Sunday, February 25, 2018

The Fate Of 'TEACHING’ -Role Of Principals And Teachers




Whether one is a new leader or seasoned head of school, one thing is certain that in this age of accountability (which in today`s time is fixing responsibility and I may be allowed say to fix somebody after something goes wrong), everyone is looking to that one person to solve a mounting list of challenges-from overcrowding to underachievement to providing the inspiration the school needs. The principal always and at all times need to inspire and motivate and at the same time remain a champion for learning. Leadership can drive a school either forward or backward and therefore, needs to have a focused plan and a strong support network.”
Listening to the above stated, conveyed by Sadhana Bhalla, Chairperson, NPSC, at the inaugural session of the 45th National Progressive Schools’ Conference; I was filled with pride agreeing on the ideas that, “the school is as good as its leader and that is how critical the role of the principal is. Given the innumerable responsibilities be it student achievement, teacher motivation, running the school, reducing achievement gaps, garnering the support of all the stake holders, being accountable and making everyone else accountable and balancing between being an academic head and an administrator. Needless to say, the principal’s position has never been so challenging than what it is today.”
Yes, the position of the principal is challenging and important and so is the role of teachers and the entire system of education that still stands responsible for bringing up responsible citizens who would frame the future of the nation. The involvement in the field of education has always been a matter of respect and pride, especially in our country. Years ago, even the renowned names in the field of business, like Birlas started a unique initiative aimed at promoting excellence in education at schools and college and university level. Their programmes emphasized on growth with equity and encouraged schools to promote the concept of quality and performance excellence in all their activities, including teaching and learning methods. This they did as their social responsibility and not as a business venture. Many more philanthropists came out of the land of Shekhawati and set up wonderful schools in their area from where they originally came.
After that well-known and established pinnacles of education such as DAV and DPS have schools spread all over the country and helped raise the standard of education in the country with their innovative and child centred approach. But in the last few decades the situation has become grim due to various reasons including increasing competition. Due to the lack of intuitive approach on the part of various governments many new players entered in the field of education to fill the space created by the government run institutions. Numerous private institutions are getting affiliated and popping up everywhere. To worsen the situation we have coaching institutes which are doing their best in deteriorating the pious teaching and learning culture of our country. Education is becoming a mouthpiece of such corporate giants who are encroaching upon the age old tradition of education and turning it into a business.
The question arises that how a profession so deep rooted in our tradition could be so easily mocked and caricatured by corporate giants and money oriented coaching classes. Who is allowing this to happen? Why is no one bothered to put a halt to it? And most importantly, who is supposed to stop this? The answer is simple. If questions are being raised on the teaching fraternity and education system, it is the whole and sole responsibility of the teaching fraternity itself to fight with the all spreading vice. In the ideas I quoted above, the underlying theme is of support and working together as a fraternity dealing with education. Are we as teachers and educational administrators, ready to deal with the situation, united and undeterred? Are we bothered about what is happening to the torchbearers of our education system across the nation? Are we supporting and promoting each other as principals and teachers? Are we standing by each other at testing times?
On January 5, a bus belonging to renowned school rammed into a truck and six kids were killed. It was a great loss to lose young children who had dreams in their eyes. Their parents would not be able to live their life that normally and the nation is deprived of wonderful future citizens.  The Principal of school was arrested for alleged violation of rules and regulations related to transport and maintenance of school buses. He was produced in a court in Indore, which rejected his bail plea and remanded him in judicial custody. He is suffering from trauma and unbearable humiliation. What’s strange here is the fact that if the principal was held responsible for the tragedy, why weren’t the other people responsible for the safety of the children brought under scrutiny? Why weren’t the authorities, responsible for road safety, held responsible? Political activist Abbas Hafeez Khan has vehemently criticized the way the principal is being treated, through a video. He asked teachers and principals everywhere in the country as to why weren’t they coming together to help a man whose entire life was probably spent in learning and teaching and imparting knowledge; and now he is being treated like a criminal. He warned the people all over the country who are a part of this profession that it’s high time and there is a need for the teaching fraternity to come together and raise voice for each other’s rights. Otherwise, there would come a day when this profession would lose all the respect it deserves. But is that the solution of the problem? The teachers are the role models for the entire society, should they be protesting for their cause. Many may not agree with me but our only cause is the safety and prosperity of the children handed over to us and we should not waste our time and energy in debates and protests. But I would definitely like to raise a question, is it the responsibility of the principal alone or was he made the scapegoat? The Management of the school, the organisations which are responsible for recognition and affiliation need to answer and own responsibility. Do they have no responsibility towards the safety of the children and support to the school staff? Rightly said by Mr Abbas; that in this situation who would like to be a teacher or a principal in a school if they are treated shabbily and not given the respect they deserve. To maintain the dignity and respect of the profession we will have to work together and ensure that everyone fulfils the task assigned.
This needs to happen as “schools are no longer self- contained institutions. The wall between school and community has tumbled down; what was ‘out there’ is ‘in here’ as government policy, parent and community demands and storming technology. This has intensified the workload of principals and teachers.” Above all, I ask the principal and teachers all over the country to be proud of their own contribution and in particular their effectiveness so that the society realizes that “at the end of the day, Principal ship and teaching are a calling, a sacred one and all that matters are the children and the fact that we are responsible to fulfil the hope and expectations of the society that these children will in their own way make the world a better place” but the society should also  realize the fact that anyone who has ever taught them something worthwhile, deserves respect for their contribution. The trust between parents and the teachers is of utmost importance and we should do our best to keep that intact.

