Day 54: Lacking vision

I’ve been pretty irritated by the head of the department and his clear lack of vision for the team he leads. What pissed me off most recently was his ‘expert opinion’ that it would be better for us students to attend class than skip sessions to be at a national conference on National Universities. A conference held two blocks away, in our own campus, organized by the department of advanced studies in education and chaired by one of our own faculty. What a logistical nightmare for the three in my class to attend!

Our syllabus is the most hollow effort at a program that I’ve seen in a while. Most teachers themselves comment about how most of the topics covered are repetitive and they simply put their hands up in the air when I question about the purpose of studying some outdated concepts. I’ve come to peace with this, rationalizing it through the fact that the syllabus is just a guiding post, not the journey itself. That is why I look for opportunities to learn, through conferences, seminars and workshops. Remember I wrote about the one on Service Learning here? So it really pushes my buttons when I’ve been forced to sit in class instead of listening to some eminent deans and vice chancellors from across the country about improving the state of higher education through the concept of national universities.

Only last week, this leader of ours canceled my class’ trip to a special school run by the same management as the university. His reasoning? Our class was missing too many sessions and reallocation classes was becoming a pain. He has made it clear more than once that we were spending too much time and effort in visiting Bethany Special School as well.

It worries me when such gentlemen, with regressive ideas, are made in charge of a team. They clearly lack a vision for the department, are comfortable doing the mundane and their biggest effort is spent in maintaining status quo. They are the ones that sit in presentations for the sake of it and question the authenticity of the project purely because they themselves faked their way to their PhD. Honestly, I don’t know if I should be happy that the man is at least honest enough to accept the flaws in his own research, or sad that the state of research in the country has been reduced to just a degree.

They are also the heads that stop others from voicing their ideas and innovations. They fervently oppose any new proposal because they would then be forced to think of ways to match themselves up. They lecture on experiential learning and activity-based curriculum, and restrict learning to the four-walls of the classroom. They let their male ego decide all their official decisions and treat the women in the department as mere door mats. They most often do not realize the effect, in fact the ill-effect, that they have of students and their minds.

The past year has been a huge learning. I’ve been unschooled. I know what kind of a leader to not be.

You’re busy complaining about your HOD when there are bigger things in life? We should be worrying about dad and mum leaving. 

Maybe I could sit on their bag and not give it to them. Then they’d stay back. Right?” Scotch