Thursday, 25 July 2019

India’s Independence Day is on the 15th of August and not the 14th of August!



India’s Independence Day is on the 15th of August and not the 14th of August!

Dear Educators and Parents,

We teach children about our independence history, (I hope all schools still teach this!) we teach them about the sacrifices made by Indians to help us achieve the freedom that we now enjoy, and to show our solidarity to each other as citizens of this country. I am sure we teach children about our Independence  so that they grow up valuing their past, savour and enjoy their present, and can make the right decisions about their future.

But then we send very mixed messages when we celebrate Independence Day on the 14th of August, just for our convenience! Did our freedom fighters see their convenience? Would we be enjoying the democratic life we now do, if they had thought about their convenience? Many schools celebrate India’s Independence Day on the 14th of August, forgetting that India got its freedom at midnight on the 14th, so it was 15th of August. Pakistan celebrates its independence day on the 14th, not India. So sorry to say but shame on those who look at their convenience and celebrate India’s Independence Day on the 14th, just so that they can enjoy a holiday!

What kind of a message are we sending to our children, when we see our convenience instead of our duty? What kind of a message are we sending to our children when we don’t give importance to the most important day of our country? And then we say that the young generation has no values, has no sense of belonging. But didn’t they learn this from us? Who was their role model?

This time Independence Day and Rakshabandhan fall on the same day. Rakshabandhan is the celebration of the bond between a brother and sister; blessings and promises are exchanged on that day between a brother and sister. Many schools are forgoing Independence Day celebrations this year so that they and their staff can celebrate Rakshabandhan. Why should it be an ‘or’, why can’t we celebrate both? It takes 10 minutes to hoist the flag, sing the national anthem and pay your tribute to country. Come on, educators, if education is why you have set up your school or are a teacher, then Independence Day and Republic day are your teaching moments. To teach children that we have a duty towards our nation, to teach children that if we want to enjoy the freedom that we have then it is our responsibility to acknowledge the country that has given us that freedom. Bond with your country and then every personal bond will be cherished.  

There are thousands of soldiers at our borders who don’t get to celebrate Rakshabandhan or other festivals with their family. They forgo all that to keep us safe while we get the freedom to cherish and relish our relationships and celebrations. What if all our soldiers saw their convenience?

As a proud Indian citizen and an educator I appeal to all of you, stand up for your country proudly every Independence day…15th of August…and look with pride at the tricolour and sing the national anthem with gusto. Then go home and tie a Rakhi or get a Rakhi tied! In years to come maybe Eid or Ganapati or Onam or Pateti etc. will be on the 15th of August, don’t choose, celebrate both…the sense of pride and freedom of your country and your personal, religious celebration. Jai Hind.

Dr. Swati Popat Vats

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Sab Bachho ka bhala…desh ka vikas!


Sab Bachho ka bhala…desh  ka vikas!






Sab Bachho ka bhala…desh  ka vikas!
It takes a village to raise a child is a well known quote but I feel in India it should be- The village should raise every child! Because in India our private preschools cater to and do a fairly good job for the children enrolled , but that is just 20% of our child population. The other 80% do not have access to any early childhood education program or have access to but is not of the quality that it should be. Our country proudly runs the largest Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) or called Anganwadis. But these were established and remain primarily health and  nutrition centers.

What ails our ICDS program?

       Run presently as a health and welfare unit- education is missing.
       Anganwadi sevikas are not qualified in ECE but given training as and when.
       Too many other duties given to the sevikas and ECD  and ECE take a back seat.
       Inspite of a curriculum draft, our ICDS are ill-equipped to follow it due to lack of resources and training

ASAR report and Early Years Education-

Every year the ASAR reports laments the fact that our fifth or eight standard children cannot even read a second standard reading activity etc. This will continue to happen unless we focus on early years education because attendance at a quality preschool from age three predicted better outcomes in English, science, and math when compared with children that had not attended preschool.  Analysis of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) also shows that in most countries, students who had attended at least one year of early learning perform better than those who had not, accounting for students’ socioeconomic background (OECD, 2015, p. 326).

What is the importance and impact of early years education?

