19 October 2021

Learning to Cook in School

There is a growing pressure on the education system to prepare children for future jobs that don't even exist today. It's a race between our preparation for the future and the changing landscape of future jobs. The bitter reality is that we can never win this race. Our milestones are often outdated by the time we have achieved them. Are we even in this race? Is it worth it? That's not a great education system. It's a pressure cooker.

The Little MasterChefs


A great education system is one that prepares children for a good life. They should be taught to learn on their own, use kindness as a tool to achieve happiness, and be able to convert stuff in the kitchen to food and feed themselves.

The Chef and Her Happy Father
Let's not even talk about the worst kind of education system where everything revolves around tests, exams and marks. This is where a child is only as heavy as the marks he fetches in the test and exams. Even the school is judged on the exam results of the children. So even the principals are sucking up to the marks-politics as much as the students are.
What My Daughter Served

The above thought played in my head since experiencing a beautiful culture in my daughter's school, Thimphu Pry School. I was invited on the final day of her cooking class to taste the food she prepared. I loved both the food and the fact that her school considered it important to teach her cooking. After a decade in school if our children can't even prepare a cup of tea, what a shame would it be?

Emptying the Plate
Annually, her school playground turns into an open restaurant where the class VI students prepare and serve their parents the foods they have learned to prepare over the last several Saturdays.
For us, it's an emotional moment to watch our little ones walk across the ground with a trayful of food for us. One could see their pride reflected in the eyes of their parents.
Honestly, I didn't expect the food to be good. I was just happy that my 11-year-old daughter managed to prepare a trayful without burning anything. But the MasterChef junior getup wasn't for nothing, it showed both in the beautiful presentation and the great taste.

Their principal shared how some of their past students had surprised their parents with bedtea and helping hands in the kitchen after their cooking classes. I'm looking forward to such surprises but even if it didn't happen I will be as grateful to her school for adding a beautiful dimension to their school experience and giving them the most basic skill to survive as humankind. 

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