Kerala Samajam Model School in Jamshedpur. Picture by Bhola Prasad
Here’s some flattering news for parents who are forever cribbing that their offspring never listen. A premier Jamshedpur school is all ears. And what’s more, it actually does what parents tell it to.
Kerala Samajam Model School has devised a parent-friendly system where the guardians have a big say in the cradle’s development.
On June 23, the school had organised a Suggestion Mela — for the second consecutive year — to let parents give both feedback and ideas on matters concerning a wide range of issues from course content to course correction. Around a 100 couples took part in the meet and aired their views on academics, discipline, inculcation of moral and ethical values and co-curricular activities.
Parents were put in groups — those whose wards study between UKG and Class III, Classes IV and VII, Class VIII and X and, finally, Classes XI and XII. Teachers said that they chose parents who “are well-informed, active and keep suggesting innovative methods to us”. Parents were told about the Suggestion Mela a couple of days ago to get their grey cells ticking. On D-Day, they were given chits to write out whatever they had in mind and submit before the school management.
A panel of teachers is going through the suggestions of this year of which the most interesting ones will be implemented in the next academic year.
The school also shared some of its best finds last year — suggestions of parents that are being implemented in this year. They ranged from “why not start a school newsletter” to “why not lighten the heavy schoolbag”. Parents also thought that their wards could speak English with better accents if the school trained them to.
So, the is now going to bring out a newsletter from August.
It also rejigged its timetables to reduce the number of books in a child’s schoolbag.
They also procured a number of CDs to teach better English phonetics to students.
There were other parental tips that the cradle was most impressed by. Based on them, school authorities now upload exam syllabi on its website to make parental access easier and transparent. It has also has launched a system of choosing seven weakest students who face teachers and parents jointly once every two months to have a no-holds-barred session on how to do better.
“We implemented many suggestions made by parents in last year’s fair, which created an amazing rapport. Parents have started feeling that their voice counts,” said principal Nandini Shukla.
The Suggestion Mela is on its way to becoming a remarkable institution. Teachers and parents put their heads together to produce “smarter and happier children”, say the teachers.