A young boy that I saw growing up at his home at Dharan 10 Sainik Chowk as I knew his parents like the back of my hands has authored ” A Young Dissident” , a collection of essays, which I firmly believe will open the eyes of many education providers as well as parents.
In fact, Ananta Gurung has portrayed his revolutionary views on the education system of Nepal and the perception of Nepalese people towards the academic performance at school. The speaker in the essays is the author himself, and he has artistically depicted the pain, disappointment, and the frustration that an average school boy feels. He has questioned the authenticity and the validity of the traditional teaching methods of the teachers and the system of the schools in Nepal. In other words, he has succeeded in projecting the real picture of modus operandi of Nepali education that is theoretical and outdated.
As you read ” A young Dissident” by Ananta Gurung, you can easily feel that the speaker ( Gurung) doesn’t like the way the school teachers force him and others to read and write and memorize everything and score a high grade in the exam. He feels that it is a torture the teachers are inflicting upon thousands of young school students. The teachers always appreciate and love the excellent pupils while discourage and shout at the average children. As Gurung also falls under a low grade category, he is also compelled to face such awful insults from the teachers on several occasions, or almost every day. As a weak student, he has been brutally victimized by the school teachers and other so called A grader classmates of him. Consequently, Gurung has criticized such malpractice of the schools in Nepal. And this book is an irony on the bad education system of the so called reputed schools that always boast of quality education.
Gurung argues that the education providers must understand the psychology of the children and teach them in a way that they can understand and learning should be a lot of fun. Tutorials should not be like the authoritarian directives of Adolf Hitler. The school mentors must create a conducive environment where all the young students can learn and enjoy learning. For this, the teachers must establish a proper rapport with the young pupils, but the teachers of Nepal only instill fear in the young minds and hearts. For this reason, Gurung raises a strong voice against this evil that is prevalent at Nepali schools even today.
Gurung points fingers not only at the school management and the school tutors, but he also points fingers at the guardians of the children. He holds that the parents also need to understand the interest of their kids. Not all kids enjoy the bookish contents. Even though they can’t perform well in studies, they can perform exceptionally well in other fields such as sports, music etc. So just because a child scored a low grade in the test doesn’t mean s/he is poor and can’t do anything in life. For this reason, Gurung is of the view that it is extremely important that the parents alter the way they perceive the success and failure of their children. Just because your children obtain a low score in school test doesn’t mean they are weak and useless in life.
Even though Gurung is quite young, he presents mature views. Some of his views sound highly philosophical and make even the adult readers ponder over what he is referring to. His positions in his writing make the people think beyond the box and break with the tradition.
The bottom line is that Gurung has written ” A Young Dissident” at a tender age. However, he represents the plights of all the young school children, especially the back benchers and average performers in study, all over Nepal. And he suggests that the schools that boast of delivering quality education understand the true psychology of the children while teaching and grooming them right from the onset. He has successfully established his claim that the distinction results or the excellent performance in studies only must not be considered as the big achievements of the children. Despite the fact that Thomas Elva Edison had only 3 months of formal schooling, he became one of the most prominent scientists of all time. Henry Ford didn’t have higher academic qualification, but then he became one of the most successful businessmen in the world.
Finally in my eyes, Ananta Gurung’s ” A Young Dissident” is a must read for all the school founders, the school teachers as well as the parents. Despite some inaccurate sentence structures, Gurung has been able to disseminate a very powerful message that the education system of Nepal and Nepalese parents’ perception must be changed.