Most cities, these days, are very much like one another. Therefore it is only when you teach in the rural areas, the hills and places faraway that you realize the mismatch between what students study in school and what they need to know to survive in their environment. This is when you realize the importance of indigenous knowledge and why it should be a part of what we are teaching children.
Of late, schools have been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Somewhere the roof of a school has caved in and children have died. In another school one child has killed another. There is a teacher who is sexually abusing a student. A fire breaks out in a school. How long should we wait for schools to be in the news for all the right reasons?
There are exceptionally brilliant students and there are those who believe that they are not good at anything. Why are there these different kinds of students? What leads them to believe what they are? Can we, as adults, make the students who say ‘I cannot…’ say ‘I can…’?
It appears that everybody is concerned about school safety. Governments have put laws in place, schools are taking measures to ensure the safety of the child. And yet the dangers to children while at school are only growing. Ensuring safety in schools is a continuous process that also requires sensitive, sensible and concerned people in authoritative positions to continually monitor the system.
Chintan Girish Modi
In all the talk about safety in schools, there is one thing that gets little or no mention. How safe do children who identify with alternative sexual identities feel? Are our schools understanding and accommodative of these children? What can we do to make these children feel at ‘home’ in school?
The idea that the school is a safe haven is fast turning utopian. From the moment a child leaves for school until he gets back home safely, a parent is more often than not anxious. Transport mishaps, accidents on the playground, physical and mental abuse, infrastructural lapses, danger seems to be lurking everywhere and all the time. Let us work to make schools safe again.
With Google acknowledged as a relevant source of information and knowledge provider, is the traditional teacher still necessary? Of course she is. Only her role has changed from that of a knowledge provider to that of a nurturer, inspirer and a guide.