‘My daughter left playing football because of her subject teacher’
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Two things are essential for children – studies and sports. They are the reason why parents get their children admitted in a ‘good’ school. But what if teaching is below par or sports is not encouraged by teachers in these schools? The article below talks about such experiences of one parent – Lipika Dutta.
I have often found it difficult to complain against a particular teacher or share my grievances about poor teaching practices during PTA meetings. Reason – I knew if the teacher gets offended, the repercussions will have to be borne by my daughter. My interactions with other parents told me that I was not alone – they also felt the same way.
I want to ask private schools a single question – you charge a huge amount of money as tuition fee from us. Yet, our children are unable to grasp much in class, forcing us, parents, to spend humongous amount of money on private tuitions. If subject teachers and schools are so good as to charge huge funds (since that’s what they believe), why do students prefer private coaching? Many a times, students even bunk school for tuition classes. They don’t give any importance to school studies but won’t miss their tuitions. Why?
I want to ask private schools a single question – if your teachers are so good as to charge huge tuition fee, why do students prefer private coaching?
If a parent tries to raise this question before school, he is often silenced by his own children since they are the ones who have to bear the repercussions in the form of taunts or scolding by teachers. Some teachers go to the extent of even ignoring such children in their classes. One does not always need to indulge in physical violence to cause damage to a person. Mental harassment is equally powerful in causing harm. In fact, it is more dangerous as children hardly communicate this kind of harassment to their parents. This leaves a deep impact on their impressionable minds.
Parents whose children study in higher classes are more scared to raise these points in PTAs since class XII teachers may jeopardise their ward’s future by screwing up their board practicals.
It isn’t just the quality of teaching that bothered me during my daughter’s schooling years. I realised, to my dismay, that sports isn’t even encouraged in some schools. My daughter was a brilliant football player. She enjoyed the game most; and even played at national level. We supported her in this endeavour. While she was excellent in sports, her studies were average. As parents, we had no problems with it as long as she wasn’t performing below par. But as she moved to senior secondary school, she stopped playing football. Initially, we didn’t understand what was troubling her. We thought, may be, she is unable to cope with her studies. But gradually, we came to know the reason. Since football was her first love and not studies, her subject teacher(s) wouldn’t encourage her. They would often taunt her, because of which my daughter left playing the game altogether.
Since football was her first love and not studies, her subject teacher(s) wouldn’t encourage her. They would often taunt her, because of which my daughter left playing the game altogether
I strongly feel that, in our society, students who excel in studies but are below average in sports are applauded while students who don’t do well in studies but excel in sports are seldom encouraged. The sorry state of sports in India is not only because of lack of infrastructure and opportunities but also because of the negative attitude of people towards students who choose sports over studies. It is not that it happens in government schools, as most of us would like to believe, but this attitude is prevalent among teachers of private schools as well, though not all teachers fall in this category.
As told to our reporter.
Lipika Dutta’s daughter has recently completed her class XII.
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