The Good Example – Four Levels of Interactions | Flax-Golden Tales
The Good Example – Vicente Riva Palacio, Mexico (1832-1896) (Translation from Spanish: Moti Nissani)
The story tell us about a small village, Sierra which lies in the Southern part of Mexico. In the village, there was a school run by Don Lucas and honored by cut off his many freedoms for the sake of school. He was quite honored by villagers. This school would be over by the four O’clock. In the school, there was only taught memory based education of chanting and catechism. After four o’clock he could feel free and would prefer to have a cup of chocolate. He had also a pet, parrot named Perico to whom he loved much. He had kept it for many years and also had studied his habit, so he could understand his parrot’s words and language.
Believing too much in the parrot, don Lucas did not cut the parrot’s wings and also did not tie his legs with rope thinking that he would not leave him. His hope on the parrot proved wrong because one morning, he escaped from him towards the jungle. After that, many months spent and Lucas also forgot that ungrateful parrot. One day, he rode his horse for a tour to the neighboring villages. As he was in the jungle way, he heard the chanting syllables, catechism and thought it was made by school children but later on he knew that it was chanted by clock of parrots. In the meantime, his long-lost parrot also appeared in front of him and informed him that he had also opened a school in the forest to teach parrots.
It is an overall satire to Mexican education of the 19th Century. In that period, an uneducated person could be the teacher of the students and he would in such condition, students could learn the things without understanding them in the depth. It means that time education was based on memory. In such condition, students would not get creative inventive ideas. Similarly, teaching material was also based on traditional norms, culture, custom, religion etc. In the story, an uneducated man, Don Lucas who was the friend of neighbors run the school and catechism. So, the bird-like parrot was able to open the school in the forest. In fact, a school opened y the parrot was merely satire to that time educational system which just focused on memorizing or copying what the teacher said to the students.
An intelligent reader can find many unacceptable ideas in the story. Firstly, we can ask the question about the teaching material. Is memory based education good? In such a teaching method, Can students’ mind broaden? Likewise, was not the master of the parrot foolish because he did not cut the parrot’s wing thinking that it would not escape from him? Similarly, can master and the parrot understand their feeling each other? Was it reliable to teach to the students only traditional norms and religion? The very much unacceptable ideas in the story come from the last part of the story in which parrot had opened a school going in the forest and also taught his friends about vowel, words, catechisms. So, is it possible to be opened a school by the parrot? Do (parrots) birds and human beings have equal memory power?
Truly after reading this satirical story based on 19th Century Mexico, I remembered my childhood in which I have also faced the problem of memory based education. Especially, Our Nepali teacher would not explain the text but he would just force us to memorize the whole lesson. We had to fulfill his order because otherwise, he would give us punishment by a stick. We were quite frightened when his period would come. One day, he told us to memorize the whole Nepali word meaning of the text.
That time, I was quite bored and also felt extremely sad. Anyway, I had to say tomorrow, so started memorizing whole night but in the morning time, I got the fever and I was unable to attend the school. Then in the next morning, I felt normal but I didn’t dare to go to school for 5 days. Finally, I told all my problems with my parents. Then they told my problem to school headmaster. After that headmaster fired Nepali teacher from the school. Then I and my friends felt great comfort.
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