I am really thankful to you for giving me the opportunity to express my thoughts on current education, teachers and on other aspects. I am not a trained person, not an educationist or a thinker. I am a house wife, pure and simple. I entered this field purely by chance, without any background or planning and that too after completing 40 years of age. I will try to answer your questions in my humble capacity.
Teachers are the backbone of education at any level. A teacher should work for the last student in the class. He needs your attention more. You have to inspire the bright students, no doubt. But with a little push, they can soar high. The back benchers are usually neglected by one and all. If you concentrate on them, you will brighten their lives. Do not expect much from the parents. Do not blame others, just go on doing whatever you can. The most successful teacher is one who enjoys her/his work when a student shows any small improvement. She is thrilled. Some of my teachers come running with excitement to show me a trivial improvement in the note book of a child who is not doing anything. They are thrilled with joy with his progress even though it is negligible. It boosts up their teaching ability.
Parents are our patrons. We earn our bread and butter because of them. Parents, have faith in teachers. Give them some time to relate to your children. Give some space to the teachers so that they can mould your dear ones into resourceful human beings. Have some patience. Once a cordial relationship develops between the teachers and the children, we will get wonderful results.
My father and my brother in law have always been my source of inspiration. My father was a GPO-Postmaster, who successfully handled the staff of around 500 employees daily. His behaviour gave me a live demo of how to handle the subordinates without hurting them and without imposing superiority on them.
My brother-in-law who was a teacher in a multipurpose school taught me how to find new ideas in my school days. I improvised them and used almost all of them in my principal’s tenure. The books – Totto-Chan and Carver’s biography inspired me a lot. My young innocent students also inspire me to do something special and new for them.
Building up a team of devoted, dedicated and efficient staff – teaching as well as non- teaching is in itself a mammoth task facing a principal. The principal is the go between the staff and the authorities and also between the staff and the parents. To keep harmonious relations between them is a great challenge. Parents have handed their precious treasure – their children over to us with trust. It’s our prime challenge to keep them safe,[their safety comes first] and to give them best of our ability. These days it is a great challenge to bring out the best from the available teaching fraternity. It is also very difficult to satisfy the over expectant parents. Each day is a new one, especially in a KG unit. Any time some new unexpected problem arises say a child puts a piece of a pencil in his nose, a child gets convulsion all of a sudden and so on. Truly speaking each problem is to be tackled in its own way. The same yard stick cannot be used every time. A principal has to find out the solution for the particular situation, and that too on the spot. Circumspection is the hallmark of a principal.
When you ask me my philosophy on education, I think it’s a big word. In my opinion, education is a continuous process just as growing and living is. It is not limited to the schools or colleges. It begins with the birth of a child. It is not fair to stuff so many things in a Childs brain. [ Check out the books of History, Maths and Science] Overdose of anything harms. We should start with basic education [again how to define ‘basic’ is a challenge] When a child grows he will learn everything gradually. The main motive of Education is to bring up a generation with good character and health which is receptive to knowledge in all walks of life.
They say till 2020 most of the population of India will be young. If so what kind of young people do we expect to run our nation? Young men addicted to mobile games? drug addicts ? With no family ties, no morals, no values, no respect for teachers, elderly people, Weak, mentally and physically? Certainly not. We want healthy generation, Physically and mentally with good character. The only and the best place where we can change their lives is the schools.
In my opinion, the Govt. should change the curriculum at the school level. We should include physical education [Not in the way it is included now a days, just to fill the column.] The portions of Maths, Science, History should be cut down. There will be no harm if a child does not know the number of MPs in Loksabha, or do not know all concepts in Maths in V or VI. But if he does not have values or he does not have healthy body it harms a lot – personally and socially. I suggest that, Suryanamaskar, Pranayama, Yogasana, Meditation, Value Education, Moral Education should be a part of the curriculum. All these things have worldwide recognition. But unfortunately we have failed to take its advantage. There should be regular periods of these things in the daily time table. These subjects should be included in board exams. Marks should be given for them. They should be taken seriously. Value based portion should be made with the help of experts. It should be planned in the way that children should have family ties, national pride, respect for others, compassion for everyone and so on. I am sure if they get holistic education, then the nation will be safe in the hands of well organised, well built inspired young generation.
Mrs. Shubhangi Patharkar
Principal, Shreemant Shivajiraje English Medium Pre-Primary School, Phaltan
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