It helps children develop the Potential to think rationally, Persist with challenge , Use language, Suppress impulse, Regulate emotion , Respond  to others’ distress, Cooperate with peers, develop Cognitive and  social skills , develop Healthy habits. And hence, the vast differences in the early experiences of a child in the ICDS program and a private program make it unlikely that the two children will ever perform equivalently in school and later employment arena. Its time to invest in early childhood education, especially in our ICDS program to ensure that we take care of the other brain drain!

An oft asked question- is there any research to prove that investing in quality early childhood education programs help a country? The answer is, yes, read the Heckman report.

James J. Heckman is the Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, a Nobel laureate in economics and an expert in the economics of human development. He uncovered a new way of looking at the full picture of the development of human potential. According to him there is too much focus on the development of cognitive skills where knowledge can be tested, rather than on the development of social skills—such as attentiveness, persistence and working with others. When social skills are combined at an early age with cognitive skills, they help create more capable and productive citizens.
Every child needs effective early childhood development to be successful, but disadvantaged children are least likely to get it. Professor Heckman has proven that investing in the early childhood development of disadvantaged children will produce great returns to individuals and society in better education, health, economic and social outcomes—not only saving taxpayers money but increasing our nation’s economic productivity. Everyone gains when we invest, develop and sustain the early development of America’s greatest natural resource—its people.

He highlighted the following benefits of ECE

       Reduced costs in remedial education, healthcare, and criminal justice participation down the line.
   Preschool helps develop the early building blocks of educational success – learning colours and numbers, understanding patterns, realizing that printed words hold meaning.
       It socializes children.
       Any language, hearing or developmental problems a child may have are picked up early.

America tried it and here is the proof- The Hechinger Report-

The Hechinger Report provided an update about data collected from the Perry Preschool Project, explaining first the history of the project: “Nearly 60 years ago, a handful of 3-and-4-year-old black children living in a small city outside of Detroit attended a preschool program known as the Perry Preschool Project. The children were part of an experiment to see if a high-quality educational experience in a child’s early years could raise IQ scores.”

“Led for the last decade by Nobel Laureate James Heckman, an economist at the University of Chicago, the Perry researchers have also looked at school success in terms of persistence to graduation, work success in terms of job retention and life success in terms of physical health and healthy relationships. Perry Preschool children did better on all of these measures than a randomly selected group of their peers who did not attend the preschool.”

 “The latest results from this long-running study, released on May 14, 2019, indicate that children of the now 50-to-55-year old Perry participants reaped the same benefits…67 percent of the adult children of Perry participants completed high school without a suspension, compared to just 40 percent of the children of non-participants.”

Other countries have also starting investing in early years education-

Countries like USA, UK, Australia, and many others have universalized Early Childhood Education. Most of these countries have made it free at least for 15 hours a week or at least one year of ECE Programs. They did this, as they wanted every child to benefit from early childhood care and education so that ‘where you are born’ does not decide ‘where you start from’. It means equal opportunities to every child.

Where you start from does not determine how far you can go-

Gaps in knowledge and ability between disadvantaged children and their more advantaged peers open up long before kindergarten, tend to persist throughout life, and are difficult and costly to close. Taking a proactive approach to cognitive and social skill development through investments in quality early childhood programs is more effective and economically efficient than trying to close the gap later on.

The rate of return for investments in quality early childhood development for disadvantaged children is 7-10% per annum through better outcomes in education, health, sociability, economic productivity and reduced crime. There’s a growing recognition of the value of investing in quality early childhood programs. It’s time to act on the evidence. The sooner we do, the more likely we will be to put our country on the road to greater prosperity that is shared by all.

If for every rupee invested we get back 7 rupees then how is it not economically viable? The problem is, in India, Childcare and Early Childhood Education (ECE) is traditionally viewed from welfare or education perspective, its time we viewed it from an economic perspective. A perspective that countries like USA, UK, Australia and many others have benefited from.

At last years Education World ECE conference in Bengaluru, ECA has recommended Public private partnerships for upliftment of the Anganwadi program-

       Teacher training in ICDS and Balwadis, is completely ignored right now, needs to be outsourced.

       Curriculum management to be given to a private partner.

    Give some incentives in tax and rent to private partners who then ensure the smooth running of a number of centers regulated by a private body like ECA.

       Present model of giving balwadis and anganwadis to NGO to run also needs regulatory body like ECA.

       Common curriculum model and teacher training instead of the present fragmented level of operations.

