Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Purposeful Living - Kahor Raleng, Head of Department of English


What kind of future do we envision for Nagaland? One of the keys to a prosperous future is our children. An important question we must ask ourselves today is if we, as parents, educators and elders, are equipping our children with the right information, guidance, skills and maturity necessary for positive growth and development in order to lead a purpose driven life.

Purposeful Living

Observing my students in the classroom today, it struck my mind that they are so easy to impress. The young confused minds can grab each and every word we utter and it can leave an impact on them. With thoughts running through my mind, I started questioning myself: ‘Are we preparing them to face their future? Are we guiding them to choose the right path in life? Are we moulding them to be better citizens?’

Youngsters today are smart enough to know and perceive everything we say, yet confused enough to misinterpret it. Sadly, we are living in an age where there is no distinction between truth and lies, good and bad, acceptable and unacceptable. We are willing to compromise as long as we gain something. There are times where confusion reigns and honestly we, the older generation, are the makers of it.

We, the Nagas are very fortunate as our people are not infested with psychological problems faced by people in other places, where incidents like shooting in schools, killing of teachers or classmates occur frequently. Before we are touched by this evil, we should prevent it as prevention is better than cure. This is where the need for mentoring and guidance and counselling arises. It is extremely essential and it should be realised at the earliest.

Producing good results should not be the sole purpose of institutions nor of education. Education means the overall development of a child. If institutions cannot produce exemplary citizens, than the purpose of education is not fulfilled.

Through some interactive sessions with my students, I have gathered some important facts. They are confused about the system, about their beliefs, about certain treatments, about social and family issues and most importantly about who they want to become in life.

Here are some comments made by students:
Student 1: ‘I study because I am forced to, out of compulsion and there is no actual learning. Compulsion to score well and pass.’
Student 2: ‘I don’t have a specific aim, I just want to try out everything that comes my way.’
Student 3: ‘Music gives me pleasure and peace of mind. It makes me creative and expressive. But music is not a career option.’
When asked what they want to become in life, some simply replied ‘no idea’, ‘don’t know’, ‘confused’. Remember, they are college students, a stage when they should have some idea about what they want out of life.

Youngsters today are confused with the direction that their life is heading towards. Choosing the right path has become complex and frightening. As parents/guardians and teachers, do we take time to talk to them, clarify their doubts and guide them, or are we in our ways contributing to their confusion?

To mould a child does not solely lie in the hands of institutions or teachers. Parents play a huge role in shaping a child for a better future. Parents/guardians should equip themselves with necessary information. Some questions parents can ask themselves are: Do you carry out research work before admitting your child to a new school? Or do you simply admit them because it is a prestigious school, or it is convenient or because somebody says that it is good? Find out the facts before sending your child to a new environment. Parents should also be aware of scholarships and the possibilities they offer. Even a class seven student can study in Singapore through scholarships. There are even instances where a rickshaw puller or peon’s son or daughter has become a doctor, an engineer, or an IAS office by securing through scholarships. And now with the implementation of RTE act, many doors have opened for those who are smart enough to look for greater opportunities.

As for the institutions, they should make it mandatory to assign mentors for every student. Seminars on career guidance and counselling should be conducted regularly. Every institute must make it a priority to have a guidance and counselling cell with trained counsellors.

Workshops and seminars should be conducted for teachers. Educationist should regularly reinforce their knowledge by attending refreshers courses. They should be well informed and knowledgeable. But most importantly, they should be inspirational and motivators.

I wonder, is it too much to ask to give a little bit of effort for the future of our children? Aren’t they the future that we dream? I believe every parent or teacher has a dream for their children or students. Let us help them live that dream. Let us guide them live a purpose driven life.

“Degree of Thought is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. Degree of Thought will delve into the social, cultural, political and educational issues around us. Tetso College is a NAAC Accredited UGC recognised Commerce and Arts College. For feedback or comments please email: admin@tetsocollege.org

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