My (Clare) work productivity has taken a real tumble the past week with not much hope of it improving for the next three weeks. Watching the World Cup seems to have become my main occupation. For many years I have been a real fan of the World Cup. I was introduced to the World Cup in 1988; however, at that time, few games were broadcast because the television market in Canada was miniscule. Oh how things have changed. The entire tournament is now broadcast (and repeated throughout the night). The World Cup has its drama – questionable calls by the refs, diving players, FIFA’s “unusual” decisions, and rowdy fans. Nevertheless, I love the way the world comes together to cheer their team and join in a global celebration.
At this point, I am not celebrating my team — Italy. Their recent play was lackluster as they lost to Costa Rica. But I will be watching them on Tuesday (probably on live feed on my computer at work) and if disaster strikes I will transfer my allegiance to another team. One of my dreams is to attend a World Cup game. I will probably never see Canada on this stage but I am still rejoicing in this amazing show of athleticism and strategy. In Toronto – the most multicultural city in the world – every team has a fan base. Many cars have flags attached to their car windows revealing their allegiance. I love that some cars wave flags for a number of teams. What team are you cheering for? Who do you think will win the tournament? (With Spain and England packing to go home the field has opened up.)
While in Mumbai, I (Pooja) had some candid conversations with my cousins (who now have school-aged children) about schooling. The International Baccalaureate (IB) has quickly become the new standard. My cousins spoke highly about the IB curriculum, noting that it encouraged students to view themselves as “global citizens.” The curriculum, they commented, deviated away from that of traditional schooling in India. The skills were now focused on: critical thinking; intercultural awareness; independent learning; evaluating and constructing arguments; and independent learning.
The pressures to get their children into an International Baccalaureate (IB) program were high. My cousins already had aspirations of sending their young children to top-performing universities outside of India (mostly in the U.S., Canada, and U.K.). A major concern I heard was that if they did not get into an IB program, how would they compete in this highly globalized world? I understood this to mean that in order to be competitive one had to be complete their formal education outside of India. This was concerning because competition aside, IB schools are extremely expensive, and so, not available to the vast majority of families in India. While very few are privileged to apply and possibly attend IB schools in India, most school children in India still attend public school. I am interested in learning more about the public school curriculum in Mumbai? How are public schools currently preparing their students to be “global citizens?” or is this a notion that is still intangible for most? Pooja