…..Of endings and beginnings….

The first academic year has finally come to an end, it was wrapped up with an awards ceremony for the kids and a parent teacher meeting to declare the EOY exam results. It was very crucial to have this meeting before I left Pune for a good two month slot. Many kids have met the RC, Grammar and Math EOY targets set for them by the diagnostic tracker, and many have not. But the growth in each child is the focus factor. This meeting was for parents to be able to see that growth and see only that instead of blindly comparing marks and fretting over ranks. It was for them to celebrate that progress. Somehow even the education setup that I grew up in was very rank and numbers oriented. Now I think of how much importance this whole numbers game was given, and it all seems so futile.

Anyway, that got done and I had to move on to the next task enlisted on my to-do list for summer i.e. summer internship. I’d applied for internships mostly in the educational sector as I wanted this experience to contribute to my second and final year of my classroom and fellowship. So here I am in Kuala Lumpur for a month, interning with Teach For Malaysia (TFM). The idea appealed to me because TFM was dealing with the same issue i.e. educational inequity in a different cultural and political context.  Also what was interesting was that Teach For Malaysia was just about starting up this year and working with them in dealing with the nitty gritties of building an organization from scratch seemed like an interesting assignment. My task here would involve creating and assisting with streamlining the training program for the first batch of TFM fellows to be placed and visiting schools in various placement regions in Malaysia.

 I’ve always enjoy travelling, the only thing different about this visit is that I’m pretty much on my own this time. The last time I went out of the country literally everything was looked after by the company I worked for. But here, finding places, conveyance, eating and accommodation, everything is upto me. That adds an adventurous spin to this month. :)

Yesterday was my first day in the city and I enjoyed my day in office, thanks to the lively set of people at work. I’m also glad about all the walking that I get to do here, to and from the train station, for dinner in the evening, for lunch and of course for all the exploration. :)

I have a list of things planned for this month and I hope I’m able to get the best out of my first Southeast Asian experience. I do hope I am able to document this in detail as I’ve planned.

Discovery of the day : Oyster omelette and Ginger Onion Frogs at Bukit Bintang :).

 

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3 thoughts on “…..Of endings and beginnings….

  1. Hi Chaitra,
    I find your blog posts very interesting and different from most that I read. For me, they are a learning experience. I especially liked what you mention about your internship with Teach For Malaysia (TFM) and the issue they are dealing with, educational inequity in a different cultural and political context. This is a geographical area that I know little about though I am familiar with the subject matter, but in the context of Mexico where I lived for many years.

    • Hi Penelope,

      I’m very interested in how education is spreading as a global movement in a very structured way. Almost 18 countries are now following Teach For America’s way and have set up similar programs in their countries.

      Malaysia is a melting pot of many cultures. It’s fun discovering this country part by part. I always find your comments very encouraging.

      Thanks for dropping in.. :)

  2. Hi Chaitra,

    Glad you and Penelope and I are all connected via the blog world!

    I second what you say about the futility of rankings. Have been reading about that on this “what’s education” quest I’m on. It sets a bad precedent because a few will be winners and the rest will be losers when everyone focuses on a ranking system.

    And they always rank based on grades instead of more qualitative, heartfelt measures (if they insist on measuring and even that I question). I wanted to prove I could get all A’s one semester in college, so I did just that. It wasn’t really hard, I just had to do exactly what the professors wanted, not my usual MO.

    Was I any different or improved from doing that? Honestly, no.

    I truly believe we all have something tremendous about us that cannot be compared with anyone else. If we’re in school to liberate ourselves – my new def for education – then what matters is how much freer we feel.

    Here’s something kinda funny. I took this biology ap test in HS. The kids who studied all the time and got A’s got far LOWER scores than I did. I spent a lot of time in class laughing and being loose and did not study AT ALL for this test, yet somehow I came out on top and I wasn’t even sure about a lot of the answers.

    Am I a good guesser? Maybe …

    Your summer internships at TFM sounds really cool. Will check out the link. I’d love to see more local economies all over the world instead of US shopping malls and international pharmaceutical companies being duplicated. Nothing worse than seeing the chain stores migrating over the oceans … Have a great time.

    Thx, G.

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