Increasing facilities, decreasing aptitude

 

                                                                                                                                                                      Tishta Tandon

 

Mr. Rao, an English teacher, highly enthusiastic about the new CCE system introduced by the CBSE, gave a project to his students to submit an essay on “Changing Attitudes and Values in Society”. What he definitely had not expected was that he would get thirty identical essays, copied from ‘easyessays.com’, from his class!

Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation, a system, introduced with a vision of inculcating creativity and originality in students and mold wholesome all-rounders has been reduced to a sham; all thanks to increasing facilities like internet. CCE’s agenda of promoting ‘learning by doing’ has been shattered since every project, report, poster, etc. is available at the click of a button! Consequently, the culture of working hard and dedicatedly has been completely eroded. The ultimate result is that in spite of the efforts and intentions of educators, schools are not producing individuals anymore; they are just fostering clones or robots that have no definite set of values or opinions and are incapable of thinking for themselves. Honestly, the first thought that even I had while writing this essay, was to access the internet and copy something from there! Agreed that internet has made our lives easier and we can’t even imagine our world without it, but, I would argue that is the cost at which we’re getting these benefits, really worth it?

With facilities like satellite television channels having invaded our living rooms in a big way, children of an impressionable age are increasingly becoming addicted to the idiot box. Some experts even say that prolonged sitting in front of TV and computer screens, over and above its impact on eating habits and exercise, may cause metabolism changes that contribute to unhealthy cholesterol levels and obesity. That really is the couch-potato syndrome! Not just the internet and television, video games and mobile phones have also shifted the focus of the younger generation from knowledge gaining activities to entertainment. E-books have replaced the culture of going to libraries; addiction to virtual gaming has overpowered the desire to go out and play with friends. In fact, the social norms have become so that if I am reading a book instead of playing on PS-3 then, I’m considered a bore!

 

What’s more, increasing facilities like television and internet have an even deeper and mind boggling psychological impact on children. For instance, the TV reality shows, especially the ones showcasing children’s dancing, singing or acting skills are a cause of grave concern. In addition to hampering these children’s healthy physical growth, such shows put an undue pressure on kids to excel and win. Instead of promoting the spirit of competition and nurturing the values of companionship, love and care in the participants, these shows teach the children to trample others in the race to win; means are not really important for them, ends are. Some kids become so demotivated when they lose that it becomes very difficult for the parents to bring them back to reality and renew their faith in their talent and aptitude.

The social values that TV and internet are promoting are equally astounding. In a recent survey conducted to analyze the mindset of the youth of the country, it was revealed that 70% of youngsters don’t consider lying and cheating to be inappropriate means to succeed. Keeping the prevailing scenario in mind, Chetan Bhagat’s words reverberate the sordid reality. As he says, all that young India wants is well paid jobs, flashy cars and girlfriends and what they are not bothered about, at all, is to earn that living honestly, with integrity and excellence and without compromising the core values that build our society. The youngsters first want to fulfill their selfish needs and only after that are they willing to support a certain cause. So we all watch ‘Satyameva Jayate’ and show our pseudo sympathy by posting statuses and tweets but, we don’t want to participate or take responsibility for bringing about a change in the society.

I think I can safely conclude that we are a generation that survives on Facebook, Google, Twitter and Angry Birds. In a bid to become modern and ‘cool’ by exposing ourselves to the advanced facilities, we’ve actually become ‘individuals’ who act and think alike. We as the youth of the nation are supposedly its future. And if we are the future, I’m sorry to state the obvious: Nobody is in safe hands!

 

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