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What you need to know:

  • Schools need to focus on all types of learners.

The day your child steps into playschool, it is definitely a landmark day in the life of any parent. They entrust their child into the care of educators for the next two decades of their child’s life, and expect a glorious future ahead for them. Schools these days see to the all round development of children but there is scope for improvement, debate and consideration. Schools not only focus on formal education but also lay great emphasis on extra-curricular activities and sports. However, in a changing world of changing scenarios, our concepts of imparting formal education in schools needs to be revamped.

Our model of formal education is a great set-up for the gifted children to excel. It is fairly competent to help the average child as well, who is yet to find his groove, but is definitely challenging for a child who is struggling to keep up with his or her peers. Our school system is such that, the outgoing child is able to further blossom her personality while the slightly quiet child at the back of the class is sadly often left to her own devices. Teachers tend to select the outgoing child for various co-curricular activities, while the academically slow learner is left to merge more and more into the background. As such, through most of her academic life, a slow learner may never be able to discover a hidden potential talent. In short academics is more focused on the gifted child, and neglects the below average learner.

It should be the school’s responsibility to see to it that these quiet souls have as great a time at school as their more outgoing schoolmates. As an educator I found that giving a position of authority definitely helped in blossoming the personality of the quiet child and instills a sense of responsibility into the naughtier ones. I would notice a distinct change in their temperament when such children were made the monitor of the class. They bloomed from within and took to this new responsibility like a fish to water. Quiet children need to be gently nudged out of their shells and it can only be done when they are young and mouldable. Teachers are so bogged down with their responsibilities and deadlines, that even with the best of intentions in mind, time constraints do not allow them to delve into such matters.

- The reader is a former teacher based in Dubai.