Mumbai: Parents demand extra attention on students, schools react

Mumbai: Parents demand extra attention on students, schools react

The demands include counseling sessions for the students, improvement in discipline, and extra focus on knowledge and educational practices.

Alok ParekhUpdated: Wednesday, December 14, 2022, 12:36 PM IST
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Mumbai: Parents demand extra attention on students, schools react | Unsplash

Mumbai: As educational institutes have resumed classes and do not rely on online sessions, schools in the city have witnessed an increase in parental demands.

The demands include counseling sessions for the students, improvement in discipline, and extra focus on knowledge and educational practices.

Parents who spoke to the Free Press Journal demanded that the students be given less writing work because they lack enough speed and end up leaving their work unfinished. The parents have sought more extra-curricular activities to be introduced in schools for the all-around development of the students.

Supporting the parental demands, the President of All India Parents Association, Maharashtra, Dharmesh Mishra told FPJ: “It is not wrong on the parents’ part to demand what they are demanding. Students don’t have a habit of writing after two years of online lectures. So, schools should really look into how much writing work should be given to the students.”

However, Mishra didn’t support the demands of changing the working hours of schools because that is how schools worked even before the lockdown. “Parents are wrong to demand a change of school timings,” he stated.

The school principals while speaking to FPJ said they were surprised to know about the demands by parents.

“I was initially surprised when a few parents came to me suggesting that we should avoid giving writing work to schools,” said Shashi Kala, Principal, Narayana eTechno School, Thane.

At the parents’ request, the principal said, teachers avoided giving a lot of writing work and eventually the students couldn’t meet up the required writing speed during exams.

One of the schools told FPJ that parents approached them with “silly” demands. The demands had nothing to do with the development of students, but those were brought up just for parents’ convenience.

Principal Raj Aloni of Kharghar’s Ramsheth Thakur Public School said, “About 30% of the parents demanded us to change the school timings from 6:50 am to a little later in the morning so that they ‘get more time to sleep’.”

Over 50% of parents from Bhandup’s K.L. Mehra School have complained to the Principal, Dr Yasmeen Shaikh, about the school not taking out enough time for students’ development.

Shaikh said, “It feels like parents want us to use some magic wand and fulfill all their demands. They expect instant results from us.” She stated that parents want school authorities to spend extra time with students for their betterment. Some parents of the school, on the other hand, have requested more sports activities and fewer academics.

“Parents themselves couldn’t handle their children during Covid. As a result, the students have all gone haywire. As a result, they have started thinking that we, as a school, should spend extra time with students,” said Suchita Malakar, Principal, of Podar International School, Powai.

Backing the demand made by parents, Dr. Dayal Mirchandani, a Mumbai-based psychiatrist, said, "Parents are correct to demand the counselling sessions because they know how their children have been at home throughout the lockdown."

He added that though the teachers aren't trained to counsel the students, according to law, it is necessary for schools to have counsellors.

Pertinently, UNICEF in a global survey published in June 2022, found that parents aren’t able to take care of their children properly due to the uncertainty and stress in their personal lives. Their emotional and professional hurdles make it harder for them to look after their children’s problems.

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