Former Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi and CBSE Director Biswajit Saha today made a strong pitch for adopting a new educational approach with a thrust on responsible parenting to minimise crime and help children evolve into conscientious citizens to ensure the prosperity of the nation.
They were addressing a function as part of the ‘Parenting Dialogues’, an initiative by Lifology, aGuinness World Record winning guidance app for parenting,and Ajayya Bharat Foundation, marking the commencement of a nationwide campaign to create awareness about good parenting that would make teenagers future-ready.
Dr Bedi, the first woman IPS officer, also released a book on ‘Mindful Parenting’, co-authored by Ajayya Kumar and Praveen Parmeswar, at Birla Vidya Niketan here.
She pointed out that the present practice of free food, books and uniform to students of government schools was neither preventing drop-outs nor helpful in imparting quality education.
On the other hand, the high rate of dropouts was the reason for several heinous crimes like rapeand vandalization of property during agitations such as the recent one against the Agniveer scheme introduced by the Central Government offering youth limited period training and employment in the Defence forces, she noted.
During visits to various government schools in Pudhucherry, Dr Bedi said she found that students were coming to their institutions only to avail of the freebies, not to get education, while their parents mostly being illiterate daily wage workers were not in a position to guide their wards. To make matters worse, 75 per cent of the fathers were found to be addicted to liquor, she said.
Educational authorities should be entrusted with the task of weaning the parents off addiction by linking the freebies to their changed behaviour, she suggested and expressed the hope that the new President Droupadi Murmu, formerly a school teacher, would bring about a positive change in the way education is being imparted.
Dr Saha, who was the guest of honour at the function, said the new education policy was focused on quality education at the primary and secondary levels as this was the age when students could be moulded to excel in education, besides becoming responsible citizens. He appealed to educational researchers in the country to conduct their own studies, instead of depending on suggestions from the West.
CBSE would support its 27,000 schools, where about 10 per cent of the country’s students were studying, without affecting their autonomy, he added.
Ajayya Kumar, author of the book and management thinker, said he was prompted to write the book to change people’s wrongly perceived notion that parenting was a problem and make them realise that it was a selfless and committed act that lasted lifelong.
Co-author Praveen Parmeswar said parents can and should play a meaningful role like that of a coach for the benefit of all.
Birla Vidya Niketan Principal Minakshi Kushwaha pleaded with the parents to be role models for their children, instead of giving only advices which they themselves were not practising.
Dr Meghana Nathani Kabra, Sr Consultant, Batra Hospital & Medical Research Centre, also spoke.
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