Kavita Sanghvi is a principal, a STEAM teacher, trainer, blogger, Ambassador desiring to connect STEM to Industry in schools. A leader and passionate environmentalist promoting SDG's within school curriculum to ensure education is academic and value based.
Every meeting or conference I attend and meet my colleagues, the only bone of contention they hold is handling of parent grievances. They begin the conversation with the current scenarios and within a few seconds replay the past reliving how parents nudged the students to respect the school and stood by the authorities’ decision. How things were so easy and how difficult it is to satisfy everyone’s ego.
What has actually changed in the past few years to bring both the school and parents at loggerheads most of the times? When did we lose respect for one another?
The perspectives are many and varied. Well, from the parent’s side, they are more aware and better informed. The Internet has opened doors to global education, they are checking out schools across the world and expecting the best treatment towards the students which is fair enough. They desire the very best for their child and since most have only one or two kids there is more time to focus on their wards. Moreover, they are paying high fees for their child’s education and thus want to question the school on every decision implemented. From their end, they expect good returns in terms of excellent infrastructure, high-quality academics, numerous co-curricular activities, opportunities for their ward to participate at national and international events and excellent board results, all this without burdening or stressing the child or parent.
From the educator’s end, schools are complex structures catering to the psychomotor, emotional, academic and social growth of the child. Every activity has to be planned to help manifest the child’s potential and bring it to the fore. With technology advancing rapidly, schools have to gear up to offer all the latest developments to students through co-curricular activities and thus, add more responsibility to the existing staff. When schools are donning the cap of business houses, creating more franchises, parents have become consumers. There is a continuous endeavor to please the respective stakeholder as supply outweighs the demand.
In this process of giving and taking and satisfying varied demands, the ultimate loser has become the child. From the very beginning, the child is treated like a prince or princess, their whims and fancies are either celebrated or ignored but rarely corrected. All through the school years, teachers are scared of being honest as the respective parent may just elevate the matters to heights which may hamper their career permanently. Even though both aspire the same things for the student, the approach is different and in the process, we have groomed the child for everything but failure.
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When these kids enter the real world, they may face hardships, stress, taunts or failures and they don’t have the capacity to absorb them. Their fragile ego may break leaving them helpless and vulnerable to other preys. As per article dated 25th February 2019 by Ankita Mukhopaday in India, the world’s second most populous country of over 1 billion, has one of the highest suicide rates among those aged 15 to 29 and accounts for over a third of global suicides among women each year.
The scenario is scary and needs immediate attention. It is time that both parents and school joined hands to empower the child with strong values, innate strength and independent decision making. Let our students fail or stumble and find their own path with our constant encouragement and support. Only through failures do we embrace the path to success. Only through constructive criticism at times do we scratch our surface to venture deep within ourselves. Let’s give our children those opportunities.