Are Entrance Exams and Cram Schools Putting Undue Stress on Students?

It is the time of the year when many students in India would have written entrance exams and also may be preparing to write more entrance exams.  Earlier, some students did not attend special tuitions for entrance exams, but of course, extra tuitions and practice does help.  However, nowadays, entrance exam preparation has been taken to the other extreme.  It sometimes begins at 6th std. itself.  There are some private schools which have even made clearing the entrance exam their speciality!  In addition to that, many students from class 9 onwards and even before that, go from school to another gruelling series of tuition classes.  In most cases, they are nothing but cram schools and are all about how to crack the entrance exam paper with multiple practice sessions. Students hardly learn to think in a creative, practical-oriented or critical … Continue reading

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End Gender Discrimination * Encourage and Empower the Girl Child

In most parts of the world, gender discrimination and patriarchal societies were rampant even a century ago. However, the sad part is that even after independence, these gender discriminatory mindsets are staunchly dominant in Indian society. In spite of all this, it is amazing to find so many girl children in India not only surviving but thriving and going on to carve careers in engineering, medicine, law, education, research and varied fields.  It may seem like a small miniscule, but they are the pioneers in ending gender discrimination and moving beyond the restrictive confines of being house-bound.  If they lead a largely domestic life, at least they begin to find their voice and have some freedom to navigate beyond the household.  They may not be as habituated, conditioned, pressurized or intimidated to only cook, clean and behave like frivolous sex … Continue reading

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Celebrate Uniqueness of Child / Teen * Celebrate all Skin Complexions

Most children come into the world brimming with joy and innocence.  However, somewhere down the line, due to perverted values prevailing, their minds can become disturbed or will develop a superficial and arrogant attitude.  In India, the largely perverted cinema industry seems bent on brainwashing people including objectifying people with superficial values.  This includes portraying ladies as frivolous objects who should have a fair skin complexion.  Sometimes, it is shocking to find some shallow group of people talking mostly about skin complexion instead of genuinely trying to empathize and celebrate the uniqueness of each child.  Instead of valuing and celebrating friendship and love, they make such insidious comments on whoever is passing by.  When such things do occur, it was nice to see an ad for a skin cream product which celebrates all skin complexions.  The basketball player throws the … Continue reading

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Summer Holidays * A Time for Teachers to Unwind and Relax

Summer holidays is not only a time for students to take a break, but also a time, when teachers unwind and relax. Sometimes, even during the summer holidays, dedicated teachers working for aided or government schools are called to go on election duty in the hot sun.  Teaching is said to be a noble profession, but in India, it is pushed to the backseat.  Many parents try to push their children to convent schools which provide relatively good quality education at an affordable price. However, the teachers are taken for granted and are pushed to teach sometimes up to 60 students and are also always on their toes.  The compensation which they are provided for their dedicated service is a pittance.  The management usually usurps most of the finances leaving the teachers to struggle on a day to day basis. … Continue reading

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Should Parents cut down on TV and computer games for their Child?

With the summer holidays in full swing, are there enough children playing cricket, badminton, all the running and catching games and much more?  Where are they, you sometimes wonder, in some of the neighborhoods? Parents may nostalgically remember their days of joy and innocence when they played many games outdoors and time seemed to have stopped.  However, nowadays, you find many children glued to the TV watching not only children’s shows but also adulterated films which only push superficial and crass values down children’s throats. There is always a raging debate about whether such watching of TV affects children’s minds.  Of course, it does, and there are studies that also prove this.  Children are good imitators and their thoughts and mindsets are shaped by what constantly bombards them.  Of course, some of them learn to be more discerning and rather … Continue reading

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Summer Holiday Activities * Improving Soft Skills

Summer holidays can be a wonderful time for students to improve their soft skills.  Nowadays, some schools even conduct soft skills training as a separate and vital session as part of the school week.  Soft skills are skill sets that help students have good and healthy interpersonal skills including being empathetic.  Soft skill training includes a wide host of skills which help students to communicate and collaborate effectively in groups.   Developing good public speaking skills which most students are at first usually intimidated by is an essential part of soft skill training.   This can include extempore speeches as well as preparing thoughtful or humorous speeches which can reach out to fellow human beings.  When students learn to articulate themselves well with good public speaking skills, they develop more confidence in themselves and also important social skills. Soft skills … Continue reading

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