Monday, February 19, 2018

If Opportunity Does Not Knock,Remove The Door


In this article I would like to touch upon two important questions. One- what is more important opportunities or facilities and two- can research aptitude be sown in college or universities students without giving kids opportunity for the same at schools level?

In the present times technology is advancing at a supersonic speed. Parents want their kids to be abreast with all the developments and advancements taking place around them. Their focus is that the child might not miss any opportunity due to lack of facilities. The question arises- “Do opportunities exist only amidst the abundance of facilities?”  I strongly believe that the answer is NO.

Let us look into the meanings of these two words. Facility means- a special feature of a service or machine, which offers the opportunity to do or benefit from something/ absence of difficulty or effort.” This clearly indicates that facilities aim at cutting down on efforts. In the present times, whether it is parents or school, everyone is focusing at providing the kids with endless facilities. With facilities at home like access to internet, house help, home tuitions and other luxuries to smart classes and AC classrooms and buses in school; kids have the ease and comfort to do things as per their comfort. The excess of facilities have made the kids lazy and dependent on technology and other external help. With so many “prepared” solutions to textbook questions and exercises, the ability of the students to use their brains to find out solutions and research on a topic and frame answers creatively, is diminishing. This dependence on facilities makes the students unable to recognize opportunities and create them when required. Well, I am not anti-facilities, but excess of anything should be avoided, especially when facilities become a hindrance in research aptitude and originality of creativity.

Now let’s look at the term opportunities. It refers to favourable time/occasion/moment, right set of circumstances. When we look at this definition we assume that opportunities can be created only with facilities. This attitude often leads to the tendency of blaming the situations in case of bad performance. We need to teach our kids that opportunities can be created and they have to be seized with constant efforts. We also need to teach them to recognize the opportunities as sometimes the opportunities are right there in front of their eyes but they do not see. For grabbing opportunities kids will need to come out the comfort zone of facilities. A multitude of opportunities is constantly in front of their faces, passing by them as they hesitate to recognize and reach out for them. For them to grab these opportunities they have to lose the fear of rejection. They should be taught to take risks and accept failure. In all seriousness, stepping out of their comfort zone and snatching possibilities doesn’t come easy and is understandably an immensely frightening endeavor. But one cannot make such endeavors cocooned in the vast covers of facilities. 

