A sixth standard student committed suicide. The reason- he fared badly in science for his second term exam. The boy's parents have filed a case against the school management and the science teacher.
A plus two student hanged herself to death, the reason again being low grades in the annual exam. Here the parents and the school management come together against the girl's class teacher. Anyway, in both the cases, the teachers are dismissed. Now such cases have become so ordinary in our schools. But why? Why are they happening again and again?
Today I watched a beautiful movie, "Dead Poets Society". It is about the strong bond that a teacher and his adolescent students share: a teacher who guides them to be free thinkers, who advises them to swim against the current, who introduces to them the beauty of the term 'carpe diem/ seize the day'. Through his 'unorthodox' methods of teaching he instills in his students a love for poetry, literature, a sense of confidence, unity, courage, team spirit, what not... . The denouement of the movie is similar to the real life incidents I mentioned above. The fate of the teacher is no less different from those of the ones above. But the reason for his expulsion is wrong, completely unfair and reprehensive. I don't want to delve into the details because I really wish that everyone should watch that movie.
While watching this movie my experiences as a teacher (however limited) with my students, their parents, the school management, everything just flashed by. Whenever some mishap happens, it is so easy to put the blame on the teacher and then to shush the whole issue. Do you think a child, when he fares badly in a particular subject, gets so scared to face his teacher that he simply goes and hangs himself? Is that the only reason behind his putting his life to an end? What if it was about his parents' dreams; the burden of not reaching up to their expectation, of being unable to face their wrath and anger?... . The agony of peer pressure, undesirable comparisons made by his parents and yes, even teachers? The element of force played by his parents to see him excel in subjects he likes the least. When a child is driven to suicide, we the parents forget what we did to his morale, we fumble and blame the next available person, his teacher.
I wish we had a curriculum where everything was not valued in terms of marks, marks that are put in numerals. As the students reach higher classes I wish they had the freedom of choice, and we as teachers the wisdom of guiding each of them with the right choice; every student, every individual, is blessed with some kind of potential by the Almighty. I wish we lived in a society where people realized that no area of knowledge is inferior. Then the life of these young ones would not have been nipped in the bud.
I wish things were different. What about you? Do you think the outlook of our society should change? Please let me know your views.