LET US RESPECT CHILDREN!
MRS.PADMINI GOPALAN, FOUNDER-PRESIDENT, SRI RAMACHARAN TRUST
CHILDREN IN A CORPORATION SCHOOL, BENEFITTED UNDER THE MONTESSORI METHOD OF TEACHING
A COMMITTED TEACHER MS.ARULSELVI INTERACTING WITH THE CHILDREN IN A BALWADI
EDUCATIONAL ACCESSORIES IN A NURSERY AND PRIMARY CLASS
A SILENT REVOLUTION TAKING PLACE
CHENNAI CORPORATION SCHOOLS!
(MONTESSORI METHOD OF TEACHING MADE ACCESSABLE TO THE PRE.K.G.STUDENTS!)
_Written by Latha Ramakrishnan
CHILD IS THE FATHER OF MAN ;
CHILDREN ARE THE HARBINGERS OF A BETTER TOMORROW.
And, we have a lot more quotable quotes which highlight the importance of children. In the same way we have very many a maxim that drive home the importance of Education for the uplift of an individual and the society as a whole. The world renowned Tamil Poet Bharathiar had said that educating a poor child (or, for that matter, even an adult) is undoubtedly the best of all noble deeds.
The psychiatrists claim that the experiences that the child undergoes before it reaches the age five and that the impressions it gains during its initial five years of existence on Earth and that which it learns in this period have a lasting effect on its entire life and they shape his adulthood, so to say.
This is the reason why Madam Montessori found the exemplary system of education for the toddlers which has proved itself a time-tested method of teaching, the world over. Montessori System of Education aims at a comprehensive, wholesome development of the child by instilling self-confidence and by making it feel independent and self-sufficient. But, as this method of teaching the toddlers involves a lot of tools and accessories which the children are taught to handle by themselves, it is somewhat costly and hence only very few private schools have so far been running their kindergarten classes following Montessori method. When this being the case there was no chance of the children of Government Schools to have access to this boon of an Educational System.
But, no society can hope to move forward without giving the best of education to the children of weaker sections. And, it is to the credit of Chennai Corporation that with an adequate realization of this simple truth it has set out to introduce Montessori Method of Teaching for the tiny toddlers in Corporation Schools.
Initially through the Parent-Teacher Association it joined hands with the Chennai-based Sriramacharan Charitable Trust, a Service Organization and introduced this System of Education to the students of the pre-primary classes and seeing its positive impact on the toddlers and the way it has won the unanimous appreciation of the parents the Chennai Corporation has taken up the cause of imparting this method of Education to children in right earnest, in the true spirit of uplifting the poor and the weaker sections of the society.
Sri Ramacharan Charitable Trust has also initiated the pioneering project of Micro-Credit through which small vendors and poor students are given loan to enable them to come up in life. “The timely loan has made a firm and lasting impact in the life of many deserving individuals and we are happy to see their progress”, says Mrs. Padmini Gopalan, the founder-president of Sri Ramacharan Trust, a soft-spoken but firm-minded lady. She has never been conscious of her advancing age as her mind is always occupied with the task of critically analyzing the various aspects and complexities of life and human relationships and she is ever eager to discuss all sorts of worthy and perplexing issues threadbare. She is open to differing views and healthy debates. An out-and-out unassuming person, Mrs.Padmini Gopalan is a very discerning reader and well-versed in Carnatic Music. All forms of good art aims at ennobling man’s life, within and without, holds she with great conviction.
Right now her mind is too full of taking the Montessori system of education to as many poor and needy children as possible. “Children are to be treated with love and care and above all with due respect. I am pained to see the way many, both at home and in school ill-treat them and intimidate them, out of ignorance and sheer indifference, observes Mrs.Padmini Gopalan with pain in her voice.
At present there are some twenty Corporation Schools in the City of
imparting this method of teaching to the children. And, in all the Schools where this system of education is introduced a significant improvement in the learning skills and activities of the children, is seen and felt by the parents and the school authorities. The disciplined and confidant way in which they conduct themselves is a treat to watch! Going to School is no longer viewed as an ordeal by these toddlers for now they have a world of their own where they can explore a lot through Sight, Sound and Touch! Hence, there is a significant increase in the number of new admissions as the Heads of Schools happily inform. The parents are happy to see their little children conducting themselves with self-discipline, eager to learn things and the real values of life. Further, in this Method of Teaching the teacher-student bond is not mechanical or that exists between a master and menial but lively and reassuring with the children regarding their teachers as their friends. Chennai
Hope this constructive initiative of Chennai Corporation Schools would continue. Of course, for any innovative approach there would surely be some resistance due to many reasons. Driven by a feeling of insecurity as regards their place and position or with vested interests there may be some who oppose any new beginning. I only wish that this rare opportunity of receiving the best possible primary education should not be denied to the children of the weaker sections of our society and to this end the parents and the teachers should be sensitive enough to realize the importance of children and their well-being for the peace and prosperity of any society.
And, a real good initiative like this which is aimed at making possible a wholesome development as regards the mental and physical activities of children before the age of five, enhancing their physical and mental capabilities, their interest in learning lessons and skills and cultivating good habits in them, a system that creates a friendly atmosphere for them, with the teachers interacting with them as friends and co-learners, teaching them to be self-confident and self-sufficient should continue at all cost.
And, I sincerely feel that those who strive for the uplift of the poor and downtrodden, those who work for the cause of children, those educationists endowed with humaneness and social consciousness, politicians across the board should see to it that this boon of an education brought within the reach of the weaker sections of the society should have a smooth sailing, benefiting more and more children of the weaker sections, turning them into able and intelligent human-beings.
Children are the most vulnerable for they know not what their rights are nor how to safeguard their interests and they are completely at the mercy of the elders. Hence, one and all of us are duty-bound to protect their interests and hence it becomes imperative on our part to see to it that the children of Corporation Schools continue to receive this time-tested and enriching Method of Primary School Education.
“When I was in my seventies I started this venture with a group of like-minded friends. We are happy to see it growing and benefiting children. If only we have more funds or get more financial assistance from good Samaritans who believe in Montessori System of Education we can sponsor many promising young women to undergo training in Montessori system of Education which would help a great deal in the overall development of children”, says Mrs,Padmini Gopalan.
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Mr. Padmini Gopalan’s
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