We use cookies to provide some features and experiences in QOSHE

More information  .  Close
Aa Aa Aa
- A +

The Importance of Being a Good Political Science Teacher in Modi’s India

10 56 0

It’s a bit of a trick being a political science teacher nowadays. The reason I know this is because I have a friend who teaches political science to high school students in New Delhi. I’ll call her Meera.

Meera is the kind of teacher who never has a problem with student absenteeism because she knows how to bring her subject to life. When parliament is in session, she shows her class live Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha TV telecasts. She also organises regular classroom debates on current events and makes it a point every morning to discuss with her class the major socio-political events of the previous day. In short, she is the political science teacher everyone should have, or should have had when they were in high school.

It goes without saying that the students in her class are extremely well informed and can hold forth intelligently for hours on end on Indian politics because their teacher has taught them to think critically. But because she has taught them to do that, they also ask a lot of uncomfortable questions. And this is why it is a trick to be a political science teacher in Modi’s India, because while teachers like Meera are encouraged to get their students to “perform well” on one hand, they are discouraged from teaching them to critique India’s social and political realities on the other.

Also read: How Gandhi turned a 21st Century Classroom Into an Empathy-Filled Community

Meera tells me there is an unwritten agreement amongst the other staff members not to be vocally critical of the present dispensation and to avoid discussing Indian politics during school hours.

I burst out laughing. “And how do you manage that?”

“I don’t,” she........

© The Wire