થોડા વર્ષો પહેલા શાળાકીય શિક્ષણ પૂર્ણ કરીને હાલમાં એમ. કોમ. કરી રહેલા એક ભૂતપૂર્વ વિદ્યાર્થી સાહિલ દરજીએ મારા પુસ્તકો અને ઓનલાઈન કોર્સ થકી પુન: જે સંવાદ સાધ્યો છે તેનાથી આનંદ અનુભવાયો છે. એ સામાન્ય વિદ્યાર્થી હતો, પણ હવે તેના વિચારોમાં પરિપક્વતા અને ગાંભીર્ય દેખાય છે. એક શિક્ષક પ્રતિ પોતાના જે અનુભવો અને લાગણી છે તેને વાચા આપી છે, સાથે સાથે શિક્ષકો માટેની પોતાની અપેક્ષાઓને પણ રજૂ કરી છે! આ પત્રને શબ્દશ: અહીં રજૂ કરું છું. આશા છે કે આપ સૌને પણ એ પ્રેરિત કરશે.

Education Reimagined

Dear Vijay Sir,

I am Sahil Darji. I was a student of Bhulka Bhavan (2016-17). You might remember me as the brother of Sagar Darji. I bought a book of yours recently and today I want to share something with you. You might not remember but when I was studying in school I was an average kid until 10th. But after 10th standard I took courage and made a strange decision to study on my own (without any tuition). Of course at first it was difficult. I always had a strange fascination for mathematics and one day I asked you a question in statistics. I asked how a particular equation was derived in the first place. But then the bell rang and the lecture was over. At the end of the day you sent me a note with a proof of that equation. That little event changed my whole perspective of learning.

In that tiny little moment I learned two things : what is the duty of a teacher and how to be a student. A duty of a teacher is to ask a certain & well arranged questions to make the students curious about the topic. A teacher's duty is to guide the student in the right direction. It's the duty of a student to build their understanding upon those questions.

Let me give you an example of this : We all know the story of Newton and the Apple. We were taught that Newton saw an apple fall from the tree and that made him discover the laws of gravity. But that's not the whole story; when he saw that apple fall, what made him curious is why the moon isn't falling to the earth? That led him to discover the most important part of mathematics : calculus. We have heard the story in science and we're not told the same story in mathematics. There are a lot of stories linked to the discovery of different concepts of mathematics. Mathematics can be made interesting if you ask the right set of questions to make the students curious. For example there is a concept of radians in mathematics to indicate the angle between two line. The right first question to ask the students is, "Why is there only 360 degrees in a full circle and not some other number? What specialties does 360 have?". You see the problem is that mathematics is taught with numbers but to me mathematics is just a language in which you can mingle with the symbols….!

In your book you've asked a question about the meaning of fraction 3/2. But that's where the problem starts. Math's is just a language with different symbols. Here's my take on it. How I see 3/2 is that you have many 'things' of equal size. You have to divide that 'thing' into 2 equal pieces. That's what 2 means in the denominator. What the numerator indicates is how many pieces do you want. In this case it's 3. So the meaning of 3/2 is that you want 3 pieces of the things which are divided into 2 equal pieces. In other words, 1 whole thing and one half (½) piece. Voila..!

When I left school I wanted to be an educator. I wanted to let you know that you were my role model. I love the way you put the seed of curiosity into children's minds. I also wanted to see those 'aha moments' with my eyes. So I hopped onto the journey of becoming an educator. Right now I am pursuing my masters degree in statistics. I am also tutoring some students of commerce. I've developed some techniques and methods of teaching based upon your style. I've discovered some techniques to teach statistics with technology and visualization so that they feel that they themselves have discovered formulas and concepts. This will allow me to grab their attention and curiosity. I am also researching a lot on education and learning.

આ પત્રના અંતમાં સાહિલે પોતે વિચારેલા કેટલાક વિષયોની યાદી મને મોકલી હતી, જેના પર એ ભવિષ્યમાં લખવા ઈચ્છે છે. એના વિચારપ્રેરક લેખ ક્યારેક આપણે પણ વાંચીશું. પોતાના વિચારો રજૂ કરવા આવકાર સાથે હાર્દિક શુભેચ્છા પાઠવું છું.

વાચક મિત્ર, આપ સત્વશીલ વાંચનમાં ભાગીદાર બન્યા છો એની ખુશી છે. સંપૂર્ણ રીતે અમારી સાથે જોડાવા માટે નીચેની લિન્ક પર ક્લિક કરીને સભ્યપદ પ્રાપ્ત કરો.