Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Of talking dogs and high school diplomas...

Have the Indian news channels completely lost their marbles? This afternoon, NDTV 24x7 had a feature about the dogs of mumbai, which I might have continued to watch if they hadn't started interviewing street dogs, complete with some precocious kid doing the voice-over for the dog.
Then now, just an hour or so back, I stared fascinatedly for all of thirty seconds as Star News went on with their appeal to the viewers to cast their votes on whether or not they think it was right or not of some girl to have jilted her fiancé on the day of their wedding in favour of her true love!!!
This is news these days. Sheesh.

Amidst all the trash on Indian televsion these days, there are a few not so popular shows, usually telecast on weekend nights, which, while not be pathbreaking in any way, are rather sweet and fun to watch occasionally. I don't watch them regularly, but come across them at times while flipping channels.
The other day, one of these shows, which is based in a small moholla, had a rather interesting track. An old lady, whose grandchildren are grown and on the verge of leaving home, decided to try and fulfill one of the long-cherished dreams: to give her Matriculation exam. Having got married at the age of 16, just a month before her Class X Boards, she had always dreamt of giving the exams, but never got the oppurtunity. Till the point I continued to watch, she had received her admit card and was trying to convince her husband to allow her to sit for the exams.
About a year ago, a friend of mine had mentioned how her mother never got to go to college and was now expressing the desire to pursue further education. We told her about places like IGNOU but I don't think she ever followed it through.
There are probably so many people in India who had to leave their studies prematurely for various reasons, be it marriage, or lack of funds, or simply their parents thinking it was unnecessary for them to continue. In the USA, they night classes for those who want to finish their high school graduation; India doesn't have a system like that. Yes, we have distance learning and correspondence courses at the higher levels; institutes like IGNOU and DU enable people to pursue their graduation or even post-graduation at later stages in life. But what happens to those who want to do their basic schooling? Give their Matriculation exams? They can give these exams as open candidates of course, but I do wish there was some kind of system where these people could also attend classes if they so chose.
Of course, while I'm at it, I also wish the whole freaking education system in India would change, but that's another story altogether.

Update: (04/03/07)
I watched the latest episode of that show last night, and apparently after a great deal of resistance the Man of the House decided to support his wife in her decision to take her Matriculation exams at the age of 55 or something. The last scene showed him waiting for her to come out after her first exam with nariyal ka paani in his hand. How sweet! :)


R said...

the news is mad and India TV is NOT the most reliable source of information. Boycott! grrr....

I'm too sleepy to think of anything else to say. Or I don't have anything else to say. oh yeah... children shouldn't do voiceovers. *grate, grate*

Anonymous said...

Well i agree the NEWS CHANNELS are no more news channels, the boundary seprating them from entertainment channels is getting permeable day by day.

U.S does have night school's but u cant even think of that kind of education model here, taking into account how secure our cities are at night for women and also not forgeting that most school drop outs are girls.

a traveller said...

So just because of one problem, we should not try and make anything else better? That's not fair!

I would've thought something like night schools would actually be more of an incentive to make the cities more secure! And we're not talking about late nights or anything in anycase; evenings would work too.

Methinks it's all about perspective.