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Moulding the young

Teachers have to be more responsible to understand the future needs of the generations and the country. 

Teachers have to be more responsible to understand the future needs of the generations and the country.  | Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Every nation strives to provide health and education as basic rights for all its citizens. Unfortunately, the poor in many countries still suffer injustice and lack access to healthcare and educational institutions.

In the recent days, the media has been reporting more number of suicides among school and college students, especially women; violence and murders among the youth; unhealthy politics and fights leading to a stalemate in development; road accidents causing an increasing number of deaths due to bad roads and drunken and rash driving; and an increasing number of domestic violence cases due to unemployment, alcoholism and socio-economic discrepancies among the large population.

All these indicate the poor quality of life and living standards of our people in the available socio-economic and political situations of society. We could explore the reasons with our own previous generations and their failure to develop a congenial environment for the next generation to find a healthy living.

The educational institutions play an important role in building the present and the future generations as responsible and worthy individuals with knowledge, a positive attitude and a spirit of coexistence, helping each other in trouble and living a happy shared life. The teachers of these institutions have to be more responsible to understand the future needs of the generations and the country and should be role models to develop a generation of creativity and humanness.

In all the developed countries, the importance of building the younger generation to change the trends of the country was felt much earlier by everyone — the people, leaders, educational institutions, policy makers and political parties. The educational institutions especially developed study models and training programmes on attitudinal and behaviour change as part of the academic education in schools.

One-third of the population in our country is spending long hours in educational institutions for studies. It is the ideal period to bring in changes among them in behaviour, attitude and a vision for the future.

The question is, are we prepared or equipped and do we have an agenda with our resources to bring in changes among our younger generation of students through training in our educational institutions?

Raising standards

Raising the standard of teachers, supporting staff and administrators in the education field and moreover, the busy parents who are occupied with their work is a challenge before us. So it starts with the training of teachers in bringing about an attitudinal change towards the students by being role models and through their willingness and interest in changing the younger generation to develop a proper understanding of liberty, equality, fraternity, self-righteousness and brotherhood. They should desire to bring in changes among youth for developing an egalitarian society. The same attitude should be developed among the supporting staff.

The parents need to be oriented towards grooming their children and their behaviour and attitude and changing the psychosocial aspects of the family and societal atmosphere, which will grossly influence their children.

The educational institutions should develop a parallel structured programme along with academics towards changing the mindset of the students through parents, teachers, supporting staff and media. The component of the programme should start with assessing the mindset of students who come from different socio-economic backgrounds. It could help the teachers and trainers to understand their needs, strength and deficiencies. This programme should be integrated as part of the already existing health programmes for students.

The programme envisages screening of all the students for minor and major ailments, history of familial illness and mental status of students through prescribed assessment forms. The illness shall be categorised and computerised for ready reference.

Minor ailments are treated in the vicinity of the institution by a medical team. Major ailments are referred to specialty hospitals, which are usually fewer in number. Some of the familial and hereditary illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidaemia, myopia, obesity and breast cancer could be addressed with definite precautionary methods from childhood as prevention strategies. The behavioural changes and food habits alter the genetic representation of diseases pattern of the individual. If these preventive methods are followed from childhood, the individual could be made physically and mentally fit to face the future world of challenges.

The entire team involved in this programme — educational administration, parents, teachers, supporting staff, media and the students — should be made to understand clearly that education is not something to add to qualification or degree but to make an individual to be a better human being with a positive attitude to society.

Unfortunately, education is considered a tool to add a prideful degree and get employment but not to be a man or a woman with positive human attitudes. The real education should remove the social barriers. The students should also be mentally prepared to adjust with newer environments, success, defeat, worry and happiness with the available training models with illustration through plays.

Sufficient amount of budgeting is required for the smooth running of this training and it shall be mandated through government orders and implicit obedience and implementation of these orders by all the educational institutions. The institution should never try to exhibit the differences on the grounds of religion, caste, region, and colour at any point of time and if at all it is required for administrative purposes, it should be confidential without other students knowing about it.

This programme should also involve students in physical labour through sports, gardening, upkeep of campus, and social activities through the NSS and the NCC, which also brings in closeness among the students without any barriers.

We have to take a strong decision to develop this scheme standard- and age-wise with experts to bring in strong positive mental and physical attitudes through training and implement it meticulously involving both government and non-governmental agencies. Each educational institution should form a medical and health unit with a doctor, nurse and psychologist. This will definitely reduce hatred, any suicidal tendency and selfishness and set a great dream towards developing the future generation of our country.

drkugan@yahoo.com


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Printable version | Aug 14, 2022 12:12:21 am | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/moulding-the-young/article65746770.ece