Sunday, July 24, 2016

Preventing violence in students

There is growing concern among the people regarding the cases of violence and intolerance among the school going children. This seems to have been on rise in the recent past and our policy makers seem to have no clue about the same or they deliberately ignore that.  Their promptness can be seen when some case is reported in the newspaper, and the blame game starts but fades in the background of noise of some other incident.
The recent incident reported regarding a child of Std-I, who had a fight with II Std. child of a school and one of them succumbed to death as a consequence of the injuries sustained by him due to the fight, is alarming. They must be of age of 5-7 years and that kind of violence? But should it surprise us? Have we not been anticipating that to happen and if yes, what precautions & preventive measures have been taken?  One day or one week debate in the newspapers or the articles of the child psychologists is not going to be of much use but we must make sustained efforts for improving the life of our children.  These children are born innocent but this world makes them to behave in a manner which is condemned by the same world. A question is always asked after such incidents. Are the parents responsible for this or the schools?  I am sure no school would be teaching violence to the kids but the same is true for parents also because no parents would like his/her child to be violent or intolerant.  The real problem is that our children are expected to learn values without seeing values.  The societies’ role is also very important and media can plan such a big role but expecting everything from media is not fair.
I did mention in my previous articles that someone or some agency will have to take responsibility of these children and for this, to me,  schools and teachers are the ones who can make a lot of difference in their lives. There are issues on the part of parents also but the teachers should own the responsibility for providing congenial environment and make them learn values by which are bequeathed by teachers.
One suggestion given by many people is that the moral teaching should be done in the schools. {This is not new but the problem is that the same cannot be achieved by giving lectures}. The teacher would have to transform self to Guru who burns self to enlighten the path of children. The teachers should keep themselves away from the impact of the society or rather be capable of impacting the society through their influence on the children who will be their torch bearers in the future. When I began this article, I did not have clue of the shape of the article, but I realise that the role of teachers is most important. They will have to own the responsibility and ignore the financial status which affects almost the entire society. I do not say that financial safety is not important but then teachers can put a limit to how much is much enough.  They cannot place themselves in the race of the other people and forget the responsibility which is on their shoulders. The teachers will have also to act as the protective layer over the children so that menace of violence which we see all around us does not impact them. The parents can help the school & teachers by avoiding the exposure of impressionable minds to the violence being shown on TV channels of any other media specially the social media. They must follow the guideline and advisory issued before the start of such programme. For example, recently there was a lot of controversy about a film. The matter was settled in the High Court and the film was given Adult Certification which nobody less than 18 years can go to watch in the theatre. But as per the media reports, there were number of minors with the parents in almost all shows of that film exposing the kids to certain abuses, who in turn would get disturbed and some of them might pick those abuses and use in daily life. The teachers and parents cannot stop the TV serials aired which show the violence (verbal as well as physical) but they can ensure that our children are not exposed to them. The teachers will have to reach out to parents and do not react to any of the actions of the parents because for them, the welfare of children should be of prime importance.  My experience is that sometimes some parents might behave in a manner which may not be appropriate (this might be in the fit of anger due to something wrong been done to his/her child) but for this, the child may not necessarily be responsible, so the teachers should not react to such issues and always focus on the welfare of child. No action of the teachers should harm the child in any way. The parents also do not intend to disrespect the teachers but that just happens.  But yes, there is a request to the parents also, please do not always try to realise your dreams through your children. Let them enjoy their childhood in the fresh air (which is becoming polluted everyday) and not in the coaching centres or the tuition classes. Let the children explore the world by doing things themselves and commit mistakes because that will make their learning enduring.
Some teachers and schools might argue about why should they only be responsible for taking care of the behaviour of the children and not the parents and other agencies also?  This is true, but the fact is that the teachers have the power of transforming the children more than anybody else and also Guru is the one who shows the path not only to the children but also to the society.  Teachers’ understand the child psychology better and it can be of great help to them in times of crisis.  It has been proved that the children do have more faith in their teachers than anybody else. My intention of putting more onus on the teachers is not to relieve others (including parents) from their responsibility but to avoid shrugging the responsibility as has been the case in recent past.  So think positive and start working with enthusiasm and positive frame of mind.  I have some suggestions for parents and teachers;
·        The teachers must treat every child as an individual who gets influenced by the environment he/she lives in.
·        Try to understand them and take corrective & preventive measures.
·        Motivate the children to share their problems, if they have any and help them to come out of those problems.
·        Be the role model for them. It has been observed that teachers criticise their colleagues in front of the students or reach late to the class themselves.
·        The parents should avoid exposing their children to serials & movies showing violence etc.
·        They should avoid fighting with others in front of the children.
·        The parents are said to be the first teachers so they should also be the role model for the children.
·        Be the part of all their activities but also give them some space wherever required.   
·        The most important for them would be to talk to their children about the great personalities of the present and past and the hard work put in by them.
·        Work for the overall growth of the children (physical, psychological & emotional) and do not make them the machines for earning money.
·        The most important of all that parents & teachers must work in tandem so that children do not get confused.
·        Understanding the potential & attitude of the children is very important and after that help them to develop the same.
·        Do not make contradictory statements which will erode their faith in teachers/parents.
Let all teachers know that the good & positive things are not achieved easily but for that a lot of hard work and dedication is required. The teachers will have to unite with the child and prepare him/her to become strong to face all the challenges of life.