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Let the Living Jewels shine

Let the Living Jewels shine
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A fantas(y) tic and long cherished dream of every child - In the ‘Leisure’ world of ‘Joy’puri, little young ones go to school with enthusiasm and...

A fantas(y) tic and long cherished dream of every child - In the ‘Leisure’ world of ‘Joy’puri, little young ones go to school with enthusiasm and energy, learn real life time lessons with fun and frolic. An environment that provides them with sufficient play time, friendly interaction with teachers, peers and study, an enjoyable experience, creative extra-curricular activities and above all, moral values and character building is the cornerstone for the success of any child. In fact, the school aims at ‘over all healthy growth’ of the students.

Over the period, the school experienced sweeping changes, a transformation from a ‘lively world’ to a ‘Robotic world’. In the pace of competitive environment, parent’s expectations reached the peak. The temples of learning started deciding the future careers of young learners through intensive coaching from dawn to dusk to reach ‘their’ targets. Ultimately, ‘win and win the race by all ways and means’ is the ‘stress’ed need before every child today.

While teaching a science class, the teacher asked a student “Do you know the inventor of Steam Engine and the principle behind the steam?” With no pause, he replied, “Yes madam, James Watt and the working principle is just as simple as it emerges out of our brains.” This answer really encountered the status of our prevailing education system in the country. Home works, Assessment tests, projects, tutitons, weekend classes, Olympiad tests, competitions, and the list is exhaustive, to say, are the weapons in their hands to stand number one in the battle of education.

It is proved that the ‘healthy schooling’ in ‘Joypuri’ is a mirage today as most children are affected by Heavy HBP Syndrome. (Home works, Baggage, Punishments).

Do home works really work? After hours of struggle with books and lessons in the so called boxed class rooms, it is ironical that children are given additional assignments and projects to be completed at home that may be of less relevance in their learning process. They are compelled to sit for hours together ‘to finish the given tasks’ sans interaction with external environment, quality time with family, friends and relatives. Let me recollect the golden saying of Swami Vivekananda, “Education is often becoming the process of transferring information from a teacher’s notes to the child’s notes quite often not entering the minds of the either.”

The International experiences prove the same. There is no positive correlation between heavy works and high standards of education. Finland, a small European country sets an example for quality education in terms of limited lesson plans, less study hours, a comprehensive examination system, focus on teacher’s abilities and capabilities and hence the minimum stress levels. Now, it’s our turn to rethink - whether these heavy loads of works contribute to improve the child’s learning abilities? Let us not infect the minds of young brains with the notion that “torture is a synonym for education”.

On the flip side, home works instill discipline, good study habits, and sense of responsibility among children. Definitely, but the benefits outweigh the costs, if they are implemented in a right perspective and made applicable only to secondary level students but not to first graders.

With these heavy works on hand, obviously they need to carry a tiny library to school daily. The little smoothies’ shoulders are dumped with heavy baggage that may pose a serious threat to their health. Even though stringent rules are laid down by CBSE, ICSE and other state boards, schools turn a deaf ear and all the educated parents pay little attention on the issue.

The availability of bags of different shapes, sizes and colours in the market may draw the attention of little buddies. But, the real care of parents initiates from the selection of right bag for the child. Looks Funny? While researches and the Central Government School Bag Act, 2006 recommend that the weight of a school bag ought to be less than 10 percent of the child’s body weight, the recent ASSOCHAM (Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India) Survey on this issue claims that 82 percent of children in the age group of 5-12 years are compelled to carry excessive loads over 35 percent of their body weight. Doctors warn that this may lead to numerous health problems like muscle strain, back pain, deformation of spine, at this young age. An illusion that ‘more books mean better learning’ need to be supplemented with the saying “Better learning takes place only if it is practiced in a healthy way.”

Another controversial arena that needs attention is punishment in schools. Corporal punishments of varying degrees are strictly enforced in some schools in the name of’ ‘disciplining the children’. But such obsolete methods may not help to improve their productivity. In the modern era, the best recommended method suggested to teachers is “counsel and guide the child in a friendly manner”.

The gurus may justify their actions on the grounds that some notties are stubborn, doesn’t care for their words and sometimes the strength of the class does not permit them to focus on each and every child. I strongly believe that all the educated teachers are well aware of the fact that these ‘disciplined punishments’ may hinder the physical and mental health of the child.

With the motivation from this great father, it is the equal responsibility of every parent and teacher to create favourable conditions for blooming buds where they can ‘learn without fear’. Remove all those stumbling blocks that come their way and land them safely in the ‘Leisure’ world of ‘Joy’puri to enjoy the fragrances of education. Let us give our ‘twinkling stars’ an opportunity to contribute to the progress of our country and it is for sure they prove that ‘Taare zameen par he hai!”

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