector should be animated to help this body to grow in its own space and should integrate some of its innovative programmes.
Before discussing its role towards enhancing democracy, first it is extremely essential to understand why such organization comes to an existence. Civil society develops-first due to discrepancy between the different social class and second due to degradation of man himself and environment around. To be specific –economically if you examine-the gap between “Haves” and “Haves not” is getting wider, environmentally- natural resources and animal kingdom are fast fading and if you view politically, people are arranged in various bloc and alienating themselves and morally- spiritually mankind is becoming more elusive from it. Even culturally people do not value their originality which further devalues their existence. And psychologically people are becoming impotent. Old-poor-diseased-physically challenged people, kids and woman still do have hard time to find their place in the social setting.  Discrepancy and degradation in these domains of man’s life has lead to a chaotic and selfish society. So-either due to sheer desperation or inspiration to fix physiology of imbalanced social order-civil society started to mushroom.
Now, let us look at its role. Civil society is indeed synonymous to democracy.  Any democratic country without civil society is no democratic country at all.  Civil society is embodiment of emancipation, freedom and equality-just like the ideology of democracy it focuses upon social well being and believes in peoples’ power. Thus, it becomes mandatory for such organization to create a platform where people from all walks of life can experience a deep sense of freedom to express themselves intellectually, emotionally and culturally. When such freedom is given it can act as a medium to compliment the government and business community for noble cause and if these two bodies tend to fail to uphold their social responsibility then it can act as their conscience.
 In our Bhutanese context, we have numerous civil societies in the form of formal and informal body.  Some are registered in the form of non government organizations and some are mere congregation but effective in fulfilling their set objectives in the society.
For instance RENEW (Respect Educate Nurture and Empower Women), Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy, Youth Media Centre, GNH Center Bhutan, Bhutan Youth Development Fund-in fact all these civil societes can enhance the democratic setting in the country. After all these civil societies, they create a space where people can come forward to mutually work together for the social cause.  It acts as medium in which everyone is encouraged to join in the collective decision making concerning public interest.
 Furthermore, it is acting as a school of advocacy which educates people to seek for their equal rights. It simply teaches the people to treat people equally, safeguard their rights and make them feel secure in our society irrespective of their social backdrop. Thus, it is fair to say that like democracy-civil society in Bhutan is-of people, by people and for people.
 With strong and broader guiding principles and secular strategy-approach-and with selfless members, any civil society can withstand amicably face to face with the government and private sector. In fact, those civil societies which can easily reach to the mass and inspire public from various social back ground and make them to be a part of it can overwhelm the government and private sector which may ultimately lead to reckon and embrace civil society as third sector in the public domain. 

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Teacher in Making Nation
     Teaching is not a job but a rare, precious and must responsibility of every mankind irrespective of what position he holds in the humanistic setting.  However, it is understandable that a man who doesn’t believe in a cause greater than himself is not a teacher otherwise teaching is a sublime- transcending art which flows in the blood of every Bhutanese who believes in social peace and freedom. It is a simple service to our society-nothing more. 
     Sadly, there is strong misleading impression among few individuals who outrageously dares to label and pack this noble practice only to those who are frequently soiled with chalk dust and often sarcastically called by the term, “Lopon.”  These wise men who had narrowed down teaching exclusively to teachers and to a prescribed curriculum can certainly upset the social harmony in the nearing future and such instilled belief has strong tendency to shy away from social collective responsibility.  Selfishness can supersede selflessness within our brothers. This cheap intruding notion in our Bhutanese context needs to be abandon quickly-forever.  Here, this is Bhutan, with its Gross National Happiness not America with its American Dream.  We talk of community not of an individual.
     Yes, indeed there is never a slightest doubt that teacher has been enshrined with tremendous boon for engineering our nation. However, first, we ought to understand that anyone who can’t practice and preach, “Love” is never a teacher even though he might boast of university degree in teaching.  As a matter fact, even a street beggar can be reckoned as a teacher if he can emanate “love” to the mankind.  Bhutan, an agrarian and small nation which has been bonded by love so far, needs only love -love for our king, love for our country and love for our people.
     This is my firm believe that any man who believes in love should teach because undeniably-he can be the best teacher irrespective of “who” “what” he is in the society.  Love is the core requirement for any man who wishes to be a teacher, rest are periphery.
     “Teachers are nation builder.” This is very absorbing and thoughtful statement which has been sheepishly underrated by some section of our modern society.  Let us accept this! This service has been indeed overlooked.  If it isn’t then, why are our young graduates not keen to join this service despite knowing its nobility?  Who should be held accountable for this? I just don’t know. But, one thing is sure, nobility of this service has been openly mocked and eventually the image of this divine like service has been immensely hampered. Where did we go wrong? How do we go about it?  Come forward and be bold enough to ask, “Teachers are you happy?” Or else an alien chattering about what he should do will make little sense. It’s really disturbing to realize that the statement, “Teachers are nation builder,” which was stated with such a noble intention has been misinterpreted into a pathetic sarcasm.    
     Nevertheless, on the positive note, without taking away anything from other civil servants, I strongly believe that teachers can have the greatest impact pertaining to nation building.  And, why they shouldn’t? They should.  Only the question that arises is-how? Is it through bombarding students with job determined facts and figures which ultimately manifest into numerous professions?  Or is it through dogmatizing students with chauvinistic and religious sentiments?  Then, how do teachers hand themselves in making nation?  Indisputably, simply becoming doctors, engineers, educationists, lawyers and many just don’t make nation; it’s the sense of love within them for the community that paves the way for nation. Hence, teachers must ensure that their pupil is a good human being before he is good doctors.  In our country, our chief priority is to have good human being first than a good doctor. A good pupil can be a good doctor but can good doctor be a good pupil? Genius of a child is secondary when goodness matters-at least for me.  
     We have to also rethink about a child who holds distinction certificate in his academic results but reflects shaky moral standards.  Please! Always remember! Education that is offered by a real teacher never concerns with individualistic growth but with the growth of community as whole.  Any state can never be apprehensive with regard to losing its culture and sovereignty if their children are imparted with education that is principally guided by morality.  For instance, look at our country, although we are militarily, economically and geographically modest but yet it stands proudly between two super powers of Asia.  This is solely because of our fore-fathers’ strong principles based on unity and freedom.  Let’s salute our forefathers for being the greatest teacher of unity and freedom.  The message is crystal clear-as a teacher, we mustn’t fail to inspire strong moral codes to our students. Thus, morality becomes indispensible gift from the teacher to his nation by producing pupils who are willing to work morally for the cause of the civilization.
     As a teacher always remind yourself that you have been vested with supreme-sacred power which is intended only for you to use wisely  for the societal advancement.  You won’t believe this; the power in your hand can also destroy a nation.
In the face of mammoth like challenges before you, I beseech you- to push on and on.  Hide your sad stories and let your children dream big-that’s what you are meant to do as a teacher.  If your child is sad, make him realize the power of smile.  If the child is off track, show him the power of patience in you.  Always believe this! You are his super hero! He will always look up to you as you are the eyes of a child through which he sees his dream.  No matter what, the flame of teaching should never get doused at any cost; some might laugh, but you are indeed special-very very special. Perhaps, someday in the history of mankind, people might come to realize the wisdom of Lord Alfred Tennyson, reflected in his Ulyssess:
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’
Gleams that untravell’d world, whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use!

