Structural Violence in Education, as told by Class VIII

Class VIII has finished up their unit on structural violence in education with flying colors.

A few weekends ago, we took a trip to the local public high school to observe their environment and classes and interview students and staff. The students asked poignant questions, astutely noticed themes and details, and commendably pushed themselves to engage and inquire even when at first they felt shy.

students in Lumla, India

L to R – Dorjee Wangchu, Tenzin Norbu, Lungta Lhamu, Tenzin Lhadron A, Shanti Tamang, and Tenzin Lhadron B conducting interviews at the local public high school

Upon returning, the students collaborated to diagram themes and generalizations they had pulled together from their varied sources throughout the course of the project.

illustrative response to 'Schooling the World'

An illustration of their trip, paired with an episode from ‘Schooling the World,’ by Sonam Chodron, Tenzin Lhadron B, Shanti Tamang, Dorjee Wangchu and Sangey Ngodup

diagram response to 'Schooling the World'

Diagrams of ‘Schooling the World’ by Mani Wangmu, Tenzin Lhadron A, Konchok Norbu, Tenzin Norbu, and Lungta Lhamu

diagram response to 'Schooling the World'

Diagrams of ‘Schooling the World’ by Mani Wangmu, Tenzin Lhadron A, Konchok Norbu, Tenzin Norbu, and Lungta Lhamu

Finally, they personally shared some observations and conclusions.

Sonam Chodron:

In interview to others what I learn is that all people are not good. Some people they discriminate in culture and language.

Sangey Ngodup:

All the world’s people are talking in English and in village, people are learning English and they are forgetting their own language and Maling goes to college. She has to talk in English.

Tenzin Norbu:

They think that the English languages is important and some uneducated people also think that modern education is more important than ancient. Some people said with English language you can go any place and you have jobs in your life. The Monpa language people they think that the English language can change our life and if you know English then you have skills to do everything in your life.

Obu Maling says that when they went to other places they are learning more things. And in the village they are learning more peace and harmony.

Konchok Norbu:

Everyone is talking in English. For example, in Ladhak’s school they have to talk in English and when they don’t talk in English they have to give five rupies and the teacher gives punishment to her or him. For example, in college they have to talk in English. If they don’t talk in English, they don’t get a good job and also they don’t know what they are talking when they are talking in English. This is Obu Maling’s school. For example, in New Delhi they talk in English medium. They talk Hindi in Delhi. They get good jobs because they talk in English and they don’t get jobs if they have no education. Obu Maling said this. In conclusion, if I study in college we have to talk in English because the powerful people they talk in English.

In Monyul, people forget their culture and also they wear the modern dress and also when they farm they use tractor and they don’t use cow and the buffalo and they don’t use Monpa words and they use Hindi languages.

Tenzin Lhadron B:

One man is saying in that movie [“Schooling the World”] about structural violence. Suppose he is telling like nowadays our culture is losing our identities because all human beings are dependent in modern technology.

I learned in the TED talk there was one boy who was 14 years old and he doesn’t like to go to school. He likes to spend his time outside whole day. He likes to make different types of things like pendulums and he likes to join the market and know about them. He always learns mathematics and he wants to build things by himself. He tells about time in nature and we depend on each other. He likes to exercise, skating, etc. So I learned that it isn’t necessary that we should go to school. We can also do the same as he does. We have to do whatever we like, which we feel good to do.

Mani Wangmu:

At the high school they give their answer quickly when the teacher asks them. At JGCC we talk to them like our friends to staff. At the high school when the teacher is talking, the kids themselves talk a lot. The teacher says don’t talk then children’s don’t talk because the teacher scolds them. At JGCC amalas say don’t do this work and we don’t do that because we are doing a wrong thing and amala is saying right thing.

In the TED talk I was surprised by that boy because he makes his own school which I have never thought. In our project about Giant Ant Hills what surprised me was they don’t go to school, they learn by themselves.

Tenzin Lhadron A:

At both schools, teachers, staff, amalas and elders have more power. Like when the teacher says to study then the children have to listen. When the amala says to clean the room or work with amala in the garden then we have to listen. That is the power of older.

Dorjee Wangchu:

At [the public high school], all the knowledge and skills are privileged but the people think education is more privileged because people think if we are doing a job then we can earn more money and we don’t have to do hard work. At JGCC, they think love, wisdom, truthful, compassion, and education are important because when we do love and compassion, all the people will like us.

Shanti Tamang:

In Higher Secondary School they did not get a good education because they do not have many teachers in their school. In one class they have many students and the teacher can’t explain one point to every student coming near them. That’s why the teachers teach a lesson to everybody in one time. They are trying to make their school better and they are trying to make their school equal to another school.

In their school there they only teach English, Math, Science, Hindi and Social but they do not teach Bhoti [Tibetan]. In our school education and language are privileged. We have the culture also privileged. We have to know more about our world and we also have to know about our culture. We have to get knowledge from the book, from the friends, and from the teacher. In our school we have a right to learn everything that we want to learn.

Something new that I did not know is that the street children, they learn by themselves and share their knowledge to each other. In Giant Ant Hills story, the children did not have any teacher and they go themselves to the jungle and learn about the plants and they come home and tell to the people which is good and which is bad. They did not have the right to speak because they are tribals. In Higher Secondary School some students like to study like me. In TED talk the boy likes to research by himself like me.

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4 Responses to Structural Violence in Education, as told by Class VIII

  1. Jerry & Gaby says:

    Wonderful, wonderful. Thank you class VIII, thank you Sandy Madam

  2. Neil Jamieson says:

    Many interesting thoughts on your recent visit to the nearby school.

    After living for 65 years, all of which has involved love, learning and work, I offer my young friends this, an open mind and an open heart, will lead you happily anywhere in the world you may wish to travel.
    I urge you to resist putting your heads in the sand and pretending nothing is happening around you.
    The world and you will continue to evolve, grasp it with both hands and the world will embrace you.
    Learn many languages, keep your birth language close to your heart and others to communicate with many.
    I wish you all well, long and happy lives.

    Neil Jamieson.
    Melbourne, Australia.

  3. Sabyasachi says:

    woww !!!

    Our children getting matured day by day.. cheers!

  4. Marilyn Gregory says:

    It’s wonderful to see more news and pictures as well as drawings and videos of my sponsor child and her loving community.

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