Let us look into some success stories which prove that success doesn’t come when one waits for facilities instead of creating opportunities.
Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, an Indian scientist and the 11th President of India from 2002 to 2007, has faced insurmountable odds in his path to becoming the leader of a Nation. Dr. Abdul Kalam hails from a poor family and started working at an early age to supplement his family’s income by distributing newspapers after school to financially contribute to his father’s income. In his school years, he had average grades, but was a hardworking student with interest in mathematics. Even during his senior class project while in college, the Dean was dissatisfied with the lack of progress and threatened revoking his scholarship unless the project was finished within the next three days. He then worked tirelessly on his project and met the deadline, impressing the Dean. From there on, Dr. Kalam joined Aeronautical Development Establishment of Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) as a scientist and went on to head the organization. The rest is history.

Narayana Murthy, who is described as the father of the Indian IT Sector and listed by Fortune Magazine among the 12 greatest entrepreneurs of our time, has not always been successful with his ventures. Narayana Murthy’s first venture, a company named Softronics, failed in about a year and a half after its start. After the failure of his first venture, Narayana Murthy joined Patni Computer Systems and worked there for about five years. He then founded Infosys in 1981 along with six software professionals and a meagre capital provided by his wife Sudha Murthy. Infosys is today India’s fifth largest publicly traded company and the third largest Indian based IT Services Company.

Sushil Kumar, renowned Indian World Champion wrestler, won the gold medal in the FILA 2010 World Wrestling Championships, a silver medal in the 2012 London Olympics and a bronze medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He hails from a lower-middle class family and his father was a DTC bus driver and his mother is a housewife. Despite the minimal funds available, poor training facilities and lack of dietary supplements, Sushil Kumar has become a world-renowned Wrestling Champion through hard work and sheer determination.
(Source:https://www.indiafilings.com/learn/indians-who succeeded-against-all-odds/)

Arunachalam Muruganantham, is a social entrepreneur from Coimbatore in Tamil NaduIndia. He grew up in poverty after his father died in a road accident. His mother worked as a farm labourer to help in his studies. Today, he is the inventor of a low-cost sanitary pad-making machine and is credited for innovating grassroots mechanisms for generating awareness about traditional unhygienic practices around menstruation in rural India. His mini-machines, which can manufacture sanitary pads for less than a third of the cost of commercial pads, have been installed in 23 of the 29 states of India. He is currently planning to expand the production of these machines to 106 nations. In 2014, he was included in Time magazine's list of 100 Most Influential People in the World.[3] In 2016, he was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India. (Source: Wikipedia)
Had these personalities waited for opportunities to knock at their door and blamed the lack of facilities, they wouldn’t have reached these heights. 
As I have discussed in one of my recent articles, Indian youth is oriented more towards becoming businessmen and employees in big companies for handsome packages. The facility based bringing up conditions them towards earning money and acquiring these facilities for their future generations. Therefore the aptitude towards research has considerably gone down. To encourage research in the country Prime Minister’s Fellowship Scheme for Doctoral Research has been initiated under which 100 Doctoral Research Fellowships will be given every year. It is aimed at encouraging young, enthusiastic and passionate scholars to take up industry related research. The scholars will get double the JRF/SRF as scholarship. While this is a brilliant initiative let us hope that this attracts scholars who really want to make ground breaking discoveries and not those who would just come in for the money. This move is a great example of facility moving hand in hand with opportunity. This has to be grabbed by the scholars to prove their metal. But at the same time it is very important that the children are encouraged at school level towards the same and the one having aptitude for the same are given opportunity at college or university level. There is a simple thing for schools to do that the children are taught not for marks but new learning. Rote learning must be discouraged and the children should be encouraged to find different solutions of the same problem or different process to reach the same solution. In this regard I recall another excellent initiative in the form of ATL in schools. We hope this will manifest the potential possessed by the children in abundance but If not implemented by the schools chosen effectively then the wonderful scheme launched by the government may not yield desired result. In the end I would like to say that lack of facilities should never be the reason for not starting something innovative. The need of the hour is to create opportunities rather than waiting for one to be served to you on the platter of facilities as one should always remember that-
Many negatives - pressure, challenges etc - all can be converted into opportunity to rise.”




















