Incredible India: Andhra teachers asked to ‘train’ students in abuses

Imagine a teacher writing filthy abuses on the blackboard and explaining their meanings to students.

Shocked? This is exactly what schoolteachers in Andhra Pradesh are being told to do. A handbook designed by the state government to train schoolteachers has a peculiar chapter that has left teachers blushing.

This chapter suggests that they should make students list out women-specific filthy words or abuses, generally used as slang in society, and explain their meaning.

The offending chapter in question, Discrimination in culture”, says: ‘List out such words and ask students to write them down along with their meanings. Explain why most of these vulgar words are related to sex of women, their chastity and doubting their fidelity. Tell the students whether such gender abuses are there in other countries, too and what they are.’

The handbook, which was distributed among teachers at a training programme across the state recently, basically deals with gender discrimination in society and how teachers should educate their students on eradicating this evil.

It was prepared with the support of the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Rajiv Vidya Mission (earlier Sarva Siksha Abhiyan) programme and Jana Ganam, a voluntary organisation.

The handbook states the chapter’s objective was to make students understand why discrimination against women in the socio-economic fields has been reflected in culture.

Several teachers at the training programmes expressed the view that though the handbook was designed with a good objective, it will be highly embarrassing for them to talk about vulgar words.

‘It is ridiculous. How can we mention vulgar abuses before students, leave alone telling them to write them down and explain their meanings?’ G. Rama Devi, a state teachers union member, said.

Senior teacher L. Ravinder Rao said those who designed the chapter might not have taken the teachers’ sensitivities into consideration. (courtesy: A. SRINIVASA RAO  & MailOlineIndia)

“Poetree”, an imaginative initiative

The students of Krishna Menon Memorial Government Women’s College engage themselves in hanging poems of students from various colleges across India on Poetree

Poetree has attained great popularity and entries from a number of campuses have already been received, right from JNU and St Stephen’s College New Delhi to Shanti Niketan Kolkata and Hyderabad Central University, not to forget mentioning several other varsities all over India. Students and young writers from Jawaharlal Nehru University, St. Stephen’s College, New Delhi, Shanthiniketan, West Bengal, Central University, Hyderabad, Madras University, Calicut University, Maharaja’s College, Kochi, Nehru Arts and Science College, Kanhangad, BCM College, Kottayam, Farook College, Kozhikode, University College, Thiruvananthapuram, Brennan College, Thalassery and other institutions sent their entries to be displayed on the tree.

It was an innovative initiative for creating an ambience that inspires creative expression among students as a special ‘space’ has been carved out on the campus for promoting creativity.

The initiative of the Media Club of the Krishna Menon Memorial Government Women’s College here was, as the organisers claimed, the launch of a new campus culture that would stimulate creativity among the students of the college. At the centre of this initiative is a tree which has been re-christened as ‘Poetree’. Poems, stories and other literary works of students from colleges all over the country will be hanging from the tree near the open auditorium of the college.

The Media Club, a joint venture of the departments of Journalism and English of the college, has set up a unique ‘space’ for campus creativity called Poetree. A tree on the campus has been baptised by that name and poems, stories and other literary works of students from colleges all over India will continue to hang from it. Entries will be changed weekly.

“Poetry was a safety valve for society. This imaginative initiative is a reflection of our desire for poetry to exist,”

said Malayalam poet Veerankutty in his brief speech while inaugurating ‘Poetree’ on the college campus here on March 22.

“In today’s fast paced world, Poetree marks a return to nature. With over 100 poems that have blossomed on its branches, the Poetree is a wonderful sight,’’

says Nasooha M., second year B.A. English Literature student, and also a budding writer from the campus.

“The idea is to exhibit writings from other campuses in India,’’

says writer V.H. Nishad, convenor of the Media Club, who also teaches journalism at the campus.

“As the name reflects, Poetree is a tree that captures the soaring imagination of students from different campuses, reflecting their thoughts in poems, prose or in the form of short stories —irrespective of lingual or regional differences”

says Varsha Pramod, coordinator.