I Am What My Culture Makes Me
The first glance at the topic ‘Culture Building in schools’ might boggle the minds of the readers into considering it as a subject of Ph.D. needing an extensive research work, going through award winning books on ‘Ideal education system’ , brain-storming sessions with experts and listening to their interviews and what not. It does require reflection but I wonder if only we could answer the question as to what kind of environment we would like to give to our children at home, will it not simplify the issue in hand? As parents, we all want to provide a physically, emotionally and socially safe and secure environment to our children- the one holding on to the values of our society and constantly kindling the passion of learning in them. The school being the second home of the children should just be the macrocosm of the world at home and develop the similar culture.
A smile on the face and a twinkle in the eye of a child speak volumes about the surges of feelings in his heart and leaving aside a few cases where appearances might deceive us, a smile is synonymous with happiness and contentment. So if on entering the portals of a school you are greeted by the children with smiles, you maybe rest assured that the culture prevalent in the school has tenderly nurtured the heart, mind and soul of the child.
Gone are the times when the culture of a school would take pride merely in the academic excellence of its students and by being in headlines for high scores achieved by them. Thanks to the study of Child and Educational Psychology, perfect score is no more equivalent to perfect culture. If the persona of a child has many sides to it, how can the culture of a school glorify itself without being multifaceted?Academically if the culture of the school is such that a child is able to think critically, analyse a problem and forage different ways to find a solution to it by thinking out of the box, is provided with opportunities to apply his knowledge to real-life situations rather than filling the pitcher of his mind with hoard of information, then we can raise our heads and say that the culture of a school is all set to prepare students for life than just exams.
So simplified the whole process would have been if man had to live his life only with his brain but the fact is, he has a heart that beats to the tunes of emotions and at times so loudly that it overpowers the brain. Critical thinking and analytical skills acquired vanish in a second at such junctures of life. But if the culture developed in a school has taught the children to be stable in the face of turmoil,to battle his own inner strife and come out victorious, no adversity can look into their eyes. With the ever increasing exposure to internet, technology, media, the concerns of our children are no more restricted to academics alone. They live an altogether different life when they are away from schools and are a part of chat rooms amassing an altogether different set of problems like cyber abuse, cyber crimes etc. Therefore the bubble of the culture has to be flexible enough to integrate this second life of the children into its conventional form and act as a guiding light for them.
A person living his life without noble values is like a ship without a rudder, vulnerable to the storms of vices in the society. The culture of a school should fortify the character of the children with the values of honesty, discipline, patriotism, sincerity, perseverance, kindness, compassion and integrity. A physically , mentally , socially, emotionally strong individual with a robust character, brimming with a desire to be committed towards his nation as a loyal national citizen and towards the world as a global citizen is what the culture of a school should aim at. All that the custodians of the culture in schools need to do is to look at our children with an eye of kindness, empathy, compassion and have an earnest insight into their needs and world. Once this is accomplished,the culture will not stand and preach children standing at the doors of their hearts, it will plunge into the recesses of their souls, redefine itself, and be an integral part of their life. Believe me, no experts’ comments would be required then and we at Seth Anandram Jaipuria school take pride in building this kind of culture which not just strengthens the mind of our students but also edifies them spiritually. For only a spiritually awakened person can be true to his own self, his society, nation and the world at large.