Saturday, 4 May 2019

First year at Harrow/Questions and answers

by Sir Winston S.Churchill
1. The writer says that the examiners ask questions which students cannot answer & not those which they can answer. Is the complaint just?
Examinations are a test of the abilities of students. Examiners set question papers in such a way as to test the understanding of students about their respective subjects. They should keep in mind the mental level of students while setting the papers. They should not set out of course questions. The question papers should be balanced so that both the average and bright students can answer.
2. What sort of questions are asked by your examiners?
Our examiners ask different type of questions. These questions are conceptual and creative. A question paper generally comprises three sections namely A,B, and C. In these sections, objective, short and long questions are set to test the understanding of students about their syllabus. Sometimes they repeat the same questions.
3. Why did Churchill not do well in examinations?
Churchill disliked exams. He was interested in History, Poetry & Essay writing. But, his examiners did not value these subjects. They liked to ask questions from Latin, Greek & Mathematics. But, Churchill was not interested in these subjects. As a result, he could not show satisfactory performance in exams and failed.
4. How did he do his Latin paper?
Churchill had to appear for entry test for admission to Harrow school. He was not interested in Latin. He could not show satisfactory performance in this paper. He just wrote his name at the top of the paper and also wrote question number and put a bracket round it. He remained sitting for two hours and could not answer even a single question. But, the headmaster saw through his ability and gave him admission.
5. Churchill was taught English at Harrow & not Latin & Greek. Was it a gain or loss?
Churchill was considered a duffer because he was weak in Latin & Greek. It was decided to teach him only English because he was unable to learn anything valuable. He remained in this school for three years. He was taught English by an able teacher, Mr. Somervell. He learnt English very well. He had a strong grip over this language. At that time English language became popular. All the bright students had to learn English. Therefore, Mr.Churchill was not at a loss. It was a gain for him.
6. What good did his three years stay at Harrow do him?
His three years stay at Harrow was very useful for him. It was a blessing in disguise that he was taught English language. He became expert in English. He could use it correctly & comfortably. Mr.Somervell was an able teacher. His method of teaching was very effective. Churchill outclassed bright boys who were learning Latin & Greek.
7. In after years how did the knowledge of English stand him in good stead?
The knowledge of English language helped him a lot. It was useful and beneficial for him to learn English. It was a blessing in disguise that he was taught English language. He became a good writer. He became a politician and made effective speeches that convinced people. He had bright chances of success. At last, he became Prime Minister of Great Britain due to his mastery of English language.
8. Write an appreciation or criticism of Churchill’s views in regard to the study of Latin, Greek & English and their value in earning a living.
Churchill says that students should first learn English for their bright and successful career. He even suggests to punish those students who do not learn English language. He says that the knowledge of English language is a must for them. Afterwards, they can learn Latin as an honour and Greek as a treat.

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