In the domain of education, the current pandemic has made three things clear. It has proved beyond any doubt that we need schools. Irrespective of which country one talks about, students and parents want schools to open and function in full glory, with appropriate precautions. Secondly, it has shown that technology may prove to be useful in education if it is employed thoughtfully. Random surfing of the Internet may lead to a collection of pieces of information that do not add up to any meaning.
As Noam Chomsky says, “You cannot pursue any kind of inquiry without a relatively clear framework that is directing your search and helping you choose what is significant and what is not.” Moreover, there cannot be any hegemonic technomanagerial solutions to the linguistic and cultural heterogeneity of students; technology must help us to respect individual, peer group and community needs and aspirations. Thirdly, a convergence of the efforts of the public, civil society and private enterprise will have to take place if we wish technology to meaningfully mediate between school and home, particularly among underprivileged groups.
The concept, structure and functioning of a school/college should not be trivialised in any way. This institution has survived since ancient times in spite of proposals for “de-schooling” of various kinds. It is true that schools to a great extent perpetuate the status quo and, as Ivan Illich observed, encourage “consumerism” and “obedience to authority”; but it is also true that those who produced some of the most revolutionary moments in history, including quantum jumps in knowledge, also went to school. The kind of web of learners Illich imagines may in fact have its roots in schools. There are also people who trivialise schools for the kind of investments they demand in terms of space, buildings, teachers, libraries and labs and other infrastructure.
One thing you never forget is the school you went to, friends you made there and the kind of teachers who taught you; the kind of teachers you loved, the kind you mocked at with friends. You recollect nostalgically the sports and other co-curricular activities you took part in. Some of you may still have preserved your school blazer, trophies and photographs with a sense of joy. It is important to see school holistically; it is not a set of atomic items of rooms, library, assembly halls, canteen and playgrounds; it is all of these but in symbiotic relationship with each other, the contours of which are often far too obvious and often simply mysterious.
1. Which one of the following is the author trying to suggest by quoting Noam Chomsky?
(A) Technology shall be used in purposively structured manner in education.
(B) A relatively clear framework pursues any kind of inquiry.
(C) Technology helps to choose what is significant and reject what is not significant.
(D) Technology must help us to respect individual, peer group and community needs and aspirations.
CORRECT OPTION: A
2. Which of the following is not a premise of author’s argument in favour of need for schools and colleges?
(A) Schools and colleges provide opportunities for socialization.
(B) The institution of schools and colleges has shown perseverance.
(C) The current pandemic has proved that students and parents want schools and colleges.
(D) Random surfing of the internet may lead to a collection of meaningless information.
CORRECT OPTION: D
3. The expression ‘linguistic and cultural heterogeneity’ as used in the passage means
(A) Linguistic and cultural unity.
(B) Linguistic and cultural unity in diversity.
(C) Linguistic and cultural diversity.
(D) Linguistic and cultural identity.
CORRECT OPTION: C
4. Which of the following is not the learning outcome from pandemic?
(A) Parents and students from around the world need schools.
(B) Technology is undoubtedly and absolutely useful in education.
(C) Technology may be used meaningfully to mediate between schools and home among underprivileged groups.
(D) None of the above.
CORRECT OPTION: B
5. The expression ‘symbiotic relationship’ as used in the passage means
(A) Mutually inclusive relationship.
(B) Mutually exclusive relationship.
(C) Mutually beneficial relationship.
(D) Both (B) and (C).
CORRECT OPTION: C