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Eclecticism in Bhutanese education system

   Conceiving education as an art of technocracy has made our past and current education and its system so mechanical that neither educationists nor learners in our country are able to realize their true potentiality.  Today, at this juncture, considering the fact that education is weighed in terms of morality and money; the approach to impart education to our current and future generations has become a tremendous challenge for some responsible and realized educators.

     Our education has been exposed to various experimentation; many foreigners brought many philosophies to actually better our education mechanism. But the question still lingers around, did it work in our Bhutanese setting?  Are these foreign education philosophies only the answer to our Bhutanese education system? What if we, Bhutanese work out our own way through? Can’t eclecticism be the answer? 

  Eclecticism is destined to be in our education system. It’s a boon to better our teachers and learners altogether; like the unique democratic form of government that we have today.  

       Eclecticism is the call, which we need to attend urgently. Then, what is this so called eclecticism? The (wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, n.d.). defines it as a conceptual approach that does not hold rigidly to a single paradigm or set of assumptions, but instead draws upon multiple theories, styles, or ideas to gain complementary insights into a subject, or applies different theories in particular cases.  So, how can Bhutanese educationist imbibe the method? Will it work out?  These are some of the questions that linger around.

       Mind you, in order to apply an eclectic method, one has to be well versed in all other methods and philosophies of education, and then only the teachers can afford to be eclectic in teaching. This new phenomenon can be the answer to our Bhutanese education service. Let us make teaching spontaneous and lively with the adoption of eclecticism in teaching.

       But, owing to the skepticism of some of our policy markers and educationists, we still exhibit teaching that is so rigid, technical and boring; and its pity to watch our teachers look alike a trained robots.  The flexibility in their lesson plan is a “taboo.”  And if you peep through their lesson plans, it’s more of product oriented rather than processes.  When the teacher plans his/her lesson plan, he/she plans the lesson in such a way that he/she in advance predicts the behavior or the response of the learners, which is totally absurd. What if the predicted responses can go wrong in the real class room situation? Then what does that teacher do?  Most often, the unpredictability of the immediate class situations too governs our teaching process, which means the teacher has to take account of their current mood and then think of his approach to teaching with his learners. So, the eclectic approach is in the forefront. When students are eclectic in nature so should be our teaching approach.

       Having an eclectic frame of curriculum do not guarantee that every teacher will adopt eclectic approach in teaching. The most heart breaking part is that some teachers they do adopt eclectic approach to their teaching but they hardly realize that they are actually using it. The term “eclectic” is hardly heard in the teaching arena, which clearly implies that it is discarded.  If that is the attitude of our educationists, then we fail to bring forth our local Socrates, Shakespeare, Albert Einstein and many more genius.

       Today, as time progresses, do the people; and their education needs too. Bit of perennialism, bit of recounstructionism, bit of essentialism, and bit of progressivism are what we have to integrate altogether which will lead to eclecticism.  Likewise, all the teaching strategies and methods ought to be richly used so that all sections of learners are catered in one sitting. 

       Lets us give a new face to our education service; and that immediate initiative should come especially from the policy markers and the educationists. Let us make our teaching more spontaneous rather than making it more methodical.

Note: This essay was part of assignment done in the college during the third year (2009) -Very young essay with subjective outlook.