‘Each kid marches to their own drum,’ says Auradha Monga

Anuradha Monga says that students today are exposed to new kinds of global issues.
Anuradha Monga, heads Banglore International School.
Anuradha Monga, heads Banglore International School.
Updated on Oct 03, 2019 04:35 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByHT Correspondent

In your opinion, do you think it is important for educators to provide early exposure to global issues? If so, why?

My years of interacting with children has taught me something important – each child is built to follow the beat of their own individual drums. This, for me, is where learning truly occurs – when we are able to tap into the natural rhythm of each child.

While this may seem difficult on the surface, it is something we have achieved in our approach to students at the school. In a world where the realities of existence are more grim and tense than ever before, both environmentally, politically and technologically; it is important that educators play the crucial role of understanding and treating each child as an individual first.

As a student, waking up to headlines of wars, climate change, catastrophic changes in landscapes and species extinctions can be overwhelming, and rightfully so.

Given these circumstances, we as educators need to assume the role of facilitators more than that of teachers. We must show them how to make sense of their world and navigate it as best as they can. Global Perspectives may be a subject that is taught at the primary level but in my opinion, it ought to be introduced from the early years itself.

The reasoning behind this stems from the severity of issues that children are exposed to on a daily basis. While media has the power to disseminate awareness, its all-pervasive nature has caused a plethora of issues along the way.

What kinds of methods do you believe should be employed to help children cope with these stressors at the school level?

I believe introducing counselling and mindfulness classes are essential to assist children cope with pressures of schooling and academics.

Over and above this, it is important to encourage children to engage in dialogue, to question things, and distinguish between facts and biases or misinformation.

Accurate research is one aspect that we stress upon but actual dialogue with people from different countries allows students to make meaningful connections with the information and form their own opinions.

Above all else, however, compassion and love are the keys to effective teaching facilitation, catering to children’s need for acceptance and love beyond statistics and marks, which have unfortunately come to be the primary focus of education.

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