While serving as a lecturer in a college 3 to 4 years back, I was really enjoying my job. There are a few reasons why I liked that job: 1. Teaching is in my blood. It would have been surprising if I had not been in the education field ever. 2. I love interacting with people.
I have never been nervous before going to the class; not even on the first day! I, in fact, tried to know my students. Apart from their names and cities they belonged to, one thing I was interested in the most was, “What would you do after graduation?” I never wanted to hear, “I want to become a CEO” as I could always understand their state of mind at that level of student life.
“It is always good to set the highest goal, but it is better to focus on the nearer goals because these are the steps you will be taking to reach the final stage; your ultimate goal.” You can call it being down to earth or being grounded.
I had been in their place just a few years ago. So I could easily understand their dilemma.
One more thing was very clear in my mind: Never pressurize the students who are just trying to learn. Make them love the subject, instead of forcing them to memorize it.
To avoid monotony and boredom in the classroom, I tried to be expressive during lectures (Just to keep them away from random yawning!) and to do this, I often asked them various questions and “What would you do after Grads?” was the question.
Almost everyone answered with excitement and happiness in voice. Everyone took different names of programs of Masters. A happy moment!
But the next moment was shocking. There was a girl who always sat in the first row and took the corner chair. She was very accurate in her work and particular in assignments and attendance. A studious, bright and aspiring girl she was!
Her answers shocked me. She said with the regular smile, “I will not study further.”
“What?” was my reaction!
She repeated, “I will not study. I am allowed to study till the graduation only. In my family, girls are not allowed to study more.”
A LOSS. A great Loss. I was in shock and still am in. Is that really possible? Can someone really tell you not to study? I could not digest the thing that this could actually happen.
We live in a country where we believe that the future of the country is in the hands of youngsters. And we also believe that education is the true strength of development. How can illiteracy rule the nation? It cannot. It simply cannot.
There are many children in the country like this girl who are bright and can be brighter citizens who can help the country in many terms. But why are we stopping them?
One reason which I learned was the marital issue. They believe that if the girl is more educated, the family may face the problem in finding a suitable groom. So ultimately, the girl would not live a happy life.
One more reason came: “Why to spend so much money on daughter’s education? She will get married and will leave the house, so why should we INVEST in her education. Her husband will do whatever he feels like.”
The reasons are extremely strange to me. I am sure that they are not to them who have set these reasons.
But I wonder will it ever change? If it will, then when and how?
Yes, we are working towards women empowerment and girl child education. But there is still a portion of the society which is not changed yet. And this portion is not ignorable.
Let’s make one such country where no girl will say, “I am not allowed to study.”
Cover Photo: Google Search