The world is taking ECE seriously, its time India invested in its youngest citizens, who are not the vote bank but are definitely future nation builders. Let us invest in our children…all our children because how each one of them is brought up will impact all of them and us!

“I believe that each of us must come to care about everyone else’s children. We must come to see that the well being of our own individual children is intimately linked to the well being of all other people’s children. After all when one of our children needs life saving surgery, someone else’s child will perform it, when one of our children is threatened or harmed by violence in the streets, someone else’s child will inflict it. The good life for our own children can be secured if it is also secured for all other people’s children”
- Lillian Katz


I sign off by saying, to our dearest Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji that its time to adopt the slogan Sab Bachho ka bhala…desh  ka vikas!

Monday, 20 May 2019

Naughty or Aggressive?




Naughty or Aggressive ?






When I was a preschool teacher, all the ‘naughty’ children were put in my class! And I loved to have them, because I would try and solve the mystery of each child’s ‘naughtiness’. Today ‘naughty’ children are called ‘aggressive’. Any child is labeled aggressive, if the child cannot sit straight while you are telling a story- aggressive! If the child cannot share- aggressive! If the child pushes someone in the park- aggressive!
It is important that parents and teachers understand child development because then they would know what behavior is age appropriate and what needs to be looked into for modification. For example when children in the ages of 2 to 4 years push someone, it is because they lack impulse control and cannot wait for their turn. By age 5 children have learnt social manners and have an understanding of ‘not to hurt others’. So when a 3 year old pushes we need to handle it differently, from when a 5 year old or an 8 year old pushes.
Children get aggressive for many reasons, but the two most  important reasons are  lack of attention and too much attention. When a child feels ignored a child usually reacts aggressively.  When a child is spoilt, then the child wants attention all the time and when that attention is divided or late in coming the child reacts aggressively. It important for adults to make a distinction between the two  as the first one needs love and the second one needs firmness. 
Signs of aggression-
·         moodiness
·         depression
·         inability or disinterest in activities and people
·         not looking at you when you talk to them

Acts of aggression-
·         shouting, screaming.
·         Pushing others.
·         Hitting and harming others or oneself.
·         Running around, jumping, swinging things, throwing things.

We  had a child in one of our schools  that would come to the class and climb the shelves and sit there. No amount of cajoling would bring him down. If brought down the child would walk around hitting and punching other children. Sometimes we would feel he is better off on the shelf! But then other children want to sit on the shelf, so this had to be sorted.  We asked the teacher to start shadowing the child by holding his hand and gently pulling him away when he would try to reach for another child. Everyday as he would enter the class  the teacher  would greet him and take him aside and high five him, and reaffirming about 2 important rules- “we don’t sit on the shelf and we don’t hurt others”. Then she would follow him around by holding his hand. At the end of the day she would tell him what he did well and where he can be better. The child was 3 years old. After 15 days of this, slowly she did not have to hold his hand, she involved him in activities like helping pick up toys or take things from one side of the class to the other. But she noticed that every time his father came to drop him (which was once in 15 days) the child would be too aggressive on those days. Then  we found the cause, the father before dropping him would say, ‘don’t be naughty in school or I will not take you out’.  We  realized that the father was giving negative reinforcement and so we spoke to the father to change his words to , ‘ have fun in school and I will pick you up after school, daddy loves you’
The aggression stopped and the child is well settled now.
Here are some pointers  to monitor and change aggressive behavior
1.     From when did these start? A new baby? A change in the family? A new teacher? Too many milestones together? - like toilet training, eating on their own, brushing their teeth, going to daycare. If too many emotionally draining milestones were clubbed together then the child will naturally always feel overwhelmed and thus may resort to aggressive behavior  often from stress.
2.     How did you handle the first aggression and how are you handling it now? Most parents handle the first few aggressions with ease, by either being kind to the child or laughing it off, but as the frequency increases they tend to change and it is this change that frustrates the child. So be consistent in your way of handling every aggression  and meltdown.
3.     Is the child aggressive only with you or with everyone? This can be because of three reasons-
a.     You may not be giving her choices and so she wants her way – power struggle. So give some choices, like for choosing clothes to wear, the closet is off limits but put three dresses on the bed and have her choose what to wear, this will help you ‘maintain control’ and also give the child the required choice to feel independent and in control.
b.    Mothers usually like to maintain a routine that is good for children but others may not be so strict with her so she perceives you as the ‘only’ person who ‘makes’ her do things. So talk to the other family members to maintain some consistency.
c.     You may unknowingly not be paying her attention when ‘she’ wants. So analyze and work on it. Remember for children even negative attention is good. 
4.     Check how much time you spend with her, is it enough? Kids need 20 minutes of our undivided attention (at least 6 times a day!) but sometimes we end up being on the phone or checking mails or cooking when we are supposed to be giving them our undivided attention.
5.     Do you communicate or instruct? Check your conversations throughout the day are they more instructions and questions? Then you need to give her more time to talk and communicate. 
6.    If you find that nothing works and your child  is just a ‘drama queen’ or ‘meltdown king’ then refrain from labeling them as such. Because when you call them by these names you are opening them up to ridicule and confusing them, which adds more fuel to their already fragile emotions.

