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Guruvani: Moral education classes are a must

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…

Aalka James, Mount Carmel School, Near Chhatbir Zoo, Zirakpur.(HT)

Your most interesting moment as principal of Mount Carmel School and biggest challenge?

When a student comes to revisit the school and drops in to visit me, I know I have been able to touch a life. When I get a thank you note from a child whom I have helped resolve some issue, it validates the long hours I put into work. Each time a fifth grader comes up to me and gives me a hug or an eighth grader stops me in the corridor ‘just to chat’, I am reminded of why I decided to become a principal.The biggest challenge I face as a principal is carrying the burden of worries, frustrations and challenges of others.

What helps you identify a talented student or leadership qualities?

The first step is to recognise students’ gifts. Talented children usually exhibit behavioural traits such as being curious, motivated and having a good memory.

Should students be labelled mediocre or average ?

I don’t think students should be labelled ‘mediocre’ or average. Labels discourage students. Teachers should keep a tab on students who need extra attention. With consistent efforts, we can produce a better result.

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

Moral education classes will go a long way. The consequences of consuming drugs should be impressed upon students with the help of real-life examples. They should be shown motivational videos of renowned personalities.

One school community outreach project that you are proud of?

Our school is helping the community by adopting flora and fauna in Chatt village and Chattbir Zoo. We have already adopted a leopard. We aim to save the endangered species of our country.

Initiative schools should take to help students develop an interest in science, math, humanities or research?

School should organise exhibitions and fairs where students can demonstrate projects related to science, math, and computers. Such activities should be conducted more often to appreciate students’ efforts. Our school also has many STEM - based learning programmes.

At what age do youngsters start firming up career plans? What should schools do to encourage them to explore newer or off beat avenues?

There is no definite age limit for firming up career plans and it totally depends upon the progression and interest of the student in various fields such as science,math and computer.

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

We have moral education classes, which help impart spiritual knowledge and wisdom to students and instils a sense of responsibility in them.