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Equality before Law and Equal Protection of Law

The Classroom Board PDF Print E-mail
Written by Hanumant's Law Journal   
Tuesday, 20 July 2010 21:31

These are the pictures of a board that we affixed in our college classroom to monitor the progress of our semester. Want to know what happened to it? Read on...

I joined Govt. Law College, Indore, MP, in July 2006 and the first semester was over in Feb'07. It was fun. I had a great time making new friends besides savoring the excitement of learning a completely new field. However, I was very much disturbed by the quality of teaching. On paper, there were supposed to 6 periods of 50 minutes each from Mon to Saturday. For each subject, a minimum of 80 teaching hours were required but not more than 30 classes were held. For some subject, only 3 - 4 classes were held. Sometimes, the teachers would just take the attendance and leave!

But what was even more disturbing to me was the total acceptance of the state of the affairs by fellow students. Nobody was complaining about the quality of teaching. Of course, there was no body to listen to the complaints but that's a different story. To me, this was "self financing" Govt. College, which was running on fees paid by the students, i.e. us. We were there to learn. We were spending our time and money for it, and we were not getting our money's worth. Would you not complain if you go to a restaurant, pay money for some food, and then made to return without any? But this is exactly what was happening! Many students were also working part time and were really trying hard to make it to the college to attend some classes. They were frustrated, yes, but still, said or did nothing. Everybody just accepted it.

I wanted to do something about it and so I came up with the idea of putting up a small board in the classroom, on which students would themselves write the topics discussed after a lecture. Instead of sharing the idea with others first, I just decided to go ahead and do it myself. If for nothing, just to see what happens.

So I bought a piece of glazed Mica from a carpenter shop (1 x 1.5 ft) for 20Rs and nailed it on a wall in the classroom. I bought three permanent markers. Kept one with myself and gave two to two other fellow students, who attended classes regularly. The idea was that at least one of us would be present in every lecture and whoever is present, would update the board. And so we started...

Initially, most of the students laughed at it. Some tried to rub it off (which didn't work because we were using permanent markers) and some threw chalk at it. When some teachers asked, we just told them that the board was just to make sure we don't forget and repeat the topics discussed in previous lecture. They too laughed it off.

In the first week, nobody cared. But after a week, when the board started taking some shape, it had a tremendous effect on the teachers. The good ones would refer to it before starting the lecture, while the bad ones would give it an angry look. It was an eyesore for them.

After 2-3 weeks, every student started liking it. Nobody made fun of it anymore. In fact, students started realizing how few classes were being held and how much actual teaching was happening in the class. Not just the students, but the teachers too were getting conscious of the board. It was reflecting their deeds right back at them. They now realized the power of the board. It was no laughing matter for them. It was alive.

After a month or so, the board was screaming at non-performing teachers. Only one teacher took his lectures seriously. Not surprisingly, he was also the teacher who was not too popular with other teachers. All others were just taking their salary and doing nothing.

At the near end of the semester, when we came to the class one morning, the board was gone. We saw a few bits of the mica lying on the floor and 5 nails sticking out of the wall. I was sad, we all were. But I was also very happy at the same time. In its death lied its success.

I was quite sure of its ending in this way so I took pictures of it weekly. Attached are a couple of those. One was snapped by me and the other one, with me in the forground, was snapped by my classmate at a later date.

Comments (3)
  • Amit  - Moral of the story ?
    Nice story...almost sounded like "pen is mightier than sword" philosophy...just that u guys used permanent markers ;-)

    Jokes apart, was there a real awakening...was there a surge in #classes/week !?
  • admin
    No awakening, no surge. The system is so tightly deadlocked, small things like this have no measurable impact :(
  • Anonymous
    well, the attempt is quite ingenious. Did it ever happen that students attended in sizeable number and even that failed to stimulate teachers?
    Why dont you try this once to gather students in big number and go to every concerned teacher to remind him that it is his hour?
    Anyway i appreciate the initiative you have shown to bring some focus if not change.
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Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 July 2010 19:14
 

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Hanumant Deshmukh
B.Tech.(IT-BHU, Varanasi),
CFA, LLB (Hons)

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