‘Encourage & Not Discourage Your Child. Be Mindful & Not Mindless’- Dr D’sa during PTA Meeting of SAHPS

‘Encourage & Not Discourage Your Child. Be Mindful & Not Mindless’- Dr D’sa during PTA Meeting of SAHPS

  • ‘Encourage & Not Discourage Your Child. Be Mindful & Not Mindless’- Dr Alwyn D’sa -Associate Professor of English & Controller of Examinations of St Aloysius College, Mangaluru, who was the Chief Guest, during Parent Teachers’Association (PTA) Annual General Body Meeting of St Aloysius Higher Primary School, Kodialbail-Mangaluru, on Saturday, 6 July 2019

Mangaluru: Before going further into today’s report, my presence at the PTA Annual General Body Meeting held at St Aloysius Higher Primary school, brought back memories of my Alma Mater, where I studied there from 1st-6th std- and further continuing until my B Sc graduation at the same St Aloysius Institutions During my school days at SAHPS, we never had a PTA-the only time my mother came to the school when she brought me lunch, and the only time she met the headmaster and teachers was that day, when me and my friend were caught throwing stones at the mango tree to get some mangoes in the school campus- and my mother was called to the school, and in front of her, I got a few beatings with a foot ruler on my knuckles by the Headmaster. But that punishment made us great persons later, having completed our education at St Aloysius Institutions, me and my friend landed in the USA- while I worked for 23 plus years as a Head Lab Tech at a renowned US-based company, my friend is currently a CEO of a multi-billion dollar US Company.

Yes, teachers make us great persons, no matter what punishment they give us- and for that matter getting your education at St Aloysius Institutions is the best place in the Universe-no questions asked- and I feel proud to say that I am a Aloysian- and they say that “A Aloysian is always a Aloysian”- no doubt about it. And to the parents who have enrolled their children at St Aloysius Institution, I say ‘You have done the right choice for the education and growth of your child in academics, sports and other co-curricular activities to be the future leaders of the nation and world. You won’t regret when one day you’ll be a proud parent of a proud child- and that too a Aloysian. On that day you need to thank the Jesuit priests, the management, staff, headmistress, principal and teachers for shaping and turning your child into a genius person.

Yes, PTA General Body Meeting is an important event of school involvement, where parents get to know more about what takes place in school. It is an opportunity for the parents to become a part of the school improvement programme also. Parents play an essential role in shaping their child’s character. They can help in the kid’s educational journey by getting involved in school activities. This is where the parent-teacher interaction aspect comes into the picture- and for that matter, SAHPS has the best, energetic and active PTA, which has been involved in various activities for the betterment and growth of the students, along with the school. And I feel jealous now that we didn’t have an active PTA in the 70s. But I am happy for the present generation who have all the facilities and care at this prestigious institution, well-taken care by the management, headmistress and teachers.

It’s true, that a student can achieve a high level of academic excellence if he or she gets support from school as well as family. Teacher to student and teacher to parent interaction are paramount for the child’s success. Parents can help children if they understand what he or she lacks. Unfortunately, most of the studies point out that the factors like the language barrier, lack of time and resources act as hurdles in communication. Maintaining a positive environment during the learning session can be possible only when the student and teacher do not feel uncomfortable to interact with one another. Lessons need to be engaging to ensure students feel enthusiastic while learning.

A positive working relationship between the tutor and parent can indeed help in improving the student’s academic performance. A teacher expects the guardian to ensure that the kid completes the allotted homework. They also expect the mother or father to sit with their kid and perform a revision for lessons that were covered during various lectures at the school. On the other hand, parents expect the tutor to share details like academic performance, attendance and child’s behavior in the school promptly. The student’s learning outcome, grades can show immediate positive effects if both communicate their expectations clearly and decide responsibilities accordingly to support the child. What would be your reaction if your child’s educator emails or calls you about how great your kid is doing in his class? You would feel pleasantly surprised, isn’t it? Yes, messages can improve communication between a parent and a teacher. Thus, the interaction between the two should also focus on the child’s positive aspects. The guardian or parents would appreciate unsolicited positive comments about the kid from the tutor. Regular interactions between the teacher and parent is a must to understand the kid’s challenges and strengths. It also improves mutual respect and trust between the two.

