An excerpt from the address of Mr.S.K.Bhattacharya, Founder Principal of C.M.Academy, Ankleshwar, Gujarat.
Many of us as parents are not fully conscious of the enormous potential of the brain that each one of our children possesses. This brain is one of the most valuable gifts of God. It is more than a miracle – an extremely powerful force. It is a bottomless ocean of wisdom, ideas and skills from which every child can draw an unending quantity to quench his eternal thirst for knowledge, and can discover the innumerable ways that are available to fulfil his dreams, visions and aspirations. This half a Kg. of mushroom- shaped substance that every child possesses, consists of nearly 30 billion neurons and almost 150 billion cells. This wonderful gift of God, this marvellous super, super computer is possessed by every normal child, without exception. This brain has such powerful thoughts that, if released, could glut all the telephone exchanges in the world put together! It could, single-handedly put to shame the most sophisticated computer ever invented so far.
The most exciting piece of information that I would like to share with you, dear parents, is that your child has this remarkable gift of God. Be convinced that your child possesses this stunning generator, this splendid dynamo. The controls of this generator are in the hands of teachers and parents alike. What use is this unbelievably powerful generator if you and I prevent the release of its power? The controls are in our hands and we must never forget this fact.
As a good parent, you do so much for your child, right from providing him with food, shelter and protection from harm, to sending him to the best schools, but many of you neglect one very important aspect of the development of this brain or the releasing of its power – you are very casual about creating the right environment for the growth of your child – you don’t offer enough wholesome and nourishing food to this brain at the most formative years of your child’s growth. Your child’s brain is like an unending plot of land with acres and acres of rich and fertile soil. If neglected, it will grow wild and untamed. But if you take care and cultivate, nourish and tend this plot tirelessly, you will definitely harvest a rich crop that will be priceless and highly valuable and contributive. Have faith in your child’s capabilities and encourage him to be curious, imaginative and creative. Don’t get too easily irritated by a child’s unending questions. One of the best methods of developing an imaginative and creative mind in a child is to either tell him or read to him interesting stories that will catch his fancy and eventually help him become a dreamer himself.
Another valuable input that you can offer to your child is to guide him lovingly, gently and patiently avoiding irritation, impatience and unfair rudeness. Upto the age of about six, an average child’s brain develops by about 80%. Isn’t this a rather mind-boggling piece of information? Now, equipped with this hugely valuable knowledge, do your utmost to help your infants draw the best out of you.
Dear parents don’t ever forget that from the moment your infant child announces his entry into this world with a loud wail, he steps into an environment that is going to test his abilities to the utmost. And if you, with your love, caring and understanding nature, develop his dormant capabilities – you will be helping your child in realising the stupendous power of his generator.
We believe very strongly that every child comes into this world with a mission – we strongly believe that we are only here to help the child’s inbuilt perfection manifest or take shape by lending a helping hand of encouragement and support at the right time.
We have successfully cultivated the soil and aim to nurture the innumerable seeds that are under our care – only time will tell how many of them will bear fruits or give shade to weary travellers or be a resting place to many homeless or be a source of hope to innumerable despaired souls.
The second thought that I would like to share with you is that we are unfortunately entering into an age where every course in an educational institution, be it in a school, college, university or in a polytechnic is measured purely in proportion to its ability to impart earning power to its votaries. There seems to be little or no interest in the moral or principle-based dimensions of education.
The overwhelming sense of loss that pervades the educational system today is largely the outcome of two conflicting points of view. This conflict is not new. We still continue to debate whether Socrates was right about laying more stress on creating better thinking and dreaming human beings or Plato was justified in supporting rapid changes based on science and technology.
In the rapidly transforming contemporary society the one lesson that we need to keep in mind is the danger of subordinating learning to power. By surrendering before the doctrine of “Usefulness” in education, this is exactly what we have ended up doing today.
We have, so unfortunately created an ironic situation where prestigious institutions imparting classical education, that of liberal arts and science education are systematically driven into fiscal dehydration while schools and colleges of vocational skills, that started as road-side teaching shops, are now being allowed to attain national and even international status.
Think of the preposterous situation where proponents of the arts, philosophy, literature, history and pure sciences are driven to explain whether their subjects have any relevance in the curriculum today! Note also the situation where respectable age-old centres of learning are persuaded to give up, or seriously dilute their traditional strengths and transform themselves into pale imitations of polytechnics.
Teachers have a very important role to play in preventing violent swings of change in contemporary society. Despite the information boom, it is still the teachers, especially in schools, who have to impart values to students. It is our most sacred task to mould them and influence them into becoming better human beings.
Another aspect of teaching and quality-education that keeps bothering me is the unfortunate more-than-normal-focus on financial rewards in young minds. Young minds make a bee line for lucrative professions that would fetch them many times more money than that of a teacher.