People in this rural area of Dailekh district have demanded that students appearing for SLC exam should be allowed to cheat without any restriction during the exam. The parents of the students tried to enter the exam center in order to help the students cheat. During the incident, they also attacked and injured security personnel. (Kantipur, March 18, 2013)
May be, I should stop trying to teach elements of poetry, how to compose an essay and how to figure out future tense to my students while this issue is creating headlines in the society. May be, I should stop trying to teach the biographies of great personalities – Laxmi Prasad Devkota, Prithivi Narayan Shah, Anuradha Koirala, Albert Einstein, Barrack Obama while the news like these simply don’t justify what I’m trying to instill into the students. May be, I should stop trying to teach the lessons of being simple, of being honest and of being diligent while the people in my country do not believe in those concepts anymore.
I am trying to teach in the class something that does not exist in the real world anymore. In the real world, honesty is not a life skill that you need. Outside the classroom, diligence is not a life skill that you need.
I should stop trying to teach these outdated and harmful philosophies. They seem ‘cool’ only on books and in classroom. They don’t work in the world outside. Because in reality, people are not driven by those concepts in the world outside.
Because, cheating seems to be the life skill after all.
If you are not teaching your students how to cheat in exams and in real life situations, you are robbing them off their time and money. You are throwing your incompetent students into the world which is full of choking competition. Diligence works only for few. Intelligence works only for few. Teachers need to focus on those students who don’t possess intelligence, who don’t have high IQ, who don’t want to study the books. Teach them real life skills so that they too can compete against those brainy students. Cheating. Paired cheating. Grouped cheating. Collaborative cheating. That’s real life skill. Your students may not grow up to be intelligent but they would become smart. Because being smart and being corrupt works.
You would not need any textbooks. You could teach them how to emulate ourselves, how we live our lives. Lives of the people around us, lives of our respected political leaders, lives of social activists, lives of our business owners, lives of our bankers, lives of our principals, lives of our teachers, lives of our parents.
We teachers talk about continued personal and professional development. We talk about equipping ourselves with the latest teaching philosophies and pedagogy. However, those are a total waste until we update and gear ourselves with methodologies to make students smart and corrupt.
If corruption is the new morality, we should move towards incorporating the essence of corruption in our pedagogy. We constantly talk about how language and culture are inseparable. But, what culture? Isn’t being ‘corrupt’ our culture? Isn’t ‘greasing the palms’ our culture? Isn’t ‘kissing ass’ our culture? Let’s get real. Let’s not bluff ourselves. I’m happy knowing that many Nepali teachers are proud flag-holders of several political parties. Great job! Because at least, they are trying to get real. They (try to) emulate their party leaders and in turn, they are trying to influence their students.
Stop teaching history. It’s a waste of time on time that’s already wasted. Just like Carlin implores to us, “Stop living in the past”. Teach present. Teach future. The present is full of people who are corrupt and won’t hesitate to cheat for personal benefit. The future too will be full of these people. So stop teaching the past.
Stop teaching moral science. If science deals about facts and realities, moral science is not a real science. If a shopkeeper returned you two 50 rupees notes when he should have returned only one, you would keep that in your pocket and walk off, wouldn’t you? I probably would. You wouldn’t feel bad about it. It was pure luck, you would justify. Honesty is not a reality. Nor does it work. Teach how to be smart and corrupt. Or, smartly corrupt. Or, incorruptibly corrupt. And teach how to walk off with pride, teach how to walk off without feeling a single drop of guilt in the conscience.
Only then will your teaching become meaningful. Only then will your students learn the real life skills.