Handling problems of students in changing school environment

Today the pressures of a rapidly changing society are taking their toll on families, schools and other sections of the society, that are critical to ensure students’ healthy growth and development. Here’s how to handle problems of students in changing school environment.

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The traditional networks of support are less likely to be in place for many students. The technological revolution and media saturated society has brought in a new paradigm in the education system. This has cited great difficulties in the life of students. Many of them seem to feel that the time of childhood is a period of pure innocence, unlimited fun and games with no responsibilities of the adult world. Unfortunately the harsh reality of childhood life is much different from this utopian fantasy. It is rightly said, “The problem is everywhere: far too few young people are being gifted with the positive experiences, opportunities and relationships that nurture the character and commitment they need to be healthy, productive and contributing members of society.”

Different problems of students

Nowadays students are facing certain problems that can’t be overlooked. Due to cut throat competitions and comparisons, many students are becoming victims of depression in their teens. Sometimes school climate also impacts the students’ mind very badly. They are not able to cope up with rigid school policies. Moreover, high expectations and goal oriented curriculum without providing them supportive environment shatters their personality completely. On the other hand, sometimes it gets difficult for the students to adjust with teachers of different temperaments. Some teachers adopt the right method of instruction whereas others encourage passive mugging up.

Difficulty in getting along with friends is also one of the common problems faced by students who find it difficult to mix up easily with anyone. Their introvert and reserved attitude hampers their all round development. Another problem faced by the students of vernacular medium is the problem of language. As in most countries, English is the dominant language and it is considered that one’s intelligence depends upon one’s ability of speaking this language fluently. So, whenever there is verbal communication and group discussions, even the brilliant students of vernacular medium are not able to give good performance. They suffer just because they lack in communication skills.

Being labeled and bullied is a dominating problem seen amidst school students. This problem is a sign of non-supportive environment which results them not to connect with the school culture and atmosphere. In some cases, infrastructure is also a problem. In some schools, plenty of space to play is not available which obstructs the growth of children.

Facing defeat is another problem in schools. The comments and criticism for failure are more painful than the defeat itself. It hinders the emotional balance of students. Lack of motivation and encouragement adversely affects the life of students.

Apparently, stressful curriculum is also one of the biggest hurdles in the holistic development of a child. Sometimes, students are overburdened with home work, assignments, class activities, recaps and number of things. Physical education is also considered as secondary in majority of schools. Major subjects are given priority over this.

Impact on students…

Due to these, many school kids are becoming the victims of depression, anxiety and stress. A large number of children develop disorders of conduct,such as lying, stealing, truancy etc. Some students become victims of bad company.

School problems can also result in absenteeism, poor academic performances, lack of motivation for school, loss of interest in school work or poor relationships with peers or teachers. School difficulties range from minor to severe, might be very short-lived or last longer. Even short-term school problems can have a negative impact on students. The schools are behaving the way system desires, not as per needs of the children. Classrooms are killing creativity in students, and they do not have opportunity to share deep issues instinctively. School problems make children sick, unhappy, hyperactive and failing individuals.

Handling problems…

“All birds find shelter during rain, but the eagle avoids rain by flying above the clouds. Problems are common but the attitude makes the difference.”

Education is the backbone in the development of any nation. It is the fact that the countries with effective system of education lead the world, both socially and economically. The key to development is good education system. “When we think about kind of character we want from our young people, it is clear that we want them to be able to judge what is right even in the phase of pressure,” and a teacher plays an important role in guiding and modifying a child’s personality. It is rightly said, “Achievement is meaningless if it is coupled with stress and anxiety.” Following are the ways to motivate children:

1. It is noteworthy that accepting and facing any problem solves it to a great extent. If a rabbit closes its eyes in front of a tiger, will it be spared? Obviously not! So, one must face the problem and by self-counseling one must attain fearless state of mind. The teachers should inculcate this in their students.

2. No doubt the expectations are high but along with expectations, we should offer opportunities for students to engage in positive behaviors through classroom and service-learning activities.

3. A respectful, caring and reciprocal relationship should be built among students.

4. Encouragement should be given to students that,“Everyone has a talent and so do you. Let it shine out. Embrace your personality and unchain your inner strength”.

5. They should be provided with physical and emotional safety without bullying, ridicule or put down.

6. They should also be engaged in relevant experiences. Social competence helps students develop a positive self-perception and confidence that they know how to make good things happen for themselves.

7. They should be helped to strengthen their critical thinking skills through opportunities to compare, analyze, predict, clarify, interpret, link, and infer.

8. Schools should make a positive difference in the mental health of the children develop these young citizens into healthy adults.

9. A struggle to change the education scenario should be undertaken in order to make a change.

10. The schools should do away with the practice of discriminating students on the basis of academic performance and must respect the difference of abilities among them and treat them equally. A counselor should be appointed for staff as well as for students.

11. An open environment should be given to students for enhancing their creativity and novel ideas.

To conclude, a positive difference in schools can build up the confidence of students as “Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom”.

Dr Upendra Kaushik, B Com (Hons), M Com, B Ed, Ph D, D Litt is in school education and administration since 1978. He is a well known educationist, consultant, mentor, trainer, motivator and institution strategist. He has authored 19 books and has rich experience in the field of Curriculum Development, Measurement and Evaluation, Development of Text Books and Instructional Materials. He has been a resource person for training programmes on Value Education, Consumer Education, Population and Development Education, General Management, Marketing Management, Capacity Building for Skill-Upgradation, and associated with CBSE, NIOS,CIE University of Delhi, etc. Since 1990, he has trained more than 2,000 entrepreneurs. He is the recipient of more than 65 accolades at the State, National and International level, Dr Upendra Kaushik retired as Chairman, Governing Body, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan’s Vallabhram Mehta Public School, Vadodara.