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Education beyond Academics

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By Shreya Mukherjee 

To be considered educated, students should leave school with a deep understanding of themselves and with sufficient skills on how they would fit into the world and contribute in adding value to society and, most importantly, the ability to self-manage.

The COVID-19 pandemic has, without doubt, exacerbated the global scenario of education. Courtesy online teaching, children remained in touch with academic curriculum, but education took a back seat. Some educationists wonder whether technology added to the disconnect between what makes an educated person and how that education is being delivered.

The grief, anxiety, lack of physical movement and depression children experienced in the last 26 months, is welling over into classrooms, resulting in disruptive behaviour of students and increased violence, bullying and inappropriate language etc…

However, all is not lost… having been in the education industry for nearly three decades we have been making a continuous effort towards personality development and character building of our students. With changing times the one thing that cannot change is the value system we build for our students. Communication, etiquette, body language and mannerisms are areas we all need to focus on.

Schools have three stakeholders; the management, teachers and parents, and all three have to work in unison for the one end result which is the holistic growth of every student. While we put maximum effort into academic growth, we have to have the proper balance with talent and skill building as well. However, in today’s world, what is missing is inculcating the strong Indian culture into our students. With modernisation and westernisation, gradually, the young generation is becoming distant from their own roots. Over the years, with the increasing competition, the emphasis on marks has been so much that we have all just concentrated on academics and not education. It is time that the educational institutions across the country work towards inculcating the richness of our culture into our students. It is time we ensure passing out of good human beings and not just degree holders from our respective organisations.

With the vision of investing in moral health of children in a broad and comprehensive way, Seven Oaks School conducted an “Indian Epic Book Work –Literary Fest” for students from class I to V.

The various book clubs were Ramayana – The Great Indian Epic, The Mahabharata, Bhagavad Gita for Children, Panchtantra, Tales of Akbar and Birbal. Covering such vast topics in two days was naturally impossible, however, the students floated across the various clubs and at least we could gain their keen interest and introduce them to these great epics. The only tool we used were books from the library, there was no YouTube and no Google! The closing ceremony included various paper presentations, skits, shloka recitals and so on.

It was a very fulfilling experience to see the zeal and exuberance our students participated with. We chose this particular age as we believe that it is the foundation that all schools need to really put in their efforts on. If a school successfully manages to build a strong primary section they will never face any issue with the senior section.

As a progressive and vibrant school, in our Value Journey, we commit ourselves to move from extra-curricular activities like sports, music and art, etc., to everything as curricular, integrating Value Education with scholastic and co- scholastic fields to develop positive environment and feelings so that students are enabled to internalise those and activate all domains of learning–cognitive, psychomotor and affective.

(Shreya Mukherjee neḕ Ganguli has studied at Welham Girls’, done Economic (Hons) from Delhi University, and has a Post Graduate Diploma in Management, Birla Institute of Management Technology. She is presently HRM and Administration and a Board Member, Seven Oaks School, Dehradun.)

 

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