How to handle and influence students better was the prime focus of a convention organised for school principals.

The language of love touches and moves minds. You might be able to break open a door, but not a child's mind. Speakers at a school principals' convention organised recently in Kochi by the Nettikadan Group, spoke about how love moulds a child for the better and also boosts his confidence.

A child's mind

Motivator and trainer in public speaking, Maaney V. Paul, urged teachers and parents to speak and act responsibly so that they influence their children's mind. “Despite looking fragile, Mahatma Gandhi derived confidence from his mind. Parents and teachers must never speak in a way that degrades a child or affects his self-esteem. Negative comments would remain ingrained in a child's mind. Instead, use affirmations and beautiful words.” Teachers can help create interest in a subject. They must never discriminate and must help a child identify his strengths and weaknesses. After all, emotional intelligence and beauty are more important than physical beauty. Too much of advice might prove counter-productive. Instead, make the child talk his mind and cultivate in him listening skills. One must become a good human being before becoming a professional. Concern, care, confidence and cheerfulness can work miracles, Mr. Paul said.“Education alone will not ensure societal progress. There are a vast number of educated derelicts in our society,” felt former Judge of the Kerala High Court K. Narayana Kurup. To change this, one must persevere and have wide reading, he said, after inaugurating the convention. Referring to the order passed by him banning smoking in public places, he said that his reading habit helped him take an informed decision on the issue.

Communication

In his presentation, former VC of Sree Sankara University of Sanskrit, K. S. Radhakrishnan, said that teachers must encourage creativity among students and infuse in them self-confidence, instead of focusing on text books alone. “They should learn to communicate better with students and try to know their problems. Above all, they must remove psycho-somatic impediments in the character of students.” Primacy must be given to create good human beings who can be role models for others. Every student has a leadership quality in him. Sadly, for many teachers, it is one day of teaching and 30 years (their average period of service) of repeating the same thing.The guest of honour, Prof. P.C. Thomas, exhorted principals to be role models for teachers. T.P.M. Ibrahim Khan, Assistant Solicitor General of India and president of the Kerala CBSE Schools Managements' Association, said that timidity among children is on the rise. “Many of them are not mentally prepared to speak. The CBSE's continuous and comprehensive evaluation programme would help change the situation,” he said.