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CO-EDUCATION AND ADOLESCENT BEHAVIOUR
Co-educational System was meant to foster competition, do away with curiosity about the opposite sex and to build healthy relationships- both emotional and interpersonal. Unfortunately, our laxity, non-availability of a well defined policy, confusion prevailing between modernisation and traditional values and the absence of an Adolescent Education / Sex Education Programme in our Schools has led to severe problems.
We come across cases of puppy loves at much junior classes and some teachers take delight in making fun of these, rumour mongering, gossiping and making young children conscious of their infatuations. There are scores of cases where the teachers have been found love -sick and setting a bad example before students. Teachers of opposite sexes have been seen dating each other, flirting and news travels to students. On many occasions teachers have got married after a protracted so -called affair and continue to work in the same School. There are instances of teachers marrying students and even some Heads of Institutions have been found guilty of moral turpitude. This is the example we are setting. On the other hand, the Media sensationalises every incident and the young fall a prey to their emotions. If we study a few chapters of Freudian Psychology about the development of sexual urge at various stages of Growth and Development, read about the Seven Stages of Moral Development and study literature on Emotions and how to sublimate and channelize Emotions; I am sure we will find many answers to our problem. But that will not be enough. Let us ask ourselves, are we ready to execute some strategies, experiment and use a multi-pronged approach to the problem.
If our answer is yes; I suggest the following:
• Be firm and yet caring.
• Introduce a Programme of Adolescent / Sex Education in our Schools. The CBSE had already engaged an Expert and the Expert travels to various States and Regions and trains the Teachers. Find out about this Programme.
• Call Senior Doctors who are Specialists to talk to our students on Health, Hygiene, Habits and Sex related Issues.
• Organise Debates, Presentations by Students on Topics related to the Issue and let students express their views freely. Ask them for their suggestions.
• Have a very congenial Academic Climate, where the focus is on dedicated Scholarships, healthy interactions for exchange of views, information, joint surveys and projects.
• Ensure that students are always busy and never left free, unsupervised or idle.
• Trust them and build a climate of mutual trust. Do not suspect, do not allow rumours to be spread and accept emotions and feelings as natural.
• Have a proper Dress Code for students and Staff. Do not allow any laxity in this. Take Students and Staff into confidence while deciding this. The students need to understand that we want them to look decent, elegant and beautiful. They have to be ladylike and gentlemanly.
• Introduce a variety of Co-curricular Activities of all types and see that students get an opportunity of spending their spare energy, exploring their talent and canalize their emotions. Sometimes, dance, theatre and other performance may help in Catharsis and per rogation of emotions.
• Talk to them often, make them speak and even call parents to speak to them. They are being exposed to a lot of influences of varying types' why can't we provide enough examples of positive behaviour and these have to be real life stories.
• Be a Role Model. See that all Teachers are Role Models.
• Have Trained and adequately qualified Counsellors on Staff and they should be available for help, counselling and advice.
• Have a Student Body-Boys and Girls- assigned the specific task of counselling cases that seem to suffer infatuation and drift away from expected behaviour patterns.