A School of Students, Teachers, and their Relationships
TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 4 Sep 2023
Schools have become essential institutions today for imparting education, not only in a town but also in a village — in rural conditions.
A few years ago, there were few schools in towns mainly for boys. At that time, there was hardly any nearby school for girl students and consequently girls had to walk long distances to attend a school. Even these schools had a major shortcoming of not having toilets for female students.
As a result, girls had to overcome this difficulty and other problems faced to attend their schools. In schools students receive some basic education of Languages, Arithmetic and Social Sciences etc. The latter consist of study of some history, geography of their country and an element of economics. If the school was in a village, children’s parents are often farmers and thus some idea of crops that were being grown and problems of excessive or insufficient rainfall are also addressed as part of children’s education.
Today the situation is vastly different — there are many more schools in villages apart from towns and problems faced by girl students have largely reduced. However there are some difficulties arising by the interaction of different constituents of the school — students, teachers and parents of students. We will discuss the issues faced by the school and what is generally being done to maintain peace and good relationships among students, parents, teachers, Principals, who are considered as part of a big family.
Most schools have some programs or assemblies of students who may perform together in a song or dance event. Here parents are also invited . The teachers are there for any help needed and to answer queries about how the students are performing not only in their studies but also in cultural or musical events. This creates a rapport with the parents.
Some well established schools also have orientation programs for parents where the common issues of children’s academic and cultural progress are discussed and debated. Most parents feel that their children should excel in all directions— they need to be gently guided into the fact that every child cannot excel in all areas; their participation in different events is more important.
When parents are invited and participate in orientation programs for adults, their usual doubts about how to guide their children to do better — not just to excel in all fields, are addressed. They have to encourage children to participate in different events, not worry about standing in the top three positions. Parents also share their experiences with parents of other children in these programs.
Sometimes, children overhear what parents are talking about. They feel that parents also wish to excel in different events in adult programs just like children do.
Many people feel that schools create a sort of family feeling with parents, students and teachers. There are occasional rifts or disagreements in families — similarly schools also face this type of issues. They also learn how to overcome these rifts with a spirit of give and take. Parents, when they first attend orientation programs, have doubts about the need of these programs. But after some time, feel satisfied that they are also learning how to be better parents in the educational journey of their children.
Many children feel, although they cannot express themselves in words, that parents are also like children in some ways. They feel that after attending their orientation they should not be harsh, or scold their children as earlier. Good thoughts, though many children feel that mostly their parents’ behaviour towards their children remains the same as earlier. But children become emboldened towards their parents and this is a good sign of a healthy family life.
These orientation programs for parents are not just academic exercises but also have an element of physical, cultural activities. This is similar to the programs of students with both academic, physical, cultural activities. Some schools that have come up with a religious background and funding, help students and teachers to understand the importance of spiritual aspect of education. This is not to stress any one particular religious activity but to appreciate that in today’s world we need to know briefly about our religions and spirituality in addition to stressing on career orientation in education.
Today’s schooling requires focus on different aspects — academic, physical, cultural, religious, online activities to reinforce these aspects.
Many schools have primary secondary and senior secondary classes together. Students are of different age groups and senior students enjoy the company of junior students. Sometimes there may be conflicts between them when older students tease the younger ones — an arduous exercise to overcome this behaviour of older children.
Often, good schools invite students and teachers of other schools located in different towns, to share their experiences and discuss how to improve schooling. This interaction is conducive for schools and students. It comes from the belief and thoughts that schools don’t just provide education and even sports. They provide different aspects of life itself with focus on education.
Good and interesting thoughts!
Dr Ravi P Bhatia is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment, an educationist, Gandhian scholar and peace researcher. Retired professor, Delhi University. His new book, A Garland of Ideas—Gandhian, Religious, Educational, Environmental was published recently in Delhi. email@example.com
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 4 Sep 2023.
Anticopyright: Editorials and articles originated on TMS may be freely reprinted, disseminated, translated and used as background material, provided an acknowledgement and link to the source, TMS: A School of Students, Teachers, and their Relationships, is included. Thank you.
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