‘Teachers are the guides but at times they too need guidance.’

Keeping in view educator’s vocational training, Unity College religiously holds orientation programs for teachers after every session break or summer break. Distinguished educationists are invited to guide and train them, and enthuse a psychological vision for students. 

Just ahead of reopening in July, an Interactive Development Session was organised by Macmillan Education on 29th June, 2022. Mr. Ivan Robert Luther, an eminent educationist and counsellor, conducted the session with an aim to train the teachers in order to build the upcoming generation with a strong foundation for future India. Principal Mr. Francis Castelino warmly welcomed the learned and skilled persona, Mr. Luther and the Macmillan Team.

Mr. Luther commenced the interactive session with the triggering questions - What is training? Why is skill required? And their answers were filtered from the teachers to highlight ‘Every child is differently talented.’ A good teacher can make a world of difference in a student’s life. A teacher contributes to a student’s achievement in the classroom, more important than facilities, and school resources and even school leadership. Moreover, improvement in a teacher's skills brings improvement in students. He also drilled out from the teachers various teaching skills to be a successful resource person. Referring to the crucial role of ‘Red Pen’, he exhorted the teachers to come above the domain of ‘I am right’, but learn to listen to the learners and reach out to them.

The tagline of the session was ‘We learn from experience and we must develop’. How? We need coaches to make corrections, improvement and success. He suggested two innovative ways to improve - firstly, to record a lesson in a mobile camera and watch it later for self-introspection; secondly, to invite a genuine colleague to observe the lesson and take his feedback. He advised to analyse and counter analyse their performance and situation to open the door for improvement. He pointed out to never hesitate in taking action at the very first mistake of the student. He discussed different techniques to resolve different levels of conflict. He concluded that development is a one way growth, and every step forward must target for the next.

On the same day, the second session was the Staff Meeting with the Secretary Mr. Najmul Hasan Rizvi. Mr. Rizvi said though it’s a repetition of every year, repetition is required, so that we may rethink in that direction. He shed light on the vision of the College, aim and its achievement. The vision of Founder President Padma Bhushan recipient Dr. S. Kalbe Sadiq is actually the work mission for us. Dr. Sadiq profoundly stressed that education and grooming can bring about a transformational development in society. Hence, in the same line, gradually Unity College was established and now is counted among the best city schools. However, a novel problem has arisen- students hold degrees (10+2, B.A. or M.A.), but are not skilled enough to earn a penny. It comes to light the need of counselling and mentorship. Since the parents are not educated enough to guide their wards, the teachers have to take the dual responsibility of educators as well as their parents.

Mr. Rizvi said that the students have lagged behind in studies in the last two years of the Pandemic. There is an urgent need that the teachers must put in extra efforts to clear their concepts in the core subjects. They may take remedial classes too. Class tests are the best way to gauge their comprehension level. 

Lastly, he stressed on employability driven education and personality development programmes, so that 'No child is left behind'. He shared that the College has on record never expelled a child due to the non-payment of fee, but on the basis of indiscipline. He motivated the teachers to have passion for teaching, and to imbibe dedication, sincerity and honesty of the yesteryear Gurus to achieve optimum results.

Addressing the teachers' suggestions for exhaustive and professional career counselling, he shared the College strategy to begin the guidance programme right from class VI onwards. The arrangement periods should be utilised proactively to show clips and field trips. A comprehensive exposure to different professions is a must before a learner chooses his future course. In addition, the professional career counselling that was discontinued for the last two years, will be reinstated from junior classes to the senior most in the current session.

The orientation of teachers culminated with a vote of thank by Vice Principal Mr. Sachindra Bharti. And the curtain was drawn on the inspiring note to adapt a fine tuning in the teaching standards to accomplish the College Motto ‘Excellence in Education’. 

On 30th June, the morning session of the ‘Teacher’s Orientation’ was taken by Vice Principal Mr. Sachindra Bharti. He discussed how to impart quality education that can impact most on children's minds. He shared that the College is dedicated to quality education and excellence in education to make every child a complete man. Since school is a miniature of society where the destiny of mankind is shaped, teaching is the greatest of all services.  

He showcased a comprehensive PPT to impress upon punctuality and discipline with a time bound approach of lesson planning. He highlighted the Code of Conduct regarding a teacher’s dress and appearance, punishment and communication. Besides, he discussed the rules for availing leaves, attendance of students, use of ERP, etc.

Learners look up to teachers as their Role Models. Mr. Bharti motivated the teachers to elevate themselves up to that level of students’ perception. Good teachers are good learners. He advised them to be commanding, not demanding, rendermoral lessons, and also add a little bit of humour to break the monotony of the class. Their aim should be to impart knowledge instead of preparing for the examination, and lower the gap between high and low performers. He stressed on experiential learning, activity based lessons, enrichment classes and use of the library. He concluded the family bond of unity-
‘Coming together is beginning, 
Working together is success, 
Staying together is progress.’

Next, the teachers attended aWebinar on POCSO, facilitated by Mrs. Mrinalini Nehra, w/o of an Army Officer and Senior Legal Associate in an IT Campus and coordinated by Mrs. Roy. The online session got a kick start with the welcome address by Headmistress Ms. Kainaat Mansoor. 

Mrs. Nehra cited the example of a sapling - if it doesn't grow up as per our perception, we try to find its cause. Similarly, highlighting the role of teachers as parents, she said that they must keep a close watch on a child’s behaviour if he or she behaves abnormally. The child might be sexually abused or harassed in any way. The College must take immediate proper action against the accused by reporting and filing an FIR. 

She shed light on the POCSO Act (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act) that came into being in 2012 with the objective of protecting children under 18 from a slew of sexual offences and introducing child-friendly judicial mechanisms for dealing with such offences. She gave an overview of the Act, its need and salient features that provide protection to all children from sexual abuse. Once a complaint is filed it cannot be withdrawn, no child can be kept in Police Custody overnight, and medical examination will be conducted under the supervision of parents or a woman by a lady doctor only.

After amendment in 2019, now the Act covers stringent punishment, child trafficking, pornography, stalking and cybercrime along with sexual abuse. Besides, it covers their right to effective assistance, privacy, safety and compensation. Above all, one cannot be a mute spectator of the crime. It is mandatory to report whether they are parents, known persons or passers-by. Even false reporting to humiliate the child is punishable, but it does not apply to the children. And there is no time limit for reporting the abuse. It may exceed to ten years, which is the time limit for general crimes. Moreover, the Schools and Colleges must hold awareness sessions for children about good and bad touch. 

In addition, she guided how to respond when a child complains, and refrained from making false promises, only to give assurance. It will build confidence in the victim child. The crime against children must be immediately reported to the Principal or the Internal POCSO society. 

In the end, a clip from the movie ‘Ribbon’ was also screened. Mrs. Nehra read her thought provoking poetry: ‘Santmahapurush may bhichhipakahi chore’.

Last but not the least was the Staff Meeting with the Principal Mr. Francis Castelino who introduced the new members of the Unity Family. He then abreast the teachers with the dos and don'ts, and reminded them to follow the same in everyday life, not to take the Code of Conduct as a formality. 

He vehemently stressed on self-discipline of the teachers, only then they can impose discipline on the students. He also advocated to dress formally always, communicate in a dignified manner, do the work with sincerity, dedication and honesty, avoid groupism or negative comments for students, parents and colleagues, say ‘NO’ to corporal punishment, develop a sense of belongingness, be humble and helpful to one another above the boundaries of seniors and juniors. 

Lastly, he exhorted everyone to be responsible, dedicated and wise.

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