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June 23, 2021 Wednesday 12:18:27 AM IST

What the Plants and Flowers Tell Us About Ourselves?

Teacher Insights

We teach biology in classrooms but what is its relevance to a student? How many of them will become botanists or life sciences scientists?  It is only recently that I thought about the plant reflectively while in my terrace garden carefully nurtured by my wife Aswathy. 

Most people notice the flower or the fruit talk about its beauty and taste. In biology lessons, children are taught about the petals, sepals, stamens and ovary. The stem that supports the flower, the leaves that help prepare food for the plant through photosynthesis and most importantly the roots are all the supporting parts of the plant that help a flower to bloom fully.

If we take our own lives, the root is the family we are born into or nurtured. If our roots are weak, we are not properly nourished in body and mind or with values that sustain us till the grave. The shoots are the schools and colleges we attended which gives strength in the form of education and skills and the branches and leaves are the friends, acquaintances, mentors or colleagues we meet in our life. The flowers are our talent we exhibit in various times in our life.  Those flowers attract people to us- it may be an ability to paint, sing, write code, make something new, or play a song on the flute or thousands of other talents people develop in their life. 

Just as the most beautiful flower has to be wither away one day, our talents will also lose their shine in due course and we need to replace it with new flowers (talents). This is possible only with continuous learning and connectivity with friends and mentors that we should sustain throughout our lives. We seldom connect the learning at school with our daily lives. This makes the lessons dull and meaningless to them.  If we go back to the question raised at the beginning- why teach the plants, flowers and fruits to children? Obviously, it is nothing beyond the requirement to score marks in examinations and forget all about it. 

Herein lies the problem of our education system- this disconnect of the knowledge or information gained in the classroom with life that we are living.  Perhaps, if children are given the freedom to think and come up with ideas about what they have learned, they may hold a flower or fruit in their hands and come up with more analogies from life than I found at this age.

Now there is increasing cases of child bullying, substance abuse, anti-social behavior in children. And the solution to this may be to look at the underlying factors in the family or school or later on in the workplace. Just as an improperly nurtured plant fails to bring forth beautiful flowers and fruits or gets attacked by pests, we need the family and the schools to give proper nourishment for the physical and intellectual growth of a child and not swayed by evil tendencies in society and to set them on the path of blooming of multiple talents in youth and adulthood.

Sreekumar Raghavan

Sreekumar Raghavan is an award-winning business journalist with over two and a half decades of experience in print, magazine and online journalism. A Google-certified Digital Marketing Professional, he specialises in content development for web, digital marketing and training, media relations and related areas. He is the recipient of MP Narayana Pillai Award for Journalism in 2001 and holds a bachelors degree in Economics and Masters Degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Kerala University.





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