Found today in the Boston Globe, by Babu Lal Sharma of the Associated Press.
LUCKNOW, India — Teachers in India’s most populous state have been told to stop knitting in classrooms and pay more attention to their students.
“They are often more interested in knitting than in teaching,” Neera Yadav, the principal secretary of education for Uttar Pradesh, told The Associated Press in the state capital Lucknow on Wednesday. “All the officials — including teachers and clerks — in the primary and secondary sections have been banned from knitting on school premises during teaching hours.”
Hmmm. Somehow I can’t blame them. “Teachers, however, are fighting back.” Well, good for them. Check out the reasoning:
“People concentrate better when they knit,” argued Panchanan Rai, a teachers’ representative in the state legislature.
“What’s wrong if they sit in the staff room and knit during free periods?” asked R.P. Mishra, a spokesman for the Uttar Pradesh Secondary Education Teachers’ Association, calling the ban “dictatorial.”
This reminds me of the teacher that tried to stop me from needlepointing during large lectures in high school. I had my gifted & talented teacher intervene, and she used the “hey, as long as she’s paying attention and answering questions, let her… because believe me, you do not want her bored.”
Mishra said the teachers have threatened to strike for the right to knit, but the government has not responded.
Strike! strike! strike!
Any Indian knitters out there in readerland? I wonder what kind of projects these teachers are making. Gandhi would be proud. (Yes, I know he wove, but didn’t he spin, too?)