Sunday, February 11, 2018

Raise Kids Without Gender Bias


In one of his recent speeches in Rajya Sabha, honourable Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi raised the serious issue of increasing crimes against women and children. He questioned that why do parents and teachers ask only the girls to come home early for their safety and not ask the boys to do the same. Why should such hypocrisy continue? Why should a girl’s safety be her own responsibility while boys are set free to do whatever they want till late in the night?
When I looked at the news headlines the next day, to my dismay, there was no mention of this issue of great importance. They rather took interest in taking a dig and jibe at what all was said about the opposition and the comments and counter comments related to that. Well, as I have often stated that we as a society have time and again failed to discuss the relevant issues and their consequences; I thereby take this opportunity to elaborate on this sensitive issue and focus on how we can make an effort to overcome the ever deteriorating situations faced by our mothers, sisters and daughters.
We live in the times of dilemma and hypocrisy. On the one hand women and girls are being motivated to work and be at par with men and boys and on the other hand the crimes against women are increasing, putting a question mark on their well-being and security. In this state of confusion some girls think that equality refers to everything the boys do even if it’s absolutely wrong for the boys too. We are failing in giving equality a fruitful and meaningful direction.
The issues related to this topic are innumerable but I would try my best to put forth my perspective. The world is changing and we are “modernizing”. We boast about the way women have improved their social situation all over the world. They have fought for and won the right to vote, they have “been given” the right to drive, they have been “allowed to work” as far as they can fit in the periphery of patriarchy. They are in space, in politics, in performing arts, in sports and so on. It has been a long and eventful struggle but women have earned for themselves a significant standing in the society. And yet the gravity of these achievements turns into snowflakes when while walking through the corridor you find a boy laughing at another calling him a “girl” and at the same time calling our little girls “mera beta” isn’t a matter of laughter but a reference of pride and honour.
Aren’t we sowing the seeds of difference from the very beginning? The way a girl is raised is quite different from how we raise a boy. And we justify this with “biology”. The rules of social behaviour are different for little boys and girls. This doesn’t allow the girls and boys to grow as their own self. Therefore, boys who express emotions and cry are laughed at even when we know that crying is an emotion which is not restricted to a specific gender. Just because of our society’s hypocrisy boys and men have had a hard time in being confident as dancers, chefs, makeup artists and being in other professions which are considered “appropriate” only for women. As parents and teachers, we need to raise our kids as individuals and not as two separate genders. A boy can be feminine and a girl can be masculine. And this should not make the parents uncomfortable. Things go awry when the individuality, the uniqueness of the child is denied in the service of meeting the needs of the parents and society.
The problem is deep rooted. An act of courage by a girl will be complimented as “very manly” but will it be treated with honour when an act of kindness or sacrifice by a man or boy is complimented “very womanly”? Look at the problem with this example; we subconsciously relate courage with men and kindness with women. While growing up, boys aren’t taught tenderness. We don’t try to inculcate it in them. Similarly girls are not taught negotiation and spirit to fight for their rights. Why does it matter? Well it does. The crimes against women might not even exist if boys are raised with tenderness. Justice Leila Seth said and I quote, “Bring up your sons like you bring up your daughters, so that they learn the tenderness.” Well this says a lot about how we are raising our kids. If boys are taught the values of empathy and respecting consent, the scenario might change in the coming years.
