Saving Private Ryan an article by dawood vaid
In this world of misplaced priorities, we have set another classic example of partisanship and prejudice. This time to perpetuate the institution and holding it accountable for the action of few or rather an individual. The way authorities given to the mob hysteria is perplexing. Only a few days or months ago, the same people might have applauded the student's performance and mentioned the virtues of an educator. How in such a short span, can the angels turn into demons!
We are not here to play the 'victimization card'. Penalties and harsher measures must be enforced. However, the trigger cannot be the criminalization of a single institute.
Ironically, I was watching 'Saving Private Ryan' on Amazon Prime. And it struck me, with that World War II saga, that most of the times we pay the price of greed and lust of others. We need to save our Ryans from the politics and fixed mindset of people. If it’s one institution today, it would be the rest tomorrow.
Schools are a mirror of the society we live in. The incidents that affect the school are the very incidents that we are surrounded with. The perpetrators, the sex offenders, the murderers are that very evil that only a school can weed out. If not for our schools, we would have these criminals at every nook and corner.
Our schools are the fabric of our nation. Please do not blame and create a fear from those very educators who made you a human. Look back and reflect on your teachers. They carried the baton to lead this nation to education. They gave you your words. Don't use those against them. Fight along-side not with them.
No, we are not trivializing the issue here. A death is in no way a minor incident despite the statistics screaming otherwise. Deaths due to negligence are rarer than rapes due to inaction and delayed punishment. In the Sanjay Dutt starrer 'Bhoomi', we are given a staggering and shocking statistics of a rape occurring every single minute of each day. The courts remain as sluggish as ever with 83.4% rape cases pending trial and a conviction rate of 27.1%. In 2012, 85.1% of all cases were pending with the courts while conviction rate stood at 24.2%. In 2011, the same figures stood at 83.6% and 26.4%. We only tend to pay attention where the notice levels are higher. Rest all falls on deaf ears.
Matter of Principal
In the recent meeting of all school principals, one of the common voices that echoed was that of fear and insecurity. The Principals had reached a stage of responsibility because of their academic knowledge and pedagogical skills and not that of being a security expert or a cyber-hacker. However, the onus now was on them to be responsible for the entire operation of an educational institution from the bathroom grills to the lunch meal at the canteen.
Yes, uneasy lies the head that wears the crown, but in this case, this is more of choosing the bravest men (or women, as is in most of the cases), to lead a team. Being the head of an organization is not an easy position to be in.
Look at Travis Kalanick, the Uber CEO, who was forced to step down owing to a string of controversies including allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination. He was not the perpetrator, and please get that right. But he was now definitely the victim of a vicious media circus and made a blameworthy head. So next time, your iPhone is hacked, blame the late CEO Steve Jobs and if your SpiceJet is delayed owing to the Mumbai rains, then you can still choose to sue the Sun Group. A gentle reminder to not nail Christ for the sins of others, again!
What can be done?
For once, let’s stop this blame game immediately. Yes reviewing the school security is at the topmost of our agenda. It begins with self-introspection. There must be budgets allocated to both hygiene and security of the institution. A special committee must be established in every school that oversees the security aspect of the daily operations. Verification of the staff, entry and exit of visitors, consultants and workers should be the norm. Appoint heads to constantly walk through the corridors and classrooms. Install cameras which are essential in our technology-driven ages.
The above, however, are the protocols. Let’s look beyond the dos and don'ts. By far, the most important part would be to build the TRUST. Trust between the school and the parents’ fraternity. Trust is the key to all human relationships. Trust is what stays when all is wiped out. Despite the evils of the society, a school is built on the foundation of this very trust. Parents trust the school to mold their children to be caring, empathetic and brave. They trust the Principals to lead their students to a new future. They trust the teachers to make them a responsible citizen. SO let's TRUST each other again. Don’t let our Trust, rust!
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are of the author and not of the website.
About the author:
Dawood Vaid is an educationist and trainer. His books, now available on Amazon.com, 'The Education Riddle' and 'T.A.L.K.: Speak with Ease & Confidence' is a result of decade-long school visits and teachers' training workshops.
He holds an Engineering degree in Electronics & Communication and has completed Post graduate diploma in Business Administration from Symbiosis, India.