Sunday, March 11, 2001


David was impressed by the enthusiasm with which the young Indians he interviewed talked about school. Many school buildings were compromised in the earthquake which devastated Gujarat a little over a month ago. The restoration of schools, however, was made a high priority and by the time of David's visit they were already back in operation, albeit out of tents.

Not one child with whom David spoke expressed any of the reservations about school which are so common among, say, American schoolchildren. There were no jokes about its being burdensome or boring. Instead, everyone spoke about school as their one best chance for a better life. They had no doubt about the practical value of school.

If David's experience in this regard is representative it raises an interesting question. What is it about these kids' lives, about their culture, about their situtation, which leads them to speak with such reverence about school? What is it about the way we raise our kids, about our culture, about our situation, which makes any such expression of reverence seem suspect or laughable?

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