Lucknow: 'A' will no longer be for apple -- it will be for 'Arjun', 'B for Balram' (brother of Krishna), 'C for Chanakya', and 'D for Dhruva', suggests the principal of a government school in Lucknow.
Saheb Lal Mishra, Principal of Aminabad Inter College, is rooting for an introduction to Indian mythology along with the initiation into the English alphabet.
He recently shared a PDF file on WhatsApp in which the english alphabets are linked with Hindu deities, mythological characters, and historical figure. The file went viral and gathered several viewers on social media platforms.
In an explanatory video shot later, the principal says, "Today, our children are drifting from our Indian culture. In our day, there were grandparents who used to tell us stories about our own heritage and culture. In the era of mobile technology when everyone is busy in their own world, younger children are unaware about their own culture."
Mishra added, "It crossed my mind that if we can come out with a book where instead of telling children A for Apple or B for boy, we can mention about our own Indian culture with little details, it will be a great way to teach children about the English letters of the alphabet along with our Indian culture.
"It would be good if publishers would print a book along these lines. And if any school wishes to teach students the English alphabet in this fashion, nothing like it," he said.
However, the principal stated that this approach cannot be implemented at his own school since classes there start from the sixth grade. This 'indigenous methodology' can only be employed at the primary level, he says.
A professor in the English department of Lucknow University explained, "Learning letters through proper names gives us very limited knowledge. Therefore, generic terms like A for Apple and B for boy is a better idea. We should not go overboard in terms of our special understanding of national pride. We look for easy and familiar sounds and words for the understanding of children as they grow. We should teach in global neutral terms to promote our ideals of global citizenship."