Children made to walk on fire, glass for ‘confidence’

Yes... this was the headline in TOI couple of days back. And I was as surprised reading this as any of you. Makes you wonder.. where is education system in India headed. Whether the school in question could have found better and less dramatic ways of inciting confidence in its students is anybody's guess.

I think the school should rather focus on introducing students to various career options, and help them identify their strengths and work on them. But well, thats me. The complete news is as follows:

SURAT: This could be an extreme lesson in testing the endurance of children as young as 10-14 years. A city school on Tuesday night made the kids walk on burning coal and broken glass pieces as their parents watched. 
The school authorities, however, described the incident, which happened around 11pm at River Dale Academy on L P Savani School Road, as a "scientific and confidence-building exercise". The school claimed no one was injured in the event in which a few parents also participated. 
The school had organized a two-day night camp for the students. In all, 125 students participated in it. A majority of them undertook the daunting task in the presence of around 50 parents. 
"We have been organizing this event every year for the last seven years. I think there’s nothing shocking in it as it was just an exercise to boost confidence. In the past, no injuries were reported during such an exercise, so we are continuing," said Mahesh Patel, director of River Dale Academy. 
"People are shocked as they came to know about it for the first time. Maybe it looks dangerous but actually it’s not. None of the parents objected and it was permitted by them. But in future we will take care if this hurts public sentiment," said Patel. 
With the issue coming into limelight, district education officer K R Zanzrukia has ordered an inquiry. On Wednesday, parents of students participating in the camp gathered at the school in support of the authorities. However, many have not taken it lightly. "It is a gross violation of a child’s right," said assistant labour commissioner S A Trivedi, adding, "this is physical torture to a child." 
District collector A J Shah said: "How can you adopt such tactics to build self-confidence in a child? There are many management techniques in the education system to build confidence." Rupin Pacchigar, chairman, Nagar Prathmik Shikshan Samiti of SMC that runs 270 schools with 1.36 lakh students, said: "This is ridiculous. This type of activity can only harm children."
Thoughts, people?

The original article can be found here 


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