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Guruvani: Keep students engaged in activities they like

By Hindustan Times | By HT Correspondent,

This forum provides school principals/ teachers a chance to share their views and insights on a wide range of subjects with students.

Anjali Singh, principal, Ajit Karam Singh International Public School, Sector 123, Kharar.(HT)

Anjali Singh, principal, Ajit Karam Singh International Public School sharing her views with students, Singh says schools should keep students engaged in activities of their interest, conduct meditation sessions and sports activities daily to mobilise their mind and soul. She says that learning by doing, connecting abstract to real, application-based activities, more practical less theory and use of technology can make teaching more effective and interesting. She adds that teacher–student relation should be cordial so that the student can share his or her problems.

What helps you identify a talented student or leadership material?

We apply different approaches such as probing and reinforcement. We conduct activities, competitions, IQ testing and quiz. Also, celebration of festivals motivate the students to explore their potential. Ample opportunities are given to them to shun their inhibitions and lead the way.

Do you believe students should be labelled as ‘average’ or ‘mediocre’? Have you come across a student who has excelled after being labelled?

In my opinion, no child should be tagged as every child has different abilities and as an educator we must not undermine their abilities. However, children do need extra or individual attention in some areas and we as educators must facilitate their requirements by adopting various pedagogies to enhance the skills in which they lag behind.

Rarely it is seen that a student excelled after being labelled. On the contrary they feel heart- broken. They are much pampered at home which at times does not let them accept their shortcomings.

What should schools do to stop students from indulging in substance abuse?

Schools should keep students engaged in activities of their interest, conduct meditation sessions and sports activities daily to mobilise their mind and soul. Drug prevention programmes should be organised for senior students to spread awareness about the harmful effects of drugs. Teaching-learning process at school-level should be more practical and realistic to keep them occupied.Teacher–student relation should be cordial so that the student can share his or her problems.Here, I would like to say that even parent-teacher relation should be warm so that problems can be solved with mutual understanding to make sure that child is emotionally strong, mentally alert and physically fit to keep away from substance abuse.

Initiatives school should take to help students to develop interest in science, mathematics, humanities or researches?

Learning by doing, connecting abstract to real, application-based activities, more practical less theory and use of technology can make teaching more effective and interesting. Students, nowadays, need to be engaged in cross-questioning and group discussions, their aptitude could be gauged and accordingly guidance can be provided so that education in real sense can teach them the way of living.

Do teachers have to double up as counsellors for personal and academic advice to students? What are the most common complaints that you have addressed and how?

Yes, teachers sometime do have to play the role of a counsellor because students feel comfortable with teachers. The teachers have to act as medium of communication between student and parents. Nevertheless, a counsellor in the school can be a great help in critical cases by applying different approaches and can give proper solutions to the anxieties students. The most common complaint is that the children do not listen to their parents or do not study at home and the only question I put across to such parents is, How much time does the whole family sit together in the entire day?

Does your school have any unique programme for all-round holistic development of students?

We indulge the students in all type of activities such as frequent meditation sessions, thematic assemblies, general moral talks, indoor games, art and craft, music, performing visual and creative art. Talent-oriented competitions are being conducted in our school wherein the students can give free vent to their talent. Different festivals and events are celebrated to offer them opportunities which, further, can lead to overall development of the students. Teachers are voluntarily helping the children to come out of difficulties.

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