 9 ways to handle aggressive behavior-
 
1.     Walking away does not help as it teaches your child that when someone is upset, walk away.
2.     So during an aggressive  tantrum or a meltdown just sit there quietly till it wears out, or give your child a tight hug and keep hugging till she quiets down. Say words like, ‘There, there, I understand’ or just a simple ‘hmmm.’ Ensure that your child is not going to hurt herself or others, if you think she will then just hold her tightly from behind, close to your body.
3.     Reasoning with them during an aggressive meltdown is foolish because during aggressive behavior the pre frontal cortex or the thinking brain has shut down and the primitive brain has taken over which has only 4 responses, fight, flight, flock or freeze. Talk to them and reason with them afterwards or when you are having a happy moment with them.
4.     If your child has the aggressive  meltdown at a public place then just ride it out with a smile on your face for that irritating passerby who glares at you just shrug your shoulder and say,  ‘ Bear with it dear, remember this planet also has kids’. Don’t look embarrassed, as that is the fuel to your toddlers’ public aggression.
5.     Do not lose your temper, aggression does not respond to anger. Do not lock the child, threaten, or tease the child about the behavior.
6.     If the child is being physical, hold the child firmly so the child cannot hurt itself or others.
7.     If the child is screaming and shouting, stand there, ignore and look firmly at the child, till the child stops, or else pick up the child from behind and take the child to another room.
8.     Once the child has calmed down, sit with the child, put your arm around the child, and ask the child what went wrong? how can you help?
9.     Make rules for the child, an agreement between you, and the child about what is not acceptable and compliment the child when it achieves it. Change will be slow but with consistency and persistence it happens.

 Remember not to focus on the aggressive behavior but to focus on the cause of the aggressive behavior.



Dr. Swati Popat Vats


Thursday, 15 February 2018

Where the heart beats and not the hand…#Iwillnot

Where the heart beats and not the hand…#Iwillnot




Early Childhood Association with First Moms Club and Born Smart recently conducted a survey on ‘spanking’ with 1790 mothers and the results were that 77% mothers spanked their children! The study was published in Times of India and Hindustan Times on 15th February. (https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/77-of-moms-raised-hands-on-their-children-survey/articleshow/62922957.cms) (https://m.hindustantimes.com/india-news/survey-shows-77-parents-spank-children-at-home/story-zNNnm3jsFKshnpcCKPSOYO.html )

Our vision behind this survey was to support rather than judge parents. We know that parenting can be both exhausting and exhilarating. It is in the exhausting times that a parent may lose control and resort to hitting, spanking, or pinching their child. We are here to help you  overcome the hand that hits and help you make it the hand that hugs. Parenting is where the ‘heart beats’ and not the ‘hand’.

Its time to practice ‘mindful parenting’.

The common reasons why mothers said that they spanked their children are:
1.Struggling to bring up children alone, as the father rarely participates, so overwhelmed all the time.
2.Inability to control her anger, irritation, and frustration.
3.Trying to juggle home and career and ensuring that the child is well looked after, or giving up a career and finding it frustrating.

Some mothers even wrote to us saying- “ I hit my child but it’s for the child’s best interests and its ok for mothers to once in a while hit their child, afterall they love them so much”.I don’t judge mothers who hit their children but I definitely judge mothers who condone it, because there can be no excuse to resorting to violence when it comes to children.

Don’t men who hit their wives use the same excuse?? When did love become violence and when did love give you the sick power to hurt, humiliate and hit? If you really love your children then let your heart beat for your child and not your hand!

