C Rama Devi
Childhood is a very important phase in human life as it is the foundation on which we build ourselves. The school plays a very important role in laying a strong foundation and not just in academics. Imparting life skills to students is an equally important responsibility of the school. In the past four decades, I have realized how nurturing emotional stability is very critical.
The nurturing of emotional stability requires support not only from teachers but also the home. And here is where the concept of ‘XYZ’ comes. Today’s generation is called Generation ‘Z’. Their parents belong to Generation ‘Y’. But what is important for today’s article is Generation ‘X’ – the grandparents. Everyone will agree with me when I say that the bond shared by a grandparent and grandchild is very precious. However, with nuclear families being the norm today, not many grandparents and grandchildren live together. If lucky, they meet once a year. I believe that there is a huge responsibility on Generation ‘X’ to take care of the present generation. They are the ones who should play an important role in shaping their grandchildren’s futures.
So one day, my teachers and I decided that the school would become a meaningful bridge between these two generations. We came up with an agenda where we designed some fun activities for the grandparents and their grandchildren (our students). We celebrate ‘Grandparents Day’, where grandparents are invited to the school and activities like dance, music, games and talks are included. The day is purely meant for Generation ‘X’ and ‘Z’. The idea is to make the young realize that certain situations can be handled best when you are in the company of your grandparents. Emotional stability will prevail only when they are together. Grandparents are the rocks of support to their grandchildren and an epitome of patience, affection and discipline.
Another thing that we do is to ‘Be in touch’. I feel wonderful hearing from the grandparents of today’s generation. I can relate with them as I belong to the same generation. I call up the grandparents to understand their relationship with the students and the support they get and give them. This conversation also helps me receive suggestions to improve the system in school. It is through such conversations that I often get innovative ideas that we put into practice in school.
A team of teachers and students pay surprise visits to the grandparents and spend quality time with them. This enhances the spirit of empathy, concern and sense of responsibility. The team presents the report to the school and further improvements are made in this direction if necessary. Such activities are very important for young minds as they are unaware of their grandparents’ lifestyle.
The students look forward to such visits and meets. They plan activities and execute them on their own. They are prompt in their response. Such enthusiasm from them makes me feel good as I feel that the emotional quotient is rising in today’s generation. It is a must and it must happen. As an educator, I feel my responsibility has been fulfilled.
‘XYZ’ is not the conclusion of anything, rather it is the ‘ABC’ of new learning.
The author is former Sr Principal of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan’s Public School, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad. Currently, she is the Director (Academics) Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Hyderabad Kendra. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.