People should ask boys “what’s wrong?” when boys are upset. Boys should be encouraged to show emotions and should know that their emotions are valid and they are nothing to be ashamed of. And definitely boys cannot be allowed to be rowdy just because they are boys. “The boys will be boys” attitude will have to change if we have to stop crimes against women and girls. Fathers will have to respect the opinions, decisions and views of mothers so that the girl child is raised with confidence and the boys are taught equality in the real sense.
We need to encourage girls to follow their dreams instead of telling them that “it’s a boy thing”. Boys and girls should have same rules and regulations to be followed at home. If boys are expected to earn and support themselves even girls should be encouraged to do so. The breaking of the stereotypes should start at home and school level, only then it can happen at the societal level. We need to strive to be gender-neutral and to treat your sons and daughters equally.
Though there are very real safety issues that will dictate some decisions, try as often as possible to make the same decisions for both your sons and your daughters. Thus far, note what researchers say:
Sons are permitted to work outside the home at an earlier age than daughters, thus providing them with earlier independence.
Girls do more housework than boys, sending the message that the home is a woman's domain, and teaching boys a “learned helplessness.”
Fathers are more encouraging to their sons about participation in competitive sports than they are to their daughters.
Teens perceive that boys get to use the family vehicle more often than girls, thus granting them greater independence.
(Source: https://www.familyeducation.com)
In her book, The Courage to Raise Good Men, psychologist Dr. Olga Silverstein puts forth a theory that more and more experts are espousing: boys are pushed away from the family too soon, and the greatest gift parents can give their boys is the ability to acknowledge their feelings. In her book, Dr. Silverstein relates a touching story about a teenage boy who wanted to live at home for an extra year after high school; he didn't feel he was ready to move away yet. As a therapist, her chore was to help the father understand that his son's choice didn't mean the boy was a failure.
Thus looking at both the sides of the coin we realize that it isn’t a war between the sexes, it’s not boys v/s girls. Nature has not differentiated them. It has just given then certain roles to play which they can play according to their capacities and aptitudes. Both the genders play a significant role in the working of the world. It isn’t about superiority and inferiority.
In the Indian culture women are worshipped as Goddesses. I honour this reverence but before we could put them on the pedestal and fight our political and religious battles in the name of their honour; we should first treat them as individuals with their own ideas, perspectives and opinions. If we fail to do so and the crimes against women and girls keep on piling up then in no time this culture will become nothing less than a farcical representation of a farfetched situation.
At the same time we should not try to interfere in certain things which naturally occur and distinguish between boys and girls. There are certain things for which God gave the privilege to females and some for male hence we should not try to change that. Also the females should not try to get involved in those wrong/negative things which are done by the other sex just because to show self-equal to men. So this is the responsibility of parents to ensure that both the sons and the daughters be given equal status and the traditional view of letting the boys have privilege to do anything and the girls only made to learn and imbibe values should be stopped. Otherwise we are almost forcing the girls to be vulnerable.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Discipline - Bridge between Goals and Accomplishments



