Principal, Ramagya Public School, Dadri
M.Ed (English), M.A. (English), B.Ed., B.Sc. (CBZ)
The children of the 21st century are the building blocks of our future. To train their minds is to train the minds of our coming generations. Gone are the days when it was enough to educate only one member of the family. Nowadays, an uneducated and untrained mind is considered as a disability. With the evolution of mankind, education for our children is now recognised as a necessity rather than a luxury.
But the question is, how do we train our children to stand the test of time and to contribute towards society? Should they be disciplined or taught with love and affection? Is it necessary to punish them, or should they be given multiple chances to prove themselves?
The answer to these questions cannot be given as a straight yes or no, as the answer depends on the type of mind which is in question. In this tough and competitive world, our children need to understand that life does not give us second chances, and once you fail, there is no re-exam in the real world. However, having said that, should this hard lesson be taught to our children at such a young age by following the disciplinarian system of education, or should we follow the liberal approach?
Childhood is equivalent to a seed. Children need the appropriate amount of nurturing and care from their teachers and parents to grow and become trees which will reap fruits in the future. Schools need to understand that by following one policy, they cannot decide how a child can be taught a lesson.
A student counsellor or advisor needs to cooperate with children to make school processes more pro-student than anti-student. Each child has to be dealt with differently, and therefore, the process of punishment should be different too. Schools in coordination with student counsellors and advisors need to bring in diverse methods such as mediation, counselling, talk sessions, psychiatric sessions and other interactive sessions to help the child and their parents understand the problem, its cause and the possible solution.
Disciplining the child by always using disciplinarian and strict tactics will reap no benefits and will make him/her rebellious. A chastised mind is equivalent to clipping a bird’s wings and restricting its ability to fly.
Our education system should be modernised to incorporate systematic redressal processes, where the school, the child and the parent are active participants. Suspension and expulsion should be considered as the last steps of this process. The government should clearly state the rules under which a student can be expelled and the circumstances that should surround the same. In the absence of these circumstances, schools should not be authorised to expel the student. Further, the student counsellor in the school shall be made an independent body to carry out the student disciplinarian practices, and the said person shall be answerable to no one.
Moreover, we must create more options to teach our children the difference between right and wrong and to make them use their minds as a tool. We have to give our children an opportunity and the space to think. We should not freeze their minds by scolding or embarrassing them. The outside world is already a tough place; we need to give our children a beautiful childhood to help them be ready for the outside world.
The government, with the help of school administrators, should create a systematic process to make schools more student-intensive. Schools should not be made jails for children where they dread going.
Further, suspension should be the last step which should be taken against the child and expulsion should be exercised only in the rarest of the rare cases. Schools should work to help the mind of the child grow and should not be a tool to torture the child. Therefore, to answer the question, neither suspension nor expulsion helps but only produces a scared mind which is a rebel, receding the growth and development of a child.
Principal, Ramagya Public School, Dadri