Today’s PTA Annual General Body Meeting began with invoking God’s blessings through a prayer song rendered by a bevy of school teachers, followed by Welcome address by Ms Philomena Lewis- the Headmistress of the school. The hall was packed with nearly 600 plus parents, where women were all attired in glittering clothes, Zari Sarees and jewellery, while the men as usual just came in their usual casual attire, but all were full of enthusiasm and charisma in engaging themselves in the proceedings. The audio-video presentation of the PTA report was undertaken by teacher, Ms Josita Noronha. Introduction of the Chief Guest Dr Alwyn D’sa, Associate Professor of English & Controller of Examinations of St Aloysius College, Mangaluru, done by teacher, Ms Swathi Praveen, it was now time for an elaborate speech by the chief guest to the PTA audience.

Addressing the audience Dr Alwyn D’sa said, “First of all let me ask you how many of you would speak for two minutes about the good things of your child- in response only a few raised their hands, fearing that they could be made to address the audience in front of the microphone. Yes, you all have a big task to take care of your child. Never discourage nor talk negative of your child, be always positive on your child’s side. Make your child environmental friendly, make them learn the awareness of the clean and green environment. Marks, ranks and high grades will never reach your child to greater heights, especially at St Aloysius Institution where they strongly believe in their mission and vision, to make great men and women come out of this college through character, moral and discipline, and not just ranks or grades- and that’s holistic education”.

“Most of you are literates, but not many of you spend time with your child in reading or learning. You are all busy with your daily schedule, but you need to make time to spend it with your child. Be a good role model, so that your child follows in your footsteps to be successful and a good citizen. Allow your child to have a normal human growth, don’t put pressure on them. Show your warmth and affection, compliment and not criticize them. Plan a vacation and show them the outside world in your company, and make them happy and comfortable. Keep them away from mobile phones, which presently is ruining your child’s life. If SAHPS bans mobile phones, you should also discourage the use of mobile phones at home. Don’t be like a Mindless person, instead be a Mindful parent. Allow your child to grow with holistic personality. Be a responsible parent, and you’ll surely be a proud parent of your proud child educated at St Aloysius Institution” added Dr D’sa.

Correspondent of SAHPS Fr Gerald Furtado SJ addressing the audience said, “Keep your child free from tension. Don’t discuss your problems in front of your children. If you have any problems, our institution provides counselling which will ease all the tension in the family. We encourage our students to learn the basic /fundamental things, which is compulsory, like reading, writing etc. Without basic knowledge, your child will not succeed. These days, society has changed, and parents prefer to look into issues as per their convenience in their busy work schedule. The most preferred modes of communications are emails, online chat support, discussion forums, and app messages. But make PTA meetings a priority, which has gained popularity as guardians get the opportunity to discuss problems with teachers as well as other parents as per their convenience. At our school teachers take good care of your child, in the same way, you need to take care of them at home also. Let the PTA help bring big changes in your child’s growth and success”.

Addressing the audience Fr Dionysius Vaz SJ, the Rector of St Aloysius Institution said, “My sincere compliments to one of the best PTA in our Institutions. PTA is needed to gain a close relationship between parents and teachers. Try not to keep your child always inside the walls of your home; try to disclose your child’s potentialities; develop a power of observance and listening; communicate with your child as much as you can – then you can expect your child to be a great child. We are trying our best to provide the best facilities at this institution- very soon an elevator will be installed, new toilets will be constructed and many other facilities- all at the expenses of the management, without putting any burden on the parents. We want your child to be happy here, and that’s our motto”.

On the occasion, the new Vice President of PTA Aravind Rao was welcomed and a farewell felicitation was given to the outgoing VP of PTA Ms Rekha Fernnades, who served for two years. The present PTA board comprises of Fr Gerald Furtado SJ- President; Aravind Rao- Vice President; Ms Philomena Lewis- Headmistress; Liya D’souza- Asst headmaster; and Ms Josita Noronha- Secretary, with many other committee members comprising of parents. The vote of thanks was proposed by Aravind Rao, and the programme was professionally compered by teachers, Ms Irene Pais and Ms Akshitha Kunder.

In conclusion, in my perspective, although parent-teacher AGM’s may be enjoyed most by students, who often get an extra day off of school, these discussions between parents and teachers are a crucial opportunity to improve a child’s achievement and happiness, inside and outside the classroom. While not all parents have the ability or desire to join more formal school organizations, such as a parent-teacher association allows for greater understanding of expectations, challenges and ways to improve the school experience. These days parent-teacher meetings have been the main forum for communication between teachers and parents. Although parent-teacher conferences may be only one way in which parents and teachers communicate, they are often a good starting point and provide an initial encounter in which parents can get engaged. After all, the relationships built between teachers and parents, and the flow of information back and forth, will ultimately have the greatest positive impact on children.

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