Look at what’s happening around you today, young teenagers are killing, hurting others, violence has become a norm, acceptable. Children learn by imitation and when you try to control them with violence then they learn that violence is the solution for everything in life. And when you try to condone that violence by saying that ‘I hit you because I love you’ then you are bringing up ‘wife beaters’ and ‘acid throwers’. Love never, ever hurts or harms! In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “punishment hardens children” and that is exactly what we are seeing today, children who have hardened emotions who kill, hit and harm because empathy is dead. How did it die? It was beaten out of the bodies of our children.

I am not going to be soft or considerate in this blog, as it is time we as women realized that giving excuses of frustration does not give us the right to physically harm our children. A physical harm that scars our children for life. Come on women..mothers…are you saying that you are so weak that you take out the frustrations of life and husbands on your children? You are much stronger than that. You  are the stronger species and that is why you carry the child for 9 months and you are the nurturers and protectors. Don’t give in to momentary weakness and end up hitting, pinching, and slapping your children.

Most mothers who come to me for counseling admit that after hitting their children they feel guilty and then go and hug their child, say sorry and give them gifts. This teaches children that violence is a way of showing love. What kind of husbands and wives will these kids grow up to be? They will be husbands who beat their wives because they ‘love’ them and they will be wives that take that beating and pass it on to their children, because they ‘love their husbands and children.

Its time to ensure that with our smart phones even our parenting styles are getting smarter! Its time for ‘mindful parenting’. Mindfulness is all about realizing when your emotions are racing ahead of you, when your emotions are taking over you, listen to your beating heart and control that hand that beats.

I am not going to enumerate the negative impacts of spanking children because you don’t need a reason to stop hitting your own child/ren, you need control, self control. So tie a red ribbon on the hand that you use to hit your child, this will be a constant reminder that you have to control that hand and the red will remind you that instead of seeing a red mark of a slap on your child it would be so much more loving to see the red mark of a kiss on your child.

If you are finding your child stubborn, irritating, unreasonable then realize that your child was not born that way. Remember that cherubic angel you held in your arms? When did that angel  become ‘Dennis the Menace’? Something you did or did not do as parents led to this transformation in your child, well then there is something that you can do as parents that can once again transform your child, all you need is a mentor, seek one.

Promise yourself that you will not push your child on a ‘merry go round’ of violence, because remember, children who are beaten..beat, it’s as simple as that. Just because you are a mother does not give you the right to beat your child and that is why in most countries it is illegal to hit or harm your child. Its time that ‘Mother India’ also stops hitting their child and stop making excuses like, ‘its just a small phatka’, ‘its for the child’s good’, ‘ it hit because I love my child’, etc.

Become the parent, the mother whose heart beats for her children and not her hand. Go on your Facebook, twitter, instagram and become an enlightened and empowered mother by posting #Iwillnot

Come become part of this campaign to ensure that mothers are known for nurturing and not for harming and that mothers are stronger and can control their hand when it comes to taking care of the heart of their lives…their children. #Iwillnot

Dr.Swati Popat Vats

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Learning from Padmavati film row and Miss World win



Learning for educators and parents from Padmavati film row and Miss World win. 


Media has been going berserk on the Padmavati film row, with arguments and shouting matches by those who support the film and those who don’t! And in this frenzy came the news about our girl from Haryana winning the Miss World crown and bringing it back to India after 17 years by replying, ‘mother’, to the end of the pageant question- ‘Which profession should be the highest paid and why?’ And her reply again has those that think it was an apt reply and those that don’t.

Both the news are splashed everywhere, so much so that it is difficult to ignore them and kids, especially youngsters are definitely influenced by both the news. This is where we as educators need to step in and help them analyze, deliberate and decide otherwise they will end up taking sides without learning the most essential skills of logical thinking so required in understanding conflict.  If we really want to change our education system then its time to start discussing contemporary issues with students. Discussing not arguing or judging!

Our children and youth have a question regarding the Padmavati film row- ‘Who is right?’ Many educators and mothers applauded the reply given by Ms. Chillar to clinch the crown, and our students have a question, ‘She did not answer the question, so will we also be applauded if we don’t answer questions in the right context?’
 
