Each child is unique and the education system must cater to their individual requirements, feel educationists

What defines an ‘average’ child? Does academic performance alone reflect the aptitude on every child? How many times does a child’s talents otherwise remain unexplored due to such blanket branding by society?

These issues are often discussed and debated at length by educationists, psychologists, policy makers and innovators at conferences on education across the country.

“The gap between the worlds of a child and an adult is so wide that often the problems of a child go unnoticed. I handle cases where often learning disorders go unidentified. This leads to low performance and the gradual branding of a child as an ‘average’ without realising that the process often leaves out the diverse potential untapped. Slowly, the pressures and the expectations of regular academic performance mount huge and lead to various behavioural problems within a child,” said Dr. Aruna Broota, a clinical psychologist.

Teachers point out the need to realise that each child is unique and that the education system must cater to their individual requirements. “At present, the monolithic model of trying to fit all sizes into one is something that we need to improve on,” said a teacher Rehana Siddiqui.

The importance of teachers and parents alike in helping the ‘average’ child cope with the demands of the time to emerge as successful professionals is paramount.

“The need of the hour is to build modules within the academic circles so as to tackle the twin problems of behavioural issues and academic mishaps,” said Jyotsna Bharadwaj, educator and facilitator at NCERT.

“In our various models in place in different institutions and organisations, we build up a support chain of teachers and psychologists to talk to students, identify their problem areas and tackle their issues at the levels of counselling, providing extra care and attention via tutoring and working with them,” added Deepinder Seekhon, director of Turning Point.

Several educationists feel that the idea of an ‘average’ child is more of a construct than a reality. And that it needs to be dismantled at the earliest.

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