This is what Competition does to Students A School Head’s Experience and Perspective
Tuitions, “like most things related to your child’s education”, is something that should be considered carefully before you sign up. Are extra classes actually that important? Or is it rather burdening and unnecessary? Parents send their children to take extra lessons and blame the crowded classes, lack of attention by the teachers and competitive school environment for their child’s poor performance but how justifiable is this?
Are we ignoring what our children want in the name of competition? What do they think?
A School Principal pens down her emotions in the form of a diary entry, from a school kid’s perspective.
Once again, I am pouring out my heart to you. What an unfortunate child I am! Hear me out.
Last week my mother came to the school. How I hate these monthly meetings. They should be banned. My mother started her banter with the Principal.
"Madam, please help my son. He is weak in Mathematics. If you want, we will stop his Casio classes so that he can go for Maths tuition."
I look at my Principal. Luckily for me, she is pro students. She too looks at me. What is my mother saying? We both were shell-shocked.
The Principal, very understanding soul that she is, tried to convince my mother,
"No, no! That would not give you any specific result."
She asked me to stand outside her room while she spoke to my mother. Mom had come fully prepared. No power in the world can stop her. I could hear snatches of the conversation.
"See Madam, his Class Teacher is not able to help him. Now you advice."
Dear Diary, this is one of the most common scenarios in our school during parent-teacher meetings. I can't understand the mindset of parents at all. I wonder, by pulling out a child from his favorite activity what joy will they get? Don't they understand that by banning an activity which a child loves - the student would only feel more dejected and may not be able to achieve excellence in Academics. His favorite activity is the propeller for him for other activities.
I asked myself - is music bad? Is it harmful? Will a child fail in adult life if he is good as a singer or an instrumentalist? Why do parents get so anxious about music or any other activity as against academics?
Similarly, a teacher of mathematics will not bat an eyelid before asking, "Can I use the art period to finish my portion?" Why? Why is it so?
What is that thing that makes Mathematics or Science better than Music? In what way is a Drawing period less honorable than a Science period? What about AR Rahman's score? I am sure his mathematical score is no way near his musical scores.
Dear Diary, I pray to God that Parents and guardians should get rid of this mindset of theirs and try to see things from a child's perspective. There is no guarantee that a child who has been good in Academics at school turn highly successful in life or vice versa.
To this, a "good" parent gets the best "tuition teacher" for me. That person is worse than an Ogre or Demon for me. He/she just does not understand (or understands but does not bother) that I already have had a dosage of 6 hours of Academics and that I may not enjoy the next few hours with him or her. All that these guys want to do is do "their" work, which has zero relevance to the task given by my teachers. So I end up "learning " so much that leaves me with no energy or interest for anything else.
When will this change? I have heard my mother saying that she had no tuitions when she was a child. In spite of being a girl, she learned to cycle, climbed trees, flew kites, splashed in puddles, Saturdays and Sundays were meant only for playing... whereas my life?
Poor me! No respite from such a cruel world... I have so many things to share with you, but right now all I want to do is catch up on my sleep.
Ms. Jyothy Ramachandran
Mahapragya Public School
Ms. Ramachandran is a veteran educationist who is presently heading a school run by the Acharya Mahapragya Vidyanidhi Foundation, Mumbai. She has been in this field since 1987.
Since 2015, she has been awarded the Microsoft Innovator Educator Expert award. Ramachandran is a staunch believer of technology driven Education and has garnered several credits for her interest and proficiency in activities associated with Microsoft in Education.
She is also into Teacher Education and is also associated with NCERT as part of its text book preparation team in English. She is a much-sought-after Teacher Educator in Western India. All this she is able to do along with her regular academic assignment. As teacher-educator, she has been with the Social Development sector also, (one of the Founder members of Kotak Education Foundation). She worked passionately with the teachers of vernacular medium schools to raise their bars of effectiveness in teaching skills and levels of English.
She received recognition from the RTO Wadala, Mumbai for her contribution to Road Safety and allied issues. She has specially created a book on Road Safety and this has been greatly appreciated by the RTO. Ramachandran was also awarded the Social Impact Award 2016-17 of the Indian Development Foundation in recognition of her outreach activities with IDF.
During her free time, she learns Carnatic music.