In the sociology classroom
The heterogeneity in a group of students can bring both challenges and opportunities. With students coming from Nepal, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and India, the present classroom for sociology lectures does not remain a simple site of linear transaction. Each student brings in a distinct socio-cultural experience from a distinct socio-political background.
A student from Chittagong hills of Bangladesh would inject in a debate the issues of hills. Another from Afghanistan could infuse the difference of political history, while a student from Nepal might like to question the Indian tendency to lump everything in the cultural pluralism of India.
The classroom thus becomes a sight of legitimate contestation. No longer, then, does the exercise of teaching and learning remain restricted to the conventional formula of linear transaction. Suffice to say, then, it becomes a pedagogic prerequisite to blend text and context, cognition and experience, intellect and intuition, reason and emotion.
However, at another level, the same diversity of educational training poses an institutional challenge. While students coming from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Nepal could be conditioned by the NGO version of sociology, the students from India (especially graduates from the colleges of the University of Delhi) have their entrenchment in the tricks of scoring high in rote learning method-based exams.