I have often touched upon the topic of discipline in my articles. Of late, student’s indiscipline has assumed alarming proportions. It isn’t wrong to conclude that this violence is arising from utter lack of discipline. Almost every third day we read in the newspapers, reports of students being indulged in violent activities. The issue becomes even more important to be discussed as there is increase in horrifying cases of breach of discipline by school going kids. In a recent case reported in the capital city, a child of class IX lost his life over a small issue between two groups of school students. Before we try to look into the topic of the article, let’s ponder upon some incidents.
In the first incident, a child got hurt while playing and the school’s nursing staff immediately took care of it as per SOP (Standard Operating Procedure). As a precautionary measure, the child was taken to the hospital for professional medical care and the parents were informed. The parents arrived when the child was being taken to the doctor’s chamber. The father acted in a very aggressive manner and without even trying to find out the condition of his child he started blaming the school and shouted in the hospital premises. He tried his best to keep blaming the school and didn’t even try to find out how did the child get hurt, this behaviour was really surprising.
In another incident two students had an argument in the bus. It was taken care of by the bus attendant and the issue was resolved then and there. One of the kids involved in the argument went home and narrated the entire incident to his parents, exonerating himself of his part of the fault, entirely blaming the other child. The next day, his father came to the bus and slapped the other child without even trying to know his side of the story. I wouldn’t elaborate on this but you can understand the consequences of such incidents where parents involve themselves without realizing that their child can be at fault too.
There are numerous examples that we come across on daily basis where children correct their parents on their outbursts of anger on very small issues. These incidents and the discussions on TV channels about the incidents including violence by school kids are still failing to look at the root cause of these problems, which is ‘the breach of discipline’.
The problem of indiscipline in schools has persisted over the years. These acts have either been carried out individually by the students or as a group which results in rioting or revolts (the present case scenario of our country is even worse). There is no doubt that indiscipline generally militates against effective teaching and learning and production of useful acceptable members of the society. The adolescents of today lack “the gift of a good start” (Colin Powell). The foundation plays a very important role in development. If we don’t invest in good bringing up of kids, we are going to face difficulties. And this is exactly what we are experiencing with teenagers today.
Interestingly, a child’s holistic development starts with discipline in every bit of his/her life. Discipline is the key to let the kids know their purpose in life and making them realize from a very young age that whatever they do effects those around them therefore their actions should be self-speculated and mindful. If you read any scholarly article on the problem of indiscipline, you will find a deeply researched study that how parents, education system and society is responsible for the lack of discipline among students and there is data to support the rise in violence with the graph going higher every year. Well, I do not deny that we do have to take the responsibility but I strongly believe that it is high time that we as parents, teachers and society as a whole change our approach to deal with this problem. Before I elaborate on the remedies let us look into the problem in detail.
The causes of indiscipline among students:
Where do parents fail?
It might sound a little rude but discipline is sowed, nurtured and inculcated; it is a slow and consistent process where ease and casual attitude has no place. Indiscipline creeps in when we take little things casually. It has become quite “ok” these days to skip school if the child was not able to wake up early. Some parents do not insist on a healthy lifestyle anymore. School attendance and regularity is not being taken seriously by many. Most of the children do not have a proper waking up or sleeping routine. A lot of them do not indulge in any physical activity and have no breakfast at all before they come to school. Gradually the important aspects of a good lifestyle are eliminated and this mismanagement takes away the peace of mind that a growing child needs and results in irritation, short temperedness and aggression. Some parents have failed to make their kids realize that whatever one gets in life is earned, even a small word of appreciation. Most of the parents today are working and have no time to discuss vital issues with their sons and daughters. They try to compensate for time with money. But money cannot help instil good values. The fear barrier no longer exists in our society and parents easily give way to children's repeated demands without realizing the consequences. This is a dangerous sign of decadence and anti-social ills. Providing a child with expensive gadgets and facilities isn’t star parenting. Unfortunately, with everything being served on the platter we let the kids take privileges for granted. They end up knowing all about their rights and the duties of their parents and know nothing vice-versa. 
Where does education system and teachers fail?
Although one of the many definitions of education includes the idea of holistic development but education system today has reduced to grades, marks and promotion. With 5 subjects at hand and tests, assignments, homework, exams and coaching; students are participating in an endless and tedious rat race. With periods after periods of studies and extracurricular activities there is no time left with the teachers to inculcate sensitivity through talks and stories, conversations and sharing problems. All this is expected to be done during the teaching of the subject through “value based questions”. Classroom teaching focuses on completion of course, meeting deadlines, cramming the same content in the name of revisions and following the lesson plans and unit plans. In this race most of the student’s clumsiness regarding submission of the projects, wearing proper uniform, raising their hands before answering, standing straight in front of the teachers, seeking permission etc. is neglected. If not neglected, it is often corrected with negative reinforcements which are often met with aggression. There is no time left for real conversation or inculcating discipline through positive reinforcements. Answers have become more important than how a child stands or carries himself before he delivers it.
