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January 2002

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EDUCATION

 

 HOW TO DEVELOP GOOD QUALITIES AMONG CHILDREN ?

 


 

By Dr. Harnek S. Kaile

 

A teacher is supposed to tell the children that (a+b)2 =a 2 + b 2+2ab  or that Columbus discovered America in 1492 or the difference between noun and pronoun because he gets salary for it. But, apart from it, he is expected to do something else also which is not mentioned in the terms and conditions of his job and that something is 'development of good qualities among children'.

 

Education is preparation for life. A good student is hard working and pays proper attention to studies. His academic achievement should be in accordance with his abilities and if it is not so, the teacher should find out the reason for it. It is possible that the student cannot buy books, notebooks etc. because of the poor economic condition of his parents. Such students should be helped economically out of some fund like red cross or by the teacher himself. The teacher should make his teaching interesting and effective and, for this, use of audio-visual aids should be made as far as possible. High achievers should be encouraged by giving prizes.

 

A good student is a lover of books. Through them, he gains knowledge about the views of those great men who have become immortal through their writings. Great books influence our lives just as the study of the Gita had an immense effect upon the life of Mahatma Gandhi. For creating love of books among the students, the teacher himself should be a lover of books and he should tell the students about good books. Small children are interested in stories. The teacher should start telling an interesting story from some book and when it comes to a dramatic stage, he should stop telling it and say, ''If you wish to know the whole story, go to the library and read....'. Children showing knowledge of out-of-syllabus books should be awarded prizes. 

 

According to a proverb, 'If wealth is lost, nothing is lost; if health is lost, something is lost and if character is lost, everything is lost". One of the main reasons of various ills affecting humanity is character-crisis. The character of a child is influenced by his parents and social environment, but the teacher has also a significant role to play for it. Only a teacher of high character can instil qualities of character among children. He should encourage the children to read the lives of great men and religious leaders.

 

A good student respects and obeys his parents, but he does not accept their words  simply because these are uttered by them. He listens to them carefully , but takes decisions according to his own view-point. The teacher helps him in shaping his thoughts, even though his own thoughts may contradict those of the student. The views of  Plato and his disciple Aristotle were opposed to each other's, but Plato always loved his disciple and there was perfect co-ordination between them.

 

Discipline is an essential condition for implementing school programmes. It is generally taken in the sense of complete silence. Undisciplined children are given corporeal punishment because of the common belief:: spare the rod and spoil the child. But discipline of this kind is harmful and the personality of the child does not develop properly. Good discipline is self-discipline. It is not imposed by the authorities. It grows from within the child and he feels that obeying the rules and regulations of the school is in his own interest. Various committees__ discipline committee, library committee, sanitation committee etc.- may be formed and these committees should be controlled mainly by the children themselves. The teacher should not get angry over trifles. He should bear in mind that children are adolescents and indulging in small mischief is but natural for them. Certain children do mischief because they want to attract the attention of others towards them. A child was weak in studies, did not play any game or participate in any cultural activity. He always remained upset. One day, he said to his class-mates," Nobody likes me because I lag behind you in studies, games and cultural activities. But none of you can spit to as much distance as I can", and he started spitting towards the wall. The teacher should pay special attention to such students. The children should be given corporeal punishment only when there is no other way and every problem of indiscipline should not be reported to the head of the institution. The teacher should encourage the children to take part in NCC, NSS, games and cultural activities. Duke of Wellington rightly remarked, "The battle of Waterloo was won in the playfields of Eton". The teacher exerts an immense influence upon his students. If he is disciplined, his students will also be disciplined.

 

Spirit of patriotism should be inculcated among the students. The teacher should teach Dhani Ram Chatrik's poem 'Punjab Karan Ki Sifat Teri' or some other poem in such a manner  that the children may feel proud of their country. Competitions of singing patriotic songs should be held and the children should be encouraged to study the lives of great patriots. Of course, all this will be possible only when the teacher himself is a patriot.

 

Boys and girls imitate film stars and wear colourful clothes of fashionable designs. They should not run after fashions and wear simple clothes. For this, it is essential that the teacher himself should not be fashionable.

 

The teacher should take the help of parents for developing good qualities among children because the children stay in the school only for six or seven hours a day and are with their parents, relatives or friends for the remaining period and all of them influence their development.

 

Lastly, the teacher should treat the children with love and sympathy. It will go a long way in developing good qualities among them.

 

________

 

DR.HARNEK SINGH KAILE, Ph.D.(Education), M.Phil(Education), M.Ed., M.A.(English), M.A.(Punjabi) has 28 years' experience as a lecturer in a college of education, and is presently Principal, G.H.G.Kh. College of Education, Gurusar Sudhar, Distt Ludhiana(Pb.) India. He has published many research papers, including Bharti Sikhya Churahe Te (in Punjabi) which has been translated into English and is being serialised here.

 

Dr Kaile can be reached by e-mail at mailto::kamalkaile@hotmail.com