Principal, Govt. Higher Secondary School, Bhandari
Educational institutions throughout our country now pass through a critical phase in their journey of educating children. Ripples of conflicts between teachers and students occupying headlines in the media become more frequent than ever and many people get confused to understand the facts behind the conflicts. The teachers’ community pleads helplessness while the public criticize the teachers for the untoward incidents.
Recently the news of group suicide of four adolescent girls of a school in Tamilnadu shattered the minds of many educationists in our country and it was revealed during the investigation that many students from that school have suicidal tendencies. As expected, police have arrested a teacher and the head of the institution on charges of abetting suicide and the case is closed without going in to the roots of the issues. We mostly tends to give temporary relieves to diseases without treating the cause of the disease and the same thing happens in this case as well. I have been coming across demoralizing messages circulated among teachers’ community after few such incidents and I am afraid that this may lead to far reaching consequences. In fact this issue is a multidimensional one that needs to be analyzed in depth by all stake holders of school education.
Today we live in a society where majority of its members no more consider moral values as an essential factor to lead a successful life. The nuclear families we have today do not practically teach our children about the concepts of sharing and tolerance. Excessive caring parents immediately satisfy even the unnecessary needs of the children and they seldom get opportunities to learn that disappointments are essential parts of practical life. Many parents even substitute money for love and parental care. Children are exposed to too much of unregulated media and more shockingly many of the parents never know that most of the online games their children play in mobiles and computers gradually instill sense of violence in the minds of the young children. Above all many parents neglect their primary duties of parenting and even they do not have time to listen to their children.
Handling today’s techno savvy children is not an easy task. Attitudes of everyone in the society have changed and children too are not exempted. Unfortunately majority of our teachers are not equipped to deal with students in the present scenario. They tend to practice the same ways and means with which they were treated by their teachers. I was subjected to corporal punishment many a times during my student life at school but till today I remember all my teachers with love and gratitude only. But, now I cannot justify imposing corporal punishment on students because time has changed everything. Let us not forget that on those days’ parents and elders were imposing corporal punishment at home and we accepted the same as normal practice at school. But, today’s economically oriented nuclear families have changed the entire concept of life. So, equipping teachers with modern techniques to face the challenges of today’s teaching career is very much essential at this juncture.
To be honest most of today’s teachers are in a pitiful situation. Everyone needs results; the corporate private school managements need results to multiply their admissions and admission fee, the Govt. sector need results to prove that their officers discharge their duties sincerely and almost every parent wants their sons and daughters to become doctors and technocrats. It is completely forgotten that Education is a journey and not a race. Here most of the students are forced to run in the race blindfolded, without taking their interest and attitudes in to consideration. Ultimately, the teachers are made to behave like animal trainers.
Few months back I attended a 3 days training programme on Prevention of Child Abuse organized by the National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development, Guwahati and also a 3 days National Conference on Education organized by the Don Bosco Institute , Guwahti. I had the privilege of learning lot of new aspects of teaching learning from few of the finest brains in the industry and both the programmes made me to realize that majority of us (Teachers and Head of Institutions) are poorly equipped to handle the challenges face by today’s Education sector. Most of the conflicts between teachers and students arise in schools because teachers are not trained in Positive Discipline techniques and they tend to employ the out dated correction techniques. Moreover, educating parents about their duties and responsibilities also now becomes the responsibility of schools and we have completely neglected this aspect. I intensely feel that both the Private sector and the Govt. sector should immediately initiate steps to train all the Teachers and Head of Institutions on the latest trends and strategies in dealing with students before the commencement of the new academic sessions. Expenditures made in these training programmes are investments made on the future of our country and I hope school managements would not hesitate to empower their teachers without further delay.