'It is a wake-up call'

Young Frustrations

The murder of Chennai teacher R Uma Maheswari by her student has sent shock waves among the teaching fraternity in Bangalore.

Suppressed? Too much academic pressure can lead to complications in the minds of students.

A 15-year-old boy taking such an extreme step is not only shocking but also makes one wonder about the fragile situation a teacher is in while handling a class.

Metrolife contacted some of the schools in the City to know their reaction.

Interestingly, most of the schools refrained from commenting on the issue. But those who did speak out said that the incident is a wake-up call. “I would blame the parents alone for the whole incident,” says Mary Francis, the vice-principal of St Germain High School.

“One cannot expect the school to do all the disciplinary work, parents also have to look into certain things. Unfortunately, these days all the materialistic needs of the children are taken care of by the parents while their emotional needs are neglected completely. There is only so much a teacher can do. When a child suppresses emotions, he or she tends to take them out through such actions,” she says.

Janet George, the principal of Pristine Public School, says that it is very difficult to read a child’s mind these days.

When a child is exposed to many things on a daily basis and gets everything without earning it, how will the child learn the real challenges in life, asks Janet.

 “Peer pressure is at an all-time high and it is very challenging for teachers to keep an entire classroom of children in the same frame of mind. A lot depends on the upbringing and the environment a student is brought up in,” she adds.

Many feel that such behaviour is not in their hands and there is very little solution for such incidents.

Some schools say that talking to students and parents constantly can help to an extent. A couple of schools plan to introduce counselling and increase security for
teachers.

“The incident has left many teachers in a state of shock and they don’t know how to face such situations. Counselling is a must for students. After reading about such an incident, who knows if it won’t repeat,” says Sudha Prasanna, the principal of Martin Luther Public School.

Dr Sulata Shenoy, the director of ‘Turning Point — Child Guidance Centre’, feels that it is a pity that only when such incidents occur that educational institutions feel the need for counselling. According to her, counselling will  help only if parents and teachers are open to the idea of sending a student to a counsellor.

She believes that parents have to teach tolerance to children and help them channelise their frustrations in other activities.

“A child, who is 14 or 15, is very fragile. That’s because parents these days are so afraid to say no to their children that the child tends to take any negative feedback as a damage to his or her self-respect. Children need to be taught to accept failure and understand that marks are not everything.

Too much academic pressure can also lead to complications in a child’s mind. By the time children reach 14 or 15, they must learn to help themselves and not react to things on the spur of the moment,” she says.

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