The arithmetic class was in progress. The teacher was solving questions on division. On the blackboard were drawn three bananas.
“We have three bananas,” the teacher said, “and we have three boys. Can you tell me how many each will get?”
Srinivasa Ramanujan was born in the late \(1880s\). During those times, the education system differed from the current system. He was initially enrolled in a primary school in Kumbakonam. But when he was sent to stay with his grandparents in Madras, he hated attending the school there. It went to the extent where a constable was appointed to ensure that he attended school daily, without missing it. In spite of this, Ramanujan insisted and was taken back to Kumbakonam, where he was enrolled in Towns Higher Secondary School, where he encountered formal Mathematics for the first time. He started taking an interest in the various mathematical problems posed by his teacher.
The lesson begins by pointing to a particular incident that took place within the classroom. Teachers generally make the class interactive to make it more interesting and easily understandable to the children. In Ramanujan's arithmetic class, the teacher handles the topic division. The division is a method of distributing things equally between someone. For example, if there are two people and there are only two bananas, then if each person receives one each, it is an equal division.
Three bananas drawn on the blackboard
In the olden days, students did not have access to online learning or technological advancements such as ppt and audio-visual aids. The teachers most often drew or wrote on the blackboard, which was viewed by the entire class. It is easier to remember things when one sees them, especially in the form of pictures or videos. The concept taught along with it gets etched in the memory of little children. So The Maths teacher draws three bananas on the board and asks them the question of how they are supposed to distribute/ divide the three bananas amongst three people.
Meaning of difficult Words:
|Arithmetic||Mathematics which involves counting|
|Progress||Continue, Happening at present|
|Interactive||People communicating and working together|
|Etched||Made a mark|
|Constable||A lower rank police official|
State Council of Educational Research and Training (2019). Term-2 English Standard-9. From Zero to Infinity (pp. 81-93). Published by the Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation.