Monday, April 26, 2010

A Tribute To A Teacher

A Tribute to a Teacher
Was it just a handful of mud that we threw on that coffin? Surely no. Each of the grains of sand represented the seeds that she had sown and that had blossomed in due time into flowers and fruits. For beneath that mud we had laid to rest an educationist cum artist of creativity. That was Miss Edna Lobo as we addressed her at school.

I recollect my first day at Mater Dei School. It was in Sd. IX and the drawing period . Drawing was not my cup of tea . But I was impressed by her creative master strokes. However I soon realized that there was a place for me to in that class. I was allotted marks not for the drawing of accurate lines but for imagination, if I could explain my drawings creatively. I was the art critic of the class.

Soon we realized how the same master strokes were used in the teaching of English. We went with Alfred Lord Tennyson’s “ The Brook” . The chatter of waters was evident in monsoons for any student of the school who watched the waters gushing down from the Saligao hills. We saw poetic life flow in the class. And how she encouraged a small chintu recite the Charge of the Light Brigade with cannon to the right and cannon to the left of them . She would encourage use of imagination, innovation, creativity in writing English essays and articles.

In those days perhaps she was the first teacher to understand the use of examination as a teaching device rather than a tension building exercise. I understood the methodology only after years of my teaching experience in the educational field . We thought as young brats that we could bully her to make things easy in a tension building examination system . She was sympathetic and revised when we asked. There were plenty of hints thrown on important aspects. I realize today it made our goals achievable. She had the art of doing it. We had learnt without even realizing the mountain that we had climbed.

The Love of Humanity , she inspired in her Red Cross programmes. In the evening sessions of Red Cross we went through the suffering mankind on the battlefield of Solferino, where Henry Dunant discovered himself. I still remember the trip to Tara Devi Red Cross camp at Simla, where I represented one of Goa’s participants. She was regarded highly in the Red Cross Circles, and Mater Dei school as such sent participants to each and every camp , the students on every occasion coming out with laurels. It was her dedication to the movement .

In fact Miss Edna Lobo could handle any subject on humanities with great relish. In fact we thought she was born into teaching. Whether it was hereditary or environment she had her parents Mr. Anacleto Lobo one of Goa’s past great educationist , founder and Principal and her mother Mrs. I. Lobo, also an experienced teacher . As we bid adieu at the Saligao Cemetery , I look around the green Goan hills and realize , another Goan has inscribed her name on the annals of educational roll of Goan greats.


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