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The know of things

Where is Madagascar? Do we really know? Do we need to know?
Hindustan Times | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON MAY 25, 2009 10:36 PM IST

Do you know the capital of Libya? Maybe not, but don’t feel too worried about that. It is Tripoli but then again it’s not terribly important for you. But we would like to know what holiday homework is all about. Do our children need to know about the life and people of Europe or prepare a ‘beautifully decorated’ graph showing food habits of various animals? Will all this erudition stand him or her in good stead when he or she grows up to be an edit writer or a marketing executive?

But let us not be dismissive about useless information. Can you, dear reader, tell us, what is the capital of Cameroon? Or for that matter, where exactly Madagascar is located? Or the language spoken in among natives of New Zealand? You may not want to know all this. But what would we do without all this in our daily conversation?

So we should ask why the ghastly summer months which are hot and sultry should be wasted by our children having to answer papers which make no sense to anyone, including ourselves, just so that schools feel justified about their own role in education. Children get an overload of information from the Net and other sources. Let them spend their hard-earned holidays doing whatever they want to do. Be assured, that it will have something to do with being on the computer. In the world of the Net, no information is sacrosanct any more. Parents and teachers have diminishing roles today. Well, don’t say we told you so.

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