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Have we ever thought why, after attending classes in a school, children fear to express themselves when a stranger asks some questions?
Many a time a child is shy to answer. Why is the child so shy? Why is he/she doubting himself? To what extent does the child know that every question put to him/her is a test of his/her ability to understand and connect that question to real life?
As in a classroom, the child thinks that ‘this question is going to push me down, others will laugh at me because I don’t know a concept or I couldn’t remember it very well and I will look silly or my parents will be unhappy. I don’t want to get into a silly position in front of others. Therefore, the best thing is I will not speak. I am in fear; I am in doubt’.
If children are allowed the freedom to explore the depth of his/her mind, they could unearth so much knowledge and so much connectivity of their mind and each child can become a scientist, an explorer, or a contributor to the world.
There are so many examples in this world. For instance, Thomas Alva Edison is someone who was thrown out of school for being poor in studies. Later on, he had 100 inventions to his credit because he could explore the depth of his mind by himself. Similarly, a falling apple triggered Isaac Newton to explore the depth of his mind. So is Einstein, so are the other great scientists in the world. They had the freedom to go deep into their thoughts.
Business people are similar to scientists in this regard. Starting from Dhirubhai Ambani to IT giants who amassed wealth, they could do so not because they had money power but because they had the freedom to go deep into the depths of their mind. They were not afraid, they were not in doubt, and they could explore and went on exploring till they could contribute to the world.
So are the great leaders such as Narendra Modi, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln. How are such people born? Is it because of money power, or because of by hearting and learning? No. Whatever they learned they could explore it to the depth of their mind.
In a classroom, a child should be ready with his ability to get over all his fears, doubts and throw away personal egos. All that he should know is to question things, go deep down, find more connections and connectivity too. The two things you need most are life connections and life skills.
Education should not end up in fear. It should lead to happiness that originates from strong confidence. Particularly in the primary education, I have seen that the child knows everything. A child has been forced to write and to by heart vocabulary. But the child is unable to use the language and the vocabulary in the language. The vocabulary does not get connected to the feelings of the heart. Whenever a child is given the freedom, he/she will be able to connect his/her feelings to the vocabulary, connect his/her feelings and thoughts to a language and will be free to express it and explore it further. When these qualities develop in a primary school child, we call it building confidence. We say we need to build confidence, but we should know how to build this confidence. And confidence cannot be built by a teacher, confidence has to be built by the child himself/herself.
The role of a teacher is to give the freedom, the direction, the connection and the facility of working together. Children should work together. It is called collaborated learning. And when children work together they develop confidence. But when children work together there should be a condition that the teacher should treat all children equally.
There is no child who is considered the best. There is no child who is the teacher’s favourite. There is no child for whom the teacher shows more affection to. The teacher loves each child equally. The teacher behaves with each child with the same respect, same care and same perception.
If teachers don’t have happiness to students, if teachers don’t create confidence in students, then will? A mother with love and care directs her children, four or five, together. It should be the same way in the classroom. A teacher should be able to extend the same level of love and care whether he or she is a dull child or a good child. Because there is no child who can be classified as a dull child or a good child. All children have talents. Allow them to explore their talents. Please don’t measure them through examinations and say that “you are scoring better, you are scoring less, therefore you are not a good student and you are a bad student”. Never should children be compared by the marks they secure. They should not be allowed to compete and their ability to think should not be sacrificed. If there is an examination, it should be considered as a test of one’s depth of knowledge and never as a test of knowledge to compare, to contrast and to discriminate children. Hope now you know why classrooms breed unhappiness? It is only because the teacher has forgotten the basic lessons of teaching.

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