The nuggets of wisdom of Ranchhoddas Shamaldas Chanchad aka Rancho, a character Aamir Khan plays in top-grosser film 3 Idiots, are affecting minds in classrooms in Punjab.
Rancho’s quips on the ills of the education system — and its purpose — are finding takers in the state’s colleges and schools. Some of the dialogues have been repackaged as evaluation remarks on answer sheets of postgraduate students in a Ludhiana college.
“Education is the ultimate objective…” and “learning to apply theoretical knowledge is essential” are some examiners’ remarks bearing the stamp of Rancho.
At Government Primary School, Leelon, 38 km from Ludhiana, teacher Ravinder Kaur convinced her colleagues to contribute Rs 500 each to install audio-visual aids in the classroom.
Once the teachers switched to the new methods, attendance shot up. “They switched to the demonstration technique and stopped insisting on rote learning,” said Kaur.
A.P. Singh, who teaches mathematics at Malwa Central College of Education in Ludhiana, has started to frown on cramming after seeing the film. “I gave good marks to students who had reproduced what they had crammed from textbooks,” he said.
“But I did make a mention in notes that, next time, they would have to support their answers with original observations.”
Students acknowledge the change. “I was thrilled to notice elaborate remarks on my examination sheet, maybe because no examiner ever before had encouraged me to be original,” said Anjali Sharma, a student of education. “I have always been cramming my lessons.”