Newsletter-cum-magazine of Oasis Movement YEAR 3 I ISSUE 62 I July 1, 2010

Indian Young Leadership Development Program (IYLDP) - June 2010

Do You Think Children Are Small And You Are Big?

Do You Feel They Are Silly While You Know Everything?

If Yes, Then You Are Making The Mistake Of Your Life.....

WHEN STUDENTS BECAME OUR TEACHERS ….

On 10th June, Oasis had organized IYLDP Co-ordinators’ Meet as part of planning & preparations for the launch of Life Classes project. This project is beginning in selected schools of Gujarat and Bombay from this new academic year around mid June.

Who better than the beneficiaries- the students- themselves, to guide us as to how to help them in the best possible manner…this was what sparked the idea of inviting teenaged students representing different schools with the sole objective of understanding them and learning from them. Finally, 5 students –Vatsal, Hasmita, Pratik, Krishna & Arvind – came down, completely unaware about the purpose of this invitation. Much to their surprise, they were asked to sit facing the group as VIP Panelists of the meeting. It was only then that they realized the objective of the program. Once into their role, the young students displayed an amazing maturity and calmness while responding spontaneously to a volley of questions posed by the adult group.

Voila! The results of this 1 hour interaction were not only tremendously helpful, the shocking straight-from-heart responses by these young students shifted our mindsets upside down!

Listen to what they had to share with us…

“If One Thing Could Be Done By Oasis, We Ask For Change Education!”

ON TEACHERS:

When asked about their expectations from teachers, they said, “Two things – good knowledge base and more importantly better teaching skills. They need to use the methodology of Interactions so that we can be involved better." Arvind added, "Teachers need to address to the needs of each child and should be able to help such that the child is developed further". Vatsal emphasized on the need for practical knowledge which according to him will eliminate all discriminations based on ‘exam-results’. "Most importantly, teachers need to help us develop our internal strengths/potentials, and not the syllabus. They should focus on our lives, rather than the exams or careers", said Hasmita.

“Teachers believe that those students who are naughty or mischievous are brain-less or stupid, who need to be punished/beaten up. Well, it’s the opposite. They are very intelligent and need to be loved more.”

ON PARENTS:

Talking about their guidelines for parents, they all agreed in unison – No comparisons please! While they were grateful about the support they received from their parents, they felt that it was unfair if parents were governed by social expectations.

“Parents are not in a position to understand or recognize their own children.

Parents need to feel that their real pride should be in allowing what the child wants to do for its own happiness.”

“Parents are not bothered about the happiness of the children, they are more concerned about the social norms & ‘izzat’," complains Hasmita.

“Parents need to feel that their real pride should be in allowing what the child wants to do for its own happiness", she added.

Rather than too much of discipline and forcing us to study, that hurts our growth, why not allow masti and play also?? - all agreed to Krishna's feelings.

ON OASIS LIFE CLASSES:

The discussion veered off then to the real objective of the program – what are their suggestions for Life Classes. The major expectations boiled down to –

To help Confidence-building,

To help bring out our talents / our strengths and help us solve our problems as also develop the quality of our lives.

For Life Class teachers, they had a special request – ensure a different interactive atmosphere, unlike what's prevalent in schools. They sweetly warned us that like every teacher, Oasis teachers will also be tested/tried by students in their first class. If we wont perform 100% to their satisfaction, we will lose ground!

Pratik wanted Life Classes to help prepare children in a way that they could sustain the failures of life and maintain their confidence in difficult situations. It should help children to understand their importance of life/mission and be able to create their identities, rather than just jobs etc, they reiterated.

The interactive session ended with all the Oasis co-ordinators thanking each of the teenagers sincerely for their honest opinions to help us. In turn, children also expressed their gratefulness to Oasis for helping them to create such a positive and confident outlook about life through summer camps.

~ Sheeba Nair, Managing Trustee, OASIS

End

The Most Important Qualification in Education is Love

A teacher is the most sacred and the most important to the nation, because he builds the characters of the boys and girls who will be its future citizens. In olden days the trust in the teacher was so great that the parents gave over their sons completely to him for many years, and teacher and students lived together as a family. Because this happy relation should be brought back again, I put Love first among the Qualifications which a teacher ought to have. If India is to become again the great nation which we all hope to see, this old happy relation must be re-established.

Love will enable a man to acquire all other qualities and that all the rest without it would never be sufficient. Therefore no person ought to be a teacher--ought to be allowed to be a teacher--unless he has shown in his daily life that Love is the strongest quality of his nature.

Boys who are preparing for all careers live a common life in the same school, and they can only become useful to the nation as men, if their school life is happy. A young child is naturally happy, and if that happiness is allowed to go on and grow in the school, and at home, then he will become a man who will make others happy. A teacher full of love and sympathy will attract the boys and make their school life a pleasant one.

A sympathetic teacher draws out all the good qualities in his pupils, and his gentleness prevents them from being afraid of him. To such a teacher a boy will come with all his difficulties. The good teacher remembers his own youth, and so can feel with the boy who comes to him. The love of the boy to the teacher will make him docile and easy to guide, and so the question of punishment will never arise. Thus one great cause of fear which at present poisons all the relations between the teacher and his pupil will vanish.

Living in this atmosphere of love during school hours, the boy will become a better son and a better brother at home, and will bring home with him a feeling of life and vigor, instead of coming home, as he generally does now, depressed and tired.

The whole idea of what is called "punishment" is not only wrong but foolish. A teacher who tries to frighten his boys into doing what he wishes does not see that they only obey him while he is there, and that as soon as they are out of his sight they will pay no attention to his rules, or even take a pleasure in breaking them because they dislike him. But if he draws them to do what he wants because they love him and wish to please him, they will keep his rules even in his absence, and so make his work much easier. Instead of developing fear and dislike in the characters of the boys, the wise teacher will gain his ends by calling forth from them love and devotion; and so will strengthen all that is good in them, and help them on the road of evolution.

A great part of the teacher's work lies in the playground, and the teacher who does not play with his boys will never quite win their hearts. Indian boys as a rule do not play enough, and time should be given for games during the school day. Even the teachers who have not learned to play in their youth should come to the playground and show interest in the games, thus sharing in this part of the boy's education.

In fact, all the many activities of school life should be made into channels through which affection can run between teacher and pupil, and the more channels there are the better it will be for both. As the boy grows older these channels will naturally become more numerous, and the love of the school will become the friendship of manhood. Thus love will have her perfect work.

~ Edited from "Education as Service", a book by J. Krishnamurti
Courtesy www.fullbooks.com

  Editor's Note

As conveyed in the article, it would be a mistake if the society does not consider the opinions of teenagers & young students to learn from them. Especially if they happen to be those like us who aspire to be teachers or educationists.

It was quite clearly evident during interactions with students in our IYLDP meeting that children have lots to offer us, if we genuinely become students in front of them.

If we wish the next generation to inherit learning as a culture, then parents, elders and teachers need to demonstrate it first.

~ Mehul Panchal  Mehul

  Quotable Quotes

The school must be a centre of good and joyous influences, radiating from it to the neighborhood. Studies and games must all be turned to the building of character, to the making of the good citizen, the lover of his country.

~ Annie Besant

There is no need to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.

~ J Krishnamurti

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