The Newspaper in Education sessions focus on personality development.

Greeting teachers with a bright ‘good morning’, running errands for elders and listening to parents was what respect was all about, believed students of Sri Vageesha Vidyashram, Srirangam. But by the end of the NIE session, students learnt the golden rule of respect- ‘to treat others just the way you wish to be treated’.

The Newspaper in Education sessions focus not merely on scholastic improvement, but with personality development being interwoven strongly into the structure. The first module of ‘Being Humane’ session drove home the lesson that respect does not constitute mere niceties to elders and others, but ‘doing unto others as you want them do to you’, irrespective of them being juniors, peers or seniors. Resource person Chandra veered students to discuss ‘respect’ with an ice-breaker, “Why do we call ourselves humane?”.

Criticise and compliment gracefully

As an initial activity, the class was divided into groups and set the task of planning a fictional farewell party or an excursion.

While each group listed their plans, the other teams pointed out the pros and cons of organisational details. According to Ms. Chandra, the exercise promoted mutual respect through participation, listening to each other and working as a team. By pointing out the positives and negatives, students learnt to give and accept appreciation and criticism gracefully. “It is important to criticise the action, never the person,” was the resource person’s gentle reminder.

Playing by the rules

Respecting possessions and regulations are a natural extension of respecting an individual. Handling possessions of others with equal care like one’s own possessions was a sign of respect to the person, said Ms.Chandra. The session concluded with a newspaper activity where students had to zero in on photographs that conveyed respect in The Hindu.