The Heaven at School

In the second chapter of Growing Up Untouchable in India, Vasant Moon talks about how his teachers’ kind and non-discriminative manner toward him had affected Brahman children to respect him and provided a healthy, equally competitive atmosphere in the school. To describe his teachers, Moon says, “They had compassion for Mahar boys. They never treated me scornfully.”

Before I read this book, I had no idea of different castes in India or its neighboring countries. I knew there was a great gap between the poor and rich, but I didn’t knew some groups of people were titled as untouchables, were considered dirty by birth, hold low worth and value in society’s opinion, and inherited poverty, life in slums, and disgusting jobs from their parents. However, it was interesting for me to learn there were teachers in the author’s personal history that had great impact on him and, beside teaching science, thought their students one of the main important lessons of life: Be a human and respect other humans.

I had a bit similar experience about educational atmosphere dominating the schools I studied in Iran. Despite many hardships Afghan refugees struggled with, there was a positive point about their life in Iran. We, the children, could use the advantage of a free and relatively good-quality education as Iranian citizens did. In the period of time my siblings and I went to school, enrolment in public schools was free for Afghan refugees who had Refugee’s Identification Card.  Although in the society all Iranians didn’t have a kind and respectful attitude toward Afghan refugees, at school everything was fair. I never experienced discrimination because of my nationality, and I really appreciate all my teachers, principles, and management teams of all four schools I attended in Iran for their humanitarian behavior. I got the same education and care as my Iranian classmates did, and I compete freely with them in all the fields such as sience, art, sport and other extra curriculum activities. Whenever I entered a competition as the representative of my school, the teachers and the headmaster completely supported and encouraged me to try and win. They felt proud of me when I won without considering my nationality. In addition, the rules were clear enough that nobody had the right to insult us or misbehave with us at school because of our nationality.

The author’s experience prove the importance of education and the significant effect of teachers’ attitudes and ideologies on shaping students’ characters and socializing them as decent citizens of tomorrow. I hope one they, all the bitter darkness that cause pain, discrimination, and violation of rights in our societies would be eradicated with the brightness of education.

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One Response to The Heaven at School

  1. fmoriam says:

    I really appreciate the way your school was. In fact schools are supposed to be like that. Schools in my country are also the same way. Teachers are supposed to treat all the student equally; irrespective of caste, creed, and color. I knew about the caste discrimination in India, but I had a misunderstanding that students from different caste were not treated equally, and lower caste peope are always meant to do odd jobs. After reading this autobiography, I corrected myself.

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