 
The Padmavati film row is the right opportunity to teach our children and youth the following-

1.    There is never a complete right and wrong in such conflicts, the important part is resolving the conflict to the benefit of both parties and without any harm to a third party. 

Discussions are raging about proving each side wrong or each side right but we must realize that in this situation like many such conflicts there is no innocent party or the right and wrong party as both parties have broken rules and have erred. The choice now is either to continue to argue that this party is less guilty or more violent than the other or to ensure that both parties are brought face to face to resolve the conflict. Youth need our help to understand how media also has two sides, the ‘reporting’ and the ‘rehashing’, it is the rehashing that we need to be careful about and train our children to understand that it happens for TRP and once they understand the difference they will be able to make logical choices instead of depending on the ‘brain washing’ of the rehashing! 

2.    Creative liberty or liberty of speech is our right but we also have to respect the right of beliefs and sentiments.

We are a proud democratic country and we have the right to speak our mind, our thoughts and practice creativity. But with every right, comes a responsibility and it is this combination that we need to make our children and youth aware about. What they speak and how they speak can hurt someone’s beliefs and sentiments, are they aware of the same? Or are they clueless about the same? Or are they aware but choose to ignore the same? This requires intelligence, sensitivity and empathy, all signs of a good leader. So help students to analyze their decisions, thoughts, and speech on these guidelines before they decide to speak, print or go public. 

3.    Tackling upset people by becoming more upset with them does not diffuse the situation. What helps is knowledge of conflict resolution. 

Our children need to be given the understanding that Violence can never be condoned and any kind of violence is deplorable. But violence cannot be defused by sarcasm, mocking or shouting. Violence happens when the thinking brain has stopped thinking and is now on flight or fight mode. The more you shout, threaten or mock such a brain it will resort to more violence as it is on ‘shut down mode’. The only way to calm violence is to bring in conflict resolution. This needs to be practiced at the micro level by teachers in schools and parents at home by not resorting to violence when tackling an angry child or teenager or by shouting and mocking their behavior. This will only ignite and incite them to do more bad behavior. If children see adults handling a volatile situation in a clam manner and succeeding in diffusing the same then they will grow up learning conflict resolution skills that will go a long way in ensuring that they become law abiding citizens that contribute to a peaceful society and world. Our children will face violence in the form of bullies and bullies cannot be done away with more bullying! Conflict resolution is a 21st century life skill that we need to ingrain and pass on to our youth.

  
The Miss World win is the perfect opportunity to help young impressionable minds understand the following:

1.    Ms. Chillar is a young budding medical student, so she is a perfect example of beauty and brains. In today’s world it is important to understand the meaning of beauty is not just in being born with great looks but making yourself beautiful with exercise, a good food plan and grooming. All that is possible for everyone. And the earlier we make them aware of the same is better. Healthy food should not be confused with dieting and exercise should not become exercise binging! Grooming is all about health and hygiene.

2.    So what is a good figure? Will be a common topic of discussion in young boys and girls, well, its time to help them understand that a good figure is one that makes you feel comfortable and healthy.  Going on life threatening diets or severe gym plans is only a temporary and dangerous solution. 

3.    Even in a beauty pageant the clincher is always the question and answer round, so you may win all the beauty and fashion rounds but it is your presence of mind, confidence and smartness that ultimately gets you the crown or keeps it at arms length from you. This helps children understand that nothing in life is dependent on just good looks!

But a teenager asked me the most important queries on the question Ms. Chillar was asked and the reply she gave, the query,  ‘Was her reply correct?’, to which I said well she did not answer the question but replied to it in a different context. Because after the entire question posed was, ‘Which profession should be paid the highest salary and why?’ and the meaning of the word profession is  - a paid occupation, especially one that involves prolonged training and a formal qualification. So yes her reply, ‘Mother’ is not the apt reply to the question but she smartly gave it a different context and thus won the heart of the jury.

And now the teenager asked me a second question- ‘So should not schools also allow us to answer questions in a different context? Why do they insist on having a right answer…only one answer?’

And this is what I leave to all educators and parents to think about, especially those that are applauding Ms. Chillar’s reply, why cant we give our students the same freedom when it comes to replying to questions that can have more than one context?

Its time we used contemporary everyday affairs to help us teach our students and children so that they are better equipped to face the world and its trails and tribulations on their own with confidence, zeal, determination and logic

Dr.Swati Popat Vats