I recently met two children – twins – who had recently shifted school. They had moved from an extremely strict school to a relatively free school in Chennai.
I asked them whether they were happy in their new school. Both children jumped in joy and said they were extremely happy in the new school. I asked them the reason.
‘I can keep my hair in any fashion- single braid, double, pony tail, anything.’
‘Don’t you have any other reason?’
‘Yes, one more. Teachers don’t scold like what our earlier school teachers did.’
I think the children hit it on the nail. They need freedom- freedom from fear and the freedom to conduct themselves in a manner they deem fit and be happy.
The older school has stupid rules such as below :
- Children shall not bring snacks to school.
- Leave letters should be given as computer print outs in a standard template.
- Parents cannot ask the teachers any questions.
- In PTMs, teacher would pronounce the verdict and the parent has to hear. Parents cannot ask any questions even in the PTMs.
- Parent cannot contact the teacher in any manner to inquire about the child.
- Children would be expelled if any of the above are not adhered.
These are distilled stupidities camouflaged as rules in the guise of instilling discipline.
I am not going to name the schools. But teachers who read this, please note.