A student killing a teacher in a classroom and a 16-year old committing suicide, allegedly due to harassment by his teacher, are signs of a system going haywire. Our first reaction is to blame the films and the media. Films and video games are here to stay. It is for us to stay a step ahead and seek a solution. All school managements should hire full-time psychologists.
Our second reaction is to blame the teachers or parents. But teachers and parents too require professional help to deal with violent behaviour. Managements should take the help of organisations that conduct workshops for teachers to equip them on conducting interactive sessions with adolescents.
Shantha M. Doss,
The teacher who was killed was not at fault. It was the student who lacked moral values. There is no point in blaming the school, the media or movies. A child should be dealt with strictly at home and school before his behaviour starts disturbing others.
While not condoning the murder of a teacher in Chennai, it is important to understand what could have led to the murder of a teacher. A class IX student, facing adolescent crisis, tends to be touchy about his image. Up to class IX, the student must have been accustomed to easy ways. Sudden pressure to perform from teachers and parents must have hurt his pride. He must have seen the teacher as an easy victim and a representative of the hated system. Obviously, we need to take a relook at our education system.
I was a mediocre student in school (I am now 75). I failed in the second form (class VII). I was weak in mathematics. After studying in class VII again, I wrote the final exam. After the exams, my class teacher gave me a set of blank answer papers. He asked me to go home and prepare the answers for the mathematics paper and submit it the next day. I passed the second form and never looked back till I finished my college.
In those days, teachers were able to assess a student's potential. My teacher could have detained me again in class VII. But he was as able to see that I had only one hurdle to cross and was kind enough to help me. Unfortunately, students now-a-days are tested on what they do not know.
As a correspondent of an Anglo-Indian School, I once caned a class XII student for teasing a teacher in the classroom. I punished him so severely that I called him after some time and with tears in my eyes said: “I am sorry.” He replied “Sir, you were only doing your duty.” This brought more tears to my eyes. I called the teacher and the student apologised. All ended well.
The school is one big family and teachers are no different from parents. Biological parents need to understand this and prepare their wards to digest this philosophy.
Rev. Dr. Colin L. Raymond,
Senior citizens did not have much problem with corporal punishment during their school days. In fact, parents asked teachers to be strict with their children, even cane them if necessary. Agreed, those were different days when the teachers too were a committed lot. It appears we have now reached a stage when entering into an agreement with parents on the extent to which a student can be punished has become necessary.
The need to equip students with the skills needed to cope with the strains and stress of life cannot be overemphasised, especially in the aftermath of the recent murder of a teacher in Chennai. Value education should be imparted from the formative years by parents.
We belong to the ‘yes teacher' generation. At St. Ann's High School where I studied, we were moulded by our principal, Sister Philomena. With few ‘if's and ‘but's, and a lot of fear, we had unexpressed gratitude for the dear ‘Sister.' We only tried to gain knowledge and degrees. Never felt like taking ‘revenge.' Nor did we bottle up ill-feelings. True, with time, things have to change but we cannot dilute the moral values which are to be imparted to the tender minds.