Monday, September 20, 2010

Emotional Abuse In the Name of Academic Success in Indian Schools

Child abuse is a very serious matter in western schools and any teacher, parent and school involved in child abuse have to face the law. In spite of serious steps we still see some cases of child abuse here and there, but majority of children are safe from abuse. This is not the case when it comes to developing and under developed countries.

Many countries didn’t address child abuse because of their culture and lack of awareness about the issue. Some countries officially announced child abuse as illegal, but they are not serious in enforcing the law. India is one of those countries that made child abuse illegal, especially in schools but doesn’t enforce the law strictly. This is causing an enormous physical and emotional damage to the younger children.

In recent years there is no more canning of students in schools, especially in private schools. Parents are not at all tolerating their children being canned or spanked by teachers. This is a very good sign of change, but abuse is still predominant at homes. However, there is a different form of abuse that is happening in every private school in the name of academic requirements and student success. I call it as “emotional abuse” What is so sad is educated parents are also supporting the idea without even noticing that the excessive workload on students is causing an enormous ‘emotional damage’ to the younger minds.

Private schools are very attractive to parents because they offer quality education to students, and they provide special coaching to students to prepare them for professional courses like Engineering, Medicine, and IIT (Indian Institute of Technology), highly reputed engineering and technology institute. While it is a good concept to prepare students to do well in school exams and also in entrance tests, it is sad that children are excessively burdened with school work and preparation.

For example, none of the private schools allow their students leave the school before 6 hours. They are at school almost 9 hours, instead of recommended 5 ½ hours. In addition to this many students attend before and after school tuitions, and still have to finish their 2-3 hour homework after all these sessions, irrespective their grade levels.

When I look at school children in India my heart bleeds. Parents want the best education for their children, which is fair enough, but they are not noticing that with an excessive workload children are at abuse. This abuse of children must be stopped for the welfare of their physical and psychological well being. Since schools want to offer what parents demand, parents must take initiative in stopping this kind of abuse. On the other hand, teachers and educational experts must also make an effort to educate parents about this type of bad practice in schools. This I call a step toward a positive change, and perhaps an indicator of developing nation.

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