Changing role of schools in the Global World
The schools have to play the role of mentor and facilitator, moderator and motivator, educator and goal-setter while dealing with the young-learners for their character and career-building and instilling the life skills in them to make them successful human resource with national and global soul.
Swoyan Satyendu, Director, ODM Public School shares his views on the changing role of schools in the global world.
TPS: With a fast-changing world and its impact on family and lifestyles, there is evidence of the change in the social psyche of the students and the parents. What kind of new challenges are seen by schools in managing this changing social psyche?
Swoyan: The world now is in the phase of a very critical transition with many potential changes and challenges. First, the world has been a global village with digital explosion and scientific progression. Second, with ascending population graph particularly in bigger nations like ours, people now encounter struggle for existence and survival of the fittest in socio-economical and political spheres, employment avenue and inter-personal relationship. The third is the self-centric, competitive, shallow and hollow mindset in many. The fourth is the inadequate, insufficient, impractical, narrow and conservative attitude and aptitude in many despite all our booms and blooms in science and technology, mass education and financial sector.
Many remain still uneducated; at the same time, many educated and qualified degree holders remain practically valueless despite their education and qualifications. Again, very frequent and rapid systemic changes in education in the name of reformation too have affected our school system. Nuclear families with individualistic mindset also is a threat to society and education. All these have made potential impact in the lifestyle and psyche of the people including the students, teachers and parents in the education-horizon. They have resulted in a gloom of insecurity and uncertainty, ambiguity and ambivalence in our schools despite all our diligent and meticulous advancements and reformations in curriculum and syllabus, evaluation and measurement, teachers’ orientation and enrichment. Moreover, parents’ pressure, peers’ pressure, learning-inefficiencies and deficiencies, numerous hazy attractions and distractions, ambitions and competitions also cause stress, anxieties, withdrawal syndrome, rejection and dejection, physical and mental deterioration among youngsters.
The schools at the ground level face many such new challenges while managing such changing lifestyle and psyche. They have the Herculean responsibility to maintain parents-teachers balance, school and competitive coaching balance while removing the obstacles like learning-deficiency and succeeding in their pedagogical aims and objectives. They also have the additional accountability of andragogical guidance and counseling to the parents. They now necessarily have to play the role of mentor and facilitator, moderator and motivator, educator and goal-setter while dealing with the young-learners for their character and career-building and instilling the life skills in them to make them successful human resource with national and global soul.
TPS: Conflict management is becoming a vital life skill for the younger generation of today? This can be done only with the support of the parents? How do you think you can bring synergy between the school rules and regulations, parental expectations and children’s social needs?
Swoyan: As a modern miasma, young generation is now potentially afflicted with self-conflict, indecisiveness, helplessness, hopelessness, doubts and confusions. Hence, the conflict management of youngsters is a very vital life skill to be inculcated in them primarily by the parents at home and teachers in the school. Meticulous parenting-patronage right from childhood providing the children balanced diet, emotional balance, basic needs, healthy and positive attitude, moral courage, healthy family living, good hobbies and habits, communication skills, self-esteem etc. go a long way in empowering a child to combat self-conflict. Teachers in school have a substantial role in facilitating support to him in his learning-while-doing experience, promotion of inner talent and interest, balancing scholastic and co-scholastic areas, child-centric joyful teaching-learning, participatory and constructive learning, activity and project based quest, social zeal and zest make a child look at the world with happiness and success. Thus, this way, both parents and teachers can make a child a good decision-maker and conflict-manager with knowledge and information, logic and reason, confidence, self-esteem and social skills.
TPS: Many schools have parent-teacher associations which help in the growth profile of the school as well as in ensuring smooth transactions between the stakeholders. However what are the challenges of managing a parent-teacher association?
Swoyan: Parents-Teachers-Association is one of the mandatory and foremost needs of a successful school for maintaining a healthy bridge between home and school, for sharing and understanding each-other’s views and problems for the purpose of congenial and beneficial solutions and resolutions in the interest of all stake-holders.
However, there are formidable challenges too in PTA management. Often, it has been bitterly experienced that parents neither care for the child at home, nor care for the school’s advices cooperatively. Some parents’ personal family problem causes lot of obstacles for the teachers in achieving desirable growth of their children but ultimately those parents find fault with the school only. Many parents with their unilateral, individualistic, selfish and domineering views and opinions behave aggressively and negatively with the school-management with potential threats. Unfortunately, the schools are now easy target for many parents and also so-called non-parents-leaders to criticize, when actually it should have been the opposite and there should always be very healthy and cooperative relationship among schools and parents with sole goal of children’s growth and development.
Adequate love and respect, watchful freedom and liberty, sincere inspiration and perspiration, opportunity and empathetic affection will bring out a vivid and vibrant child out of timid and frigid child, a proficient child from an inefficient and pessimistic child.
TPS: In the context of changing social psyche, many children suffer serious emotional problems, inadequacies and need personal help? What could be an institutionalized mechanism to facilitate them on an on-going basis?
Swoyan: The changing social psyche of the modern times has been stupendously instrumental for many children’s emotional sufferings, physical and mental mal-nourishment, depression, inferiority complex and frustration. All schools need to establish institutionalized mechanism of guidance and counseling cell to deal with such children in distress and need. We believe all teachers need be excellent counselors and motivators. Adequate love and respect, watchful freedom and liberty, sincere inspiration and perspiration, opportunity and empathetic affection will bring out a vivid and vibrant child out of timid and frigid child, a proficient child from an inefficient and pessimistic child.
The parents need to be regularly apprised of different necessary information related to scholastic and coscholastic happenings, be guided time to time regarding child’s proper upbringing, be invited to PTA meetings for discussions and opinions, be informed about the system of measurement and evaluation, learning barriers etc.
TPS: Parental education is considered as an integral part of school management nowadays. What should be the key areas you think parents need to be educated with regard to empowering their wards?
Swoyan: All homes and parents need be very conducive and supportive for a child to grow healthily and happily. Parents’ proper education and knowledge of parenting skill is equally important. But, unfortunately all parents are not up to this expectation. Therefore, all visionary schools and educators educate the parents at regular intervals and orient them on proper parenting. The parents need to be regularly apprised of different necessary information related to scholastic and co-scholastic happenings, be guided time to time regarding child’s proper upbringing, be invited to PTA meetings for discussions and opinions, be informed about the system of measurement and evaluation, learning barriers etc. The principal of the school should address the parents on different properly planned and programmed occasions to redress their grievances and provide them influential and impressive inputs how to manage their children at home. Good Parenting is real wealth. The saying goes, “You need not make wealth if your children are good, you need not make wealth if your children are bad.” Good children are real wealth and happiness, bad children will put wreath on all your wealth and happiness. Therefore, above all priorities, intelligent and wise people always invest all their time, labor and resources in making their children excellent human resource with proper culture, values, education, skill and attitude. Every father and mother has the responsibility to grow and develop, nourish and flourish the baby-sapling right from its first stage of conception.
Both parents and teachers can make a child a good decision-maker and conflict-manager with knowledge and information, logic and reason, confidence, self-esteem and social skills.
Swoyan Satyendu, is Director at ODM Public School. An alumni of Harvard University, London School of Economics and Shri Ram College of Commerce, DU, Swoyan Satyendu, is the second generation entrepreneur looking after growth and expansion at ODM Educational Group.
Swoyan is a renowned Career Advisor and a motivational speaker for children in the space of education in Odisha.