Revisiting Education, Recreating an Equal World
This is the new look of the popular rhyme:
"Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall..To boys and girls he gave a call..Fetch a ladder, fetch a rope..You can save me, I do hope"
Education makes and remakes a person and I do believe that people create their world the way they desire it to be. If we wish to transform the society we live in, we need to engage critically with the kind of instructions we receive and analyze the potential of education to bring positive changes. Schools in Kolkata have begun the much awaited review of classics within academic framework by re-reading texts in a gender sensitive approach. Now the Little Red Riding Hood fights her own battle instead of screaming for help. Stories and poems are being modified and re-modelled to stay in tune with the time and counter widespread violence against women which originates from gender bias.
Early childhood is the first stage to inculcate social responsibility which also sets the platform for proper understanding of oneself. It is the right phase to start gender sensitization and motivate children to reduce gender disparity in real life situations. Gender roles are socially constructed and the stereotypical binary division of genders is perpetuated and imbibed through imbalanced learning and socialization. Gender discrimination also sustains the unequal distribution of resources as women in general have limited access to public domain and leadership roles.
The decision to debunk the traditional gendered division of labour by reimagining an equal world, even if in fantasy, is commendable and I welcome this step as the bright sign of a new revolution in the real world.I do believe that innovative ideas will keep on strengthening the very foundation of equality and sincerely wish to envisage a better future where girls will not be defined by their domestic aptitude.
At the same time, I think that more needs to be done in the area of vernacular literature and rhymes, so that they are not lost and left behind.
Hoping that the incorporation of valuable lessons on mutual empathy, collective co-operation and gender equality would ensure a long lasting change in the social scenario where women's subordination will not be justified by patriarchal mindset. The conscious generation will hopefully work together for a new vision and shout eloquently in unison:
‘Fight, Koni, fight’ (An ever inspiring phrase from the Bengali film Koni which does not let anyone feel bogged down).