Where does society fail?
Where society was once a force that brought people together and symbolized unity and civilization, today it has reduced to a parameter of judgments and conventional dictates with the young generation being under its constant speculation. It judges success in terms of marks and positions and happiness in terms of money. It chooses to stay in the stagnant water of orthodoxy rather than understanding the needs of the changing times. This makes a teenager rebellious and aloof. The crowd has taken the place of sensible and logical thinking. Any incident taking place in any of the school becomes the talk of the town and most of the times the rioters vandalise the school building or the buses without realising that it would not serve any purpose.
When do peers become a pressure?
In an alarming revelation it came up that an average teenager’s bag has a lot of inappropriate items. Why do they need them? Why are they required in school? Self-esteem is a trait which starts to take shape quite effectively during teenage. Kids go to any extent to prove their arguments. They want to show that they are better and acceptance in the eyes of friends becomes the most important thing. These statements are common among teenagers, “My behaviour changed due to my friends influence, I and my school friends often decide to stay away from school, I want this because my friends have it” etc. Their friends become the pivot around whom their lives revolve keeping discipline at stake.
How to inculcate discipline among students as a personality trait?
What can parents do?
Learning about consequences (what happens when we do something) is an important part of discipline and will help teach your child responsibility. When you set rules everyone needs to be clear about the consequences. This is best done when you're feeling as calm and in control as you can be. Giving lots of attention to behaviour we don't like can often reinforce it (lead to it happening more often). Make sure that you notice more of your child's good behaviour and comment on this rather than the bad behaviour. For example, are you missing what your child is doing well - cleaning his teeth, getting dressed for school, eating his dinner, playing happily with his friend, sharing with his brother? Look for it and comment. Children need discipline. It is about teaching and learning. It works best when you have a good relationship with your child. You can discipline without using physical punishment. Set rules and talk to other parents about their rules.  Spend energy on the really important things and learn to overlook minor irritations.   (Source: http://www.cyh.com/HealthTopics/HealthTopicDetails.aspx)
Also, look try to be your child’s friend (without crossing the line as parent and child) and try to find out the reasons of their aggression and keep an eye on the company they are in so as to save them from the ills of peer pressure. Most importantly, parents need to understand that they do not have to submit to the unjust demands of their kids. The child may cry and nag for some time but if you succumb to his/her wishes and fail to teach him that crying isn’t a solution and one cannot have everything they wish for; then the child may “cry” his/her entire life.
What can teachers and schools do?
Both the home and school environment should be made exciting and conducive for learning to the children (students), and other educational requirement such as library, laboratory, workshop should be provided and equipped by parents, teachers, government and all stakeholders in education. Cordial relationship should exist between parents and schools authorities. The mass and electronic media should be used to enlighten all stakeholders in the areas investigated on the effect of indiscipline in the society. There should be reward for good conduct and punishment for bad conduct at home, school and society at large by parents. Schools can give away awards to disciplined students every year to encourage more students to emulate the winners. It is the responsibility of the school to let the child realize that discipline is the key that shapes their talents and helps them attaining success. All schools should have a competent professional Guidance Counselor. Teachers should spend more time in talking to the kids about their problems and consistently talk to them about the importance of good company.
What can society do?
Acquaintances, relatives and neighbours need to appreciate the kids around them when they abide by the rules and follow instructions successfully. They need to appreciate a child for being properly dressed up or wishing them more often. These little gestures will motivate the child to be disciplined and will make him/her realize that being a disciplined child is as worthy as doing well academically. Society must abide by rules and regulations of the place the way it is expected from the children/students.
How to deal with peer pressure?
Parents and teachers will have to come together to help the kids from succumbing to peer pressure. Teach the kids to say no firmly. Help them challenge themselves for doing the best for themselves and not follow the goals of a group. Teach the kids to frame their own opinions and voice their opinions out loud. Give them the courage to evaluate their friendship and search out for friends who share their values and interests.
I would like to culminate with an inspiring example of the United States Navy’s “Sea, Air and Land” Teams, commonly abbreviated as Navy SEALs. Dainik Bhaskar, in one of its reports, elaborated that the training the officers go through, under SEAL is difficult and challenging. It enables them to become patient, competent, analytical and quick decision makers. They could achieve all this with strict adherence to discipline. “Discipline is therefore the refining fire by which talent becomes ability.” and “To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one's family, to bring peace to all; one must first discipline and control one's own mind. If one can control his/her mind he/she can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him/her.”