Seminar on ‘preventive method’ of education

Posted on Sunday, August 18th, 2013 and is filed under National News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

Guwahati August 2013- The modern day education system needs to do away with the archaic ‘repressive method’ of education, which was an ancient model of educating man as well as controlling the society, and adopt Don Bosco’s ‘preventive method’ of education. This was the main theme of the teachers seminar held at the Mama Margaret auditorium of Don Bosco School, Panbazar, Guwahati on August 14, 2013. The main resource person of the seminar was a Salesian priest from the Mumbai province, Dr. Peter Gonsalves, sdb, who presently is a professor of Mass Communication at the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS), Rome. Around 250 teachers of five Salesian missionary schools of the city participated in the enriching and invigorating seminar. The participating city schools were Don Bosco School, Guwahati, St. Marys Guwahