Published: 15th April 2021
TNIE Let's Debate: Should we give our first-graders history textbooks?
Students from schools across the country came together to debate on a range of topics. Here is a look at what students had to say about the importance of learning history
Thirteen year-old Shloka Singh from St Thomas' College is adamant that learning about her country’s history should have a fundamental place in each school’s curriculum. Quoting philosopher George Santayana, she said, “‘Those who don’t remember their past are condemned to repeat it.’ This is about brilliant people and their heroic acts that have changed the shape of the nation. You get a huge amount of motivation when you learn about the inspirational events that make up where we are today.”
The students were debating on whether ‘Indian history should be a compulsory core subject from first grade’ at The New Indian Express' virtual inter-school debate competition, Let's Debate that streamed live. The largest inter-school virtual debate competition was held in association with Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science, MEIL and Linc Pens. The judges for the debate were Paulami Sen, Principal Correspondent for Indulge, the lifestyle supplement The New Indian Express and Poornima Laxmeshwar, a poet from Bengaluru who has been published in Writer’s Asylum and The Stockholm Review of literature.
Kshrugal Bhattacharjee, a Class 7 student from Birla High School agreed that History was interesting but not always useful. “I cant remember anyone ever telling me that history is important to understand and is not about memorising dates, names and facts. Instead, if we spend our time studying Mathematics, Language, Science or the Arts, we can face the world in a better way. To me, history appears to be a mere burden for young minds. I really think that it would not be right to teach History from the first grade because children are merely toddlers and would not know the significance of World War 1 or 2”
The judges were stunned to hear the opinions in the debate unfold. Paulami Sen admitted to being pleasantly shocked with the amount of knowledge that students had. Poornima Laxmeshwar agree saying, “I was stunned with their thoughts, the eloquence and the confidence that they come with.” The winners were Tehniyat Nabi from Class 4, Stepping Stones High School for The Finest Point and Kshrugal Bhattacharjee for Counter Strike.
Once our online voting ends, the results of every junior round of TNIE's Let's Debate will be announced at 6 pm on Sunday, April 18 at www.edexlive.com/debate. Stay tuned!