Knowledge has shifted beyond textbooks: Quizzer Siddharth Basu

 12 Jan 2017 - 12:30

Knowledge has shifted beyond  textbooks: Quizzer Siddharth Basu

Huda NV | The Peninsula

Parents need to encourage curiosity in children to help them discover the world for themselves, according to a leading quiz-master and media producer. 

“Knowledge has shifted beyond textbooks and children should find out things for themselves either with or without the parent’s help. Success today is less about memorising and recalling facts and more about finding out how connected one is to the world around you,” said renowned quizzer Siddharth Basu, who for a generation, particularly those who were active quizzers, is still synonymous with ‘Mastermind.’ 

The quiz-master was in Doha recently to host the 20th Inter School Quiz competition, ‘IWA- Aster Kids Brain Quest ’16, organised by Indian Women’s Association and Aster Healthcare. 

Basu is the founder-director of the television production house BIG Synergy, that produced some nine-Indian languages versions of the globally successful format “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” Among the various other high rated reality shows. 

“Students particularly in this region, are plugged in and from the schools, environment, peers with so much going on with technology, they are up-to-date. Access to information is high now more than ever in history,” said Basu. 

“Children need to be able to find out things for themselves. Schools provide curriculum education, but in today’s world that is not enough. What is not in the textbook is of utmost importance. The key is skepticism, to be able to question everything and to know one thing for the other. Curiosity must be encouraged in every way; if a child is asking question he needs to be encourage and not told that it is beyond question,” Basu told The Peninsula

He stressed that parents need to help guide and encourage children in their quests. With lot of misinformation, children need to be guided in finding the facts. 

“Fact is the foundation on which you must build anything. To be able to do that parents and school educators need to encourage self learning in a way that is true and discriminates facts from fiction in the right way,” he stressed.

With much anti-fact based on prejudices, dogmas and biases on upswing one needs to have an enlighten knowledge to find balance.

“Even in the mist of reel world, there are opportunities to find about the natural world, people, cultures, science, technology and there is always more to find out. Fact is far more exciting than fiction and there need to be a joy in finding out information.”

Basu has been quizzing students in the region for some 18 years and have always found fantastic enthusiasm and interactivity among the students here. 

“There is obviously a difference in every city and place and so one can not quantify the standard that easily. Here we have a global society and so the experience has been eye opening,” he said.

When asked about the highlight given to darker aspects of human life on reality shows, particularly Indian versions of the millionaire show, he stressed that “these are not just a quiz show. It is about life changing in front of your eyes through a knowledge based show.” 

“The millionaire format was never been that of a hard quiz show, starting with first version in Britain. It always had a human story. It is one of the very few shows where the ordinary people are brought to lime light. It is about success stories of people battling all odds. It’s a story of triumph,” he said.