Construction and Destruction Both Develop in the Lap of Teachers
Feb 9, 2016 Teaching 1985 Views
There have been lots of changes in the social and the technological environment the world over and India has not remained untouched and aloof from such changes since Independence. Such changes have also brought with them their macro-effects directly on our society broadly, and micro-effects on each family and individual, especially the youth.
Technological changes are taking place in geometric progression. The moral and social environment in which our youth used to live and get educated three-to-four generations before can now hardly be said to have any major similarity with the modern educational, social environment. The youth of today appears to be under a spell of a specific kind of stress resulting specifically from unconsciously trying to find rhythm and co-ordination between their social requirements and the needs of the present-day multi-dimensional education. Different types of experiments taking place in the field of technology have, without us being aware of it, generated uneasiness, inquisitiveness, and stress in the minds of our youth unthought-of before.
Let us first understand the differences between the social and moral environments of the Past, and the Present (as well as the Future).
PAST SOCIAL & MORAL ENVIRONMENT
(I) The environment of the smallest unit called Family (joint or unitary) was on the whole more peaceful than the present-day family. In other words, we can say that the amount of average mental and physical work of each individual member (in a family) was subjected to, was considerably lower as compared to the present. Television was not as spread as these days. Even then, the number of Programs telecast on Doordarshan and a limited number of channels was very much less and only timely broadcasted; most of these programs were adult-centric - programs meant for children of 5 to 15 years were very much less, almost negligible. Radio was used mainly by the adults and the aged members of the family. The children had consequently no other works except studying and playing.
(ii) The members of the family interacted with each other openly and frequently. Grandpa, grandma, uncles, aunts, and children all had their breakfast, lunch, and dinner together. Needless to say, these habits aided a lot for the elders to understand and treat accurately and timely the problems as well as feelings and emotions arising in the minds of the children - indeed, the elders got ample opportunities to do these.
(iii) Even after the spread of Television, all members of the family usually viewed the telecast programs together. Such a situation still exists in most of the villages and towns even today in India. Naturally, therefore, there was full control of the guardians on the television - which program(s) to be viewed and which not was decided by the guardians of the family.
(iv) The school was the only centre of academic, mental and physical education. It was also the only source of all information for children.
(v) Meeting, playing and nuisance-making with neighboring children was a regular habit of children, so to say (such activities still abound in villages and small towns today). These activities helped these children in their physical and mental growth and also in unconsciously understanding the minute aspects of different types of personal and social relationships.
(vi) Children got unbound love and sympathy continuously from grandpa, grandma and other elder members of the family including parents.
In a word, we can say that the chances of children developing symptoms of emotional and psychological disturbances were the least.
PRESENT-DAY AND PROSPECTIVE FUTURE SOCIAL & MORAL ENVIRONMENT
(I) In developed, developing and semi-developed cities whose number is increasing year after year, there is abundance of families where there is none other than parents for the children as guardian. Such cities are considered as the centre of modern education. Both the father and the mother of families in such cities are usually working-people. Children aged 10 to 20-22 years (in such families) are surrounded by multi-channel TV, and other technical communication devices such as the Mobiles, the Computer and Internet etc in their personal rooms. We can easily understand what effects the incessantly flowing materials of violence and sex- related programs on such means of communication can have on the emotionally-immature minds of these children! Uncontrolled chatting and the facilities of free-messaging is spoiling and misdirecting the delicate minds of these children.
(ii) Internet has opened up opportunities for these children to find varied sources information on all topics under the sky - more than what is available in schools, colleges, or even in Universities! Google and other search-engines are burning examples of these.
(iii) Children and youths in such cities are usually seen to spend most of their time within the walls of their rooms. Physical labour has, consequently, been reduced to nil. Making the situation still worse for these children is the home-delivery facilities of the Fast-food companies providing high-calorie, unhygienic food items lacking in nutritional elements, causing many health-related problems.
Both these factors combined together are telling upon the physical and mental strength of these children. Needless to say, if this trend is not checked in time, all developing countries like India will have no dearth of obese, mentally and physically unhealthy children.
(iv) Use of food items containing caffeine and related materials by the youth in such cities have become a fashion, so to say. Here, I would like to throw some light on a factual research regarding caffeine - controlled and minute amount of intake of caffeine acts as a mental energizer. But, its continuous and uncontrolled intake may lead to many kinds of mental and brain-related diseases. Examples are - sleeplessness, anxiety, weakness, vomiting, lack of concentration, headache etc. Use of Cold-drinks, Fast-foods, Chocolates etc is gradually leading these children and youths to these ends.
It is common to see such destroying symptoms among these children and youths as - getting easily tempted on trifling matters, always ready to have an argumentative-fight with all including colleagues and even elders, living aloof and alone in their own world etc. etc.
(v) The careless, hostile and unmannerly attitude and behavior of these children and youth towards social and personal relationships is also gradually on the increase. Their animosity for moral restrictions and social responsibilities is worth watching and should be a cause of serious concern for all of us. These youths and children establish relationships in a virtual world on the platform of Social media like the Facebook etc with only those who fulfill their age-specific emotional needs. Any kind of suggestions and moral restrictions which may help them in understanding and classifying what is 'Right' and what is 'Wrong' is just a hostile attack for them, so to say!
Under such circumstances, the role of our teachers has dramatically changed, although we don't pay any heed to it. Irrelevant and several decades' old teaching methods are, truly speaking, no longer able to cope with the requirements of the present day. They need to be adapted in such a way that the differentiation and absolute classification of the different subjects like Psychology, Brain and mind functioning, Education, Training and Teaching methods, does not remain the righteous domain of subject-specific masters; at least, the basic concepts of all need to be amalgamated and absorbed as a whole by the educators, trainers and coaches before they can be really effective in the fast changing world and society. (to be continued)