I am not an expert in the field of education but I have been on the Management board of few schools, though for reasons other than my educational qualification. Being in the management committee provided me with the opportunity of observing educational activities closely and also to interact with many students and teachers. I am also a parent to two school/ college going children and got a bit of insight in the education management in the various schools they have been through thus far.
I am not in agreement with the way education is being imparted in most of our schools, rather I have lot of issues with the prevalent education system as such. The stress is on scoring marks, getting good grades, the overall growth and the happiness index of the child is generally lost sight of. Students are loaded with assignments after assignments. Their life is being spent between school and tutorials, with no/ negligible time left for any other activity. Schools are supposed to prepare children for life but are failing to even prepare them properly for the school exams forcing the students to take extra classes/ tuition. This trend has to stop.
What is our responsibility as teachers and parents towards our children? It is certainly much more than just helping them good marks in school exams. Our combined aim should be to empower the child with the ability to make his own decisions. This will only be facilitated if we allow him to question without fear, encourage him to differ. Yes, at times his questions may seemingly embarrass the parents / teachers, so be it, have the heart and mind to accept that we don’t have answers to all questions. Do not tutor him or force him to accept standard answers, help him to find his own solutions. If my child is hesitant to walk up to me and express his mind than there is something wrong with me. Make him physically strong and mentally robust.
Help the child find his passion, identify his purpose in life. This will only happen when the parents and teachers support him in doing what he loves. Do not force him to fit into available options, let him explore and find his own space on the world stage. Let his imagination flow, you can guide him but never subdue him.
Every child has strengths and weaknesses. Not every child can be good in everything. While an attempt should be made to help the child to overcome his weakness, all efforts should be made to help the child to develop his strengths further. Make efforts to identify the good in the child and make it a point to appreciate it. Never humiliate the child for the perceived weaknesses and never make the mistake of making comparisons. Children good in dance, music, sports should be encouraged and provided opportunities to follow them in life.
The system of awarding ranks to students should be abolished. These ranks have no meaning in life as such and just encourage unnecessary comparisons and may create false superiority or inferiority complex. Children are not in school to compete with each other, they are there to learn and be good human beings. Let the child perform as per his ability, give him the support to improve.
Marks and degrees finally do not matter much in life, what matter is wholesome education, the values the youth carries with him as he steps out of the shadows of his parents and teachers. Education goes beyond classrooms.
We should inculcate such values in our children that when he moves out to create his own space in the world both the parents and teachers should be able to say with pride and confidence that this child will succeed and will remain incorruptible because I have taught him, he is my child / student. How many parents/ teachers are ready to give this commitment today? Even though we all understand that the biggest bane of the society today is corruption, no attempt is being made at school level to help eradicate this menace.
“As parents and teachers our aim should be to create good, incorruptible human beings, who are ever willing to share and help others to improve. Mark sheets do not matter much in life, values do”