Education is not just academics, passing a school examination or graduating from college. Education is a preparation for life. Academics is a part of that preparation. One has to pass the Board examination with good marks to be able to get into a good college and in the stream of one’s choice. One has to graduate and do a professional course to be able to earn a living but life is made up of much more than that. Disciplines other than academics, like games, the arts like dance, music and painting, mind games like chess, the ability to express one’s self and be convincing through elocution, oratory and debates are also necessary to educate the child to face life by giving him the confidence and the self-esteem which are necessary to be emotionally stable.
I am convinced that after all that I have said about what education is and that both the school and the parents must do whatever it takes to prepare the child for life. At school we are doing our bit. We have qualified, trained teachers to impart knowledge and prepare the student for the Board examination. We also have teachers to teach drawing and painting, craft, music, dance, games and elocution. All these are a part of the curriculum and are a part of the schedule followed in School. We also have inter-house competitions in all these activities, as many as twenty of them. We make it a point to have our children participate in each and every interschool competition so that our children get the exposure that is required to become self-confident. But many of the parents of the school defeat me by not allowing their children to take part in such activities which is really sad for the child. The reason why the parent won’t allow the child to give importance to these activities that it deserves is because many parents believe that studies are far more important and that such activities will distract the child from studying and that it is far more worthwhile to send the child for tuitions than a rehearsal session.
Every time you tell your child not to participate in an event that he has been chosen for, you are depriving him of an opportunity to grow and to develop into a multi-faceted personality. Do remember that later no one is going to ask your child what his percentage at the Board examination was. He will be judged by the way in which he portrays himself.
A child who has been taking part in a lot of events will naturally come across as a more confident person, able to interact with others than someone who has only concentrated on studies. I am not saying that the child must neglect studies to participate in events, what I am saying is that the child should be taught to cope with both effectively, without neglecting one for the other.
Mrs. Kiran Bajaj