Guruvani:‘Kids are independent today, but need guidance’
What is the biggest professional challenge that you face in your role as a principal?
The most important challenge is to find ways to motivate children to develop the basic skills of reading, writing and spelling. It is a challenge to help children develop a positive attitude towards the environment and nature, and cultivate politeness and humility. Another challenge is to convince parents to allow their children to participate in co-curricular activities.
Once a teacher always a teacher. Do you agree?
Yes. Being a teacher is one of the most important and beautiful feelings of being a giver and mentor. A teacher is always remembered as a teacher even if they get promoted to higher posts. It’s a privileged position of not only giving knowledge but being a witness to children’s growth, achievements, failures and successes. The teacher creates a great impact on the minds and characters of children. At the same time, teachers must lead and live an exemplary life as the students are imitating them in one way or the other.
Success has become an obsession with people of all ages nowadays. Your comments?
All of us are indeed in a hurry to be successful. We want it quickly. The thought or the process is secondary. It is measured in terms of money and fame. Character-building has taken a back seat. Fame always does not bring wealth and all wealth will not beget health and peace. The real success is sailing through life with the ups and downs and yet maintaining the true character of a balanced individual, with toleration, commitments and emotional strengths.
What emphasis do you put on teacher training?
A teacher must be a learner in every sense. As there is a shift from a teacher-centred approach to learner-centred one, teachers need to be up-to-date with the latest technology, methodologies and pedagogy. They need to know about educational practices in different countries. Teachers must research, be their evaluators, and be good educational leaders. A teacher should mentor students instead of dominating them.Teachers must find ways to make learning more interesting. A teacher who is a creative learner will pass down the same to her children. Teacher training institutes should focus on these aspects.
What in your view is GenNext’s biggest strength? Which are the key areas of improvement?
Today’s children are quick at grasping technology. They are individualistic in nature and love freedom. They are not dependent on parents, but depend on their friends. They do not need books as technology is at their fingertips. They take their own career decisions and recognise their strengths and weaknesses. They are risk-takers but emotionally, they are weak. They break down if their dreams are not realised or their expectations are not met. Therefore, they need mentors to guide them.
How can the elderly contribute to a student’s growth?
The earlier generations were simpler where people had values.With nuclear families, no one has time for anyone. There was a balance between the new and old systems, practices, and grandparents’ unconditional love helped the children in their hard times. The old are fragile but mentally, they are strong. The depth in their character will help children face hardships.
What according to you is the role of media in education?
Media plays a very important role in education today; it can make or break a child’s future. One may take it positively as teachers, students, parents and all those who are involved in the field of education are upgraded with the latest news. However, often, there is negative publicity about schools, management and staff without any proper verification.