By Mr. Pope
AFTER having served in the educational field for the past 26 years, I know that an ideal educational institution is difficult to come by. A school today is but a commercial enterprise where there is much profit for both the undividable and the establishment. However, such an institution may well be considered the best by mostly elite and gullible parents. Those who establish their opinion on the basis of their son’s results, have they ever wondered as to what or who it was who helped their son achieve that. What then is the school that I dream of?
Well, when a little one takes his first step into school, he should be met with a pleasant face like mummy’s, especially in the classroom. This means that teachers, when recruited, must have at least a pleasant personality if not an attractive one. Not as an added qualification, but a mandatory one instead more so in the junior school. After all they are dealing with humans and not machines, where just a mere degree in the field would suffice. This would prevent all Sundry from opting for the educational field. Most of whom treat it as a profession. Little realizing that education of the young is meant to be a vocation – a calling and not otherwise.
In the classroom the child should feel at home, because it is here that he spends the major part of his day. To fulfill this, the classroom must be conducive to learning, where the infrastructure is good, with enough room Between students and enough fresh air and ventilation rather than them being made to feel like ones amidst a can of sardines.
The knowledge that is to be imparted to the students during their tenure in school should be well graded and above all progressive. Children today have more than their share of stress and strain without school management adding to it. A school should impart quality education to meet the end demand and not try and ape neighboring educational institutions that provide supposedly, notonly quality but also quantity education, at the expense and suffering of both parents and students which often leads to the degradation of the average and weaker students in society.
In today’s competitive world, schools tend to want to produce masterminds most of whom are alien to the basic values of life and in so doing let so many falls by the wayside.
On the other hand, the teaching fraternity of an ideal school which I dream of should be dedicated to their task. The environment for such staff has got to be clean and free from favoritism, backbiting, snitching and above all egoism and exploitation.
As such the principal/ headmaster/ teaching staff must have a thorough knowledge of psychology so as to maintain not only a healthy and ordial relationship but also an understanding of those employees and students are trusted to them respectively.
Teachers are really the backbone of a school. They should always be made to feel comfortable while at work so as to enable them to perform their best. They should never be subjected to work abuse, which invariably kills their enthusiasm much to the work of the students that day. Also, assignments and the whimsical expectations of the management must at all times be judicial, thus ensuring that no individual be overburdened in such a manner as to affect his/her work, family, health and performance.
Above all, my desire for the school I dream of is that it be an epitome of democracy. There should always be goodwill prevalent between administrator and employee, teacher, student, and parent. All dealings in the school, must be fair and above board irrespective of personal difference, sex, and status in the society. There should co-exist between all, a true spirit of enthusiasm, co-operation, undemanding and appreciation.
In such a situation administrating teaching and learning blend in congeniality, making the school the most tranquil place to be for all those involved in its organizsation and contribution to all those young minds bestowed upon us teachers.
EUCENE POPE (This essay is one of the prize winners at the Teachers’ Day contest organized by Scholastic India (PVT Ltd)).