Does your child rush from one tuition class to another? Is his school bag bigger than him? Why is the development of the child rated primarily on one scale, namely, academic? The primary goal of each school is supposed to be the enhancement of the overall personality of each child. School management cannot claim that their aim is to train students to perform well at the examinations as it is polit
Does your child
rush from one tuition class to another? Is his school bag bigger than him?
Why is the development of the child rated primarily on one scale, namely,
goal of each school is supposed to be the enhancement of the overall personality
of each child. School management cannot claim that their aim is to train students to perform well at the examinations as it is politically incorrect to do so and yet, that is precisely what they expect from the students.
to rethink their goals and objectives. If they believe that their primary
objective is the overall development of each child, then why is all study
exam-oriented? A change in mindsets is definitely the need of the hour.
This would mean that the focus of the teachers and educators should move
beyond the next examination. They must be ready to explore new ways of
teaching the same subject matter. Making subject matter more interesting
to students goes a long way in reducing problems of discipline related
Once the school
acknowledges and resurrects the goal of achieving optimum level of development
of each child, the other problems can be tackled one by one. The February, 2003 issue of The Week magazine carried an article on `Innovative Schools`
on it's cover. Among the various schools was Raghunadan High School, in
Samastipur, Bihar. In a state, which is severely lacking in the basic amenities
required for human existence, this school stands out as an amazing exception. The school, which employs innovative teaching for farmers' children, has, since it's inception, posted 100 per cent results and has produced engineers, teachers and government officers. It also brought home the state football trophy last year despite the lack of football kits. Examples like these
are few but they go a long way in demonstrating that determination and
sincerity on the part of educators can surmount the other obstacles like
paucity of space, resources, etc. However, cases like these cannot obliterate
the fact that most Indian schools have genuine constraints, which need
to be addressed.
In the following
paragraphs, I have attempted to analyze some of the common constraints
faced by schools like funds, space, large classes, staff and inadequate
equipment and have offered some suggestions for the same.
are ready to shell out large sums of money for private tuitions, then why
should they object to giving that same money to the school in exchange
for better education? An increase in remuneration can definitely serve
as motivation for teachers to teach better. In order to win the trust of
skeptical parents, the school needs to be transparent about its policies and procedures. Parents need to know how and where their money is going
to be utilized and whether the goals that were set have been achieved at
the end of the stipulated period.
of the same space by different classes at different times can help in maximizing
children to work in small groups right from Kindergarten helps foster a
healthy spirit of cooperation and competition from an early age. Teachers
too find it easier to maintain discipline.
interactions for sharing of ideas, resource materials and talent among
students and teachers enhance productivity and creativity. Using
the resources of older students for various activities like preparation
of teaching aids for junior classes, supervision of younger children and
teaching students requiring special attention can reduce the burden on
the class teacher. Also, it gives older students a hands-on experience
in management and organizational skills. These students could be rewarded
with extra merit for their contribution.
need to start using different ways of teaching. Using worksheets, projects,
field trips, debates and discussion help establish an atmosphere congenial
to optimum learning.
5] It is imperative
to expose the teachers to regular in-house training to help them upgrade
their academic know-how and teaching skills. Here, a few tips could be
taken from the private tuition classes. There are a number of characteristics
which make them attractive like
Shorter and concentrated
Attention to individual
Lots or practice using different formats. For e.g. use of worksheets, model question papers etc.
team of teachers
in timings and timetables could be given some consideration when attempting
to tackle hurdles in the path of productivity. Among other things, it could
lessen the constraints on space.
involvement of parents as partners in the process of their children's education
helps the school gain access to funds, manpower and ideas.
A recent success
story of Parent-Teacher cooperation is about their fruitful efforts to
secure a stay order on the Std IV Board exam, which intended to subject
9 year olds to a public level exam. It showed that parents are concerned
about the increased stress that exams have on young minds.
class hours could be conducted for those students who experience difficulties
during class hours. Teachers can be assisted in this work by parents and
even senior students. There is a large section of student population, which
comes from houses with little or no educational background. These children
receive no guidance or academic help from home. Language too is a problem
for students who have parents educated in the vernacular medium. Revision
classes would come as a welcome boon to all these students.
Create a fund
can create a fund for the purpose of supporting the various educational
and extra-curricular activities. The money could be utilized for organizing
workshops for students, teachers and parents by educationists, child psychologists,
vocational counselors, etc. For e.g., children in higher classes could
be trained in special skills like time management, writing an exam, etc.
Teachers could receive in-house training as regards managing large classes
effectively, enhancing creativity in students, etc.
Over and above
all these various suggestions for making schools productive, what is urgently
required are good, strong-willed and far-sighted Principals. Principals
who believe that change is possible and who resolve to fight the malaise
in the system. It is only the ideals and ideology at the top that are finally
going to percolate to the bottom.
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- The Indiaparenting Team