Teaching without punishments in Schools

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Teaching without punishments in Schools

Education officers, a psychiatrist and an occupational therapist spoke about their experiences with children and how best to teach without punishing the child for what teachers termed wilful disobedience, at a seminar organised here on Sunday.

The seminar, titled ‘Teaching without punishments in schools’, was organised by Chembarambakkam-based Vimal Premanand Chouridule Medical and Educational Trust.

Children opted out of school because the subjects are difficult, or due to family dynamics or simply because they found it difficult to adjust to new the environment, the specialists said. The rule of thumb a few decades ago was that the parent would turn a blind eye if the teacher beat the child.

But the new age parents took teachers to task, who could also lose their job, said Poonamallee assistant elementary educational officer K. Ekambaram.

The success of activity-based learning, that allowed a child time to pick its way through school, had encouraged the Education Department to bring more classes under the programme. This ensured better participation, with teachers taking on the role of guides.

Allowing the child to mark his own attendance also meant the child wanted to be at school so that he would, like his friends, have records showing full attendance.

Coimbatore-based occupational therapist Sujatha Missal said as children were pampered at home during the first few years, they found it difficult to cope with the new atmosphere in school.

If a subject was difficult, they chose to opt out of school. She graded offences among children as inattentiveness, yelling at teachers and getting into fights, stealing, shooting and killing.

The answer was in keeping the children motivated by engaging in them in activities.

Punishment prevention in schools must start at the administrative level and spread over to the teachers, who should be encouraged to ensure better participation of students in the class.

Specialists such as psychologists or psychiatrists and considering medication were part of tertiary care options, said Dr. Missal, principal, College of Occupational Therapy at Kovai Medical College and Hospital.

V. Jayanthini, child psychiatrist at the Government Children’s Hospital in Egmore, said parents had an equally important role to play in a child’s development. The hospital’s counselling sessions had helped many children, who later went on to perform well in examinations.