Principal's Desk

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From The Principal's Desk

I would like to share with you a story that I have read which teaches us many lessons that are extremely apt in the current educational scenario, it is the age old fable - The Hare and The Tortoise.

Once upon a time a tortoise and a hare had an argument about who was faster. They decided to settle the argument with a race. They agreed to a route and started off the race. The hare shot ahead and ran briskly for some time. Then seeing he was far ahead of the tortoise, thought he'd sit under a tree for some time and relax before continuing the race. He sat under a tree and soon fell asleep. The tortoise plodding onovertook him and soon finished the race emerging as the undisputed winner. The hare woke upand realized he'd lost the race. This is the version of the story we have all grown up with, moral of the story - slow and steady wins the race. Bright students are often exhorted by teachers to work hard consistently or else they may be overtaken by students with less potential.

But the story continues................ The hare was disappointed at losing the race and did some soul searching. He realized that he'd lost the race only because he had been over-confident, careless and lax. If he had not taken things for granted, there was no way the tortoise could have beaten him so he challenged the tortoise to another race, the tortoise agreed. This time the hare went all out and ran without stopping from start to finish. He won by several miles. Moral of the story - fast and consistent will always beat the slow steady - i.e. its good to be slow and steady but its better to be fast and reliable BUT...........the story doesn't end here.

The tortoise did some thinking and realised that there was no way he could beat the hare in a race in the way it was currently formatted. He thought for a while and then challenged the hare to another race, but on a slightly different route. The hare agreed. They started off. In keeping with his self made commitment to be consistently fast, the hare took off and ran at top speed until he came to a broad river. The finishing line was a couple of Kilometers on the other side of the river. The hare sat there wondering what to do. In the meantime the tortoise trundled along, got in to the river, swam to the opposite bank, continued walking and finished the race.

"  Moral Of The Story?  "

First identify your core competency and then change the playing field to suit your strengths. Working to your strengths will create opportunities for growth and advancement. Recognition of individual differences amongst students is an important part of the changing education scene today. While the traditional examination system certifies the level of achievement only at a give point in time and focuses predominantly on the intellectual domain, continuous assessment promotes extended learning amongst students and gives a holistic picture of the over all development of the personality of the child. Moreover it promotes creativity, innovation and multiple talent by addressing multiple intelligence and should be spread over the entire period of learning. As the quotation goes - " you cannot judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree." But what of the hare and the tortoise?

The story still hasn't ended............... The hare and the tortoise by this time had become pretty good friends and did some thinking together. Both realized that the last race could have been much better. So they decided to do the last race again, but to run as a team this time. They started off, and this time the hare carried the tortoise till the river bank. There the tortoise took over and swam across with the hare on his back. On the opposite bank, the hare again carried the tortoise and they reached the finishing line together. They both felt a greater sense of satisfaction than they had felt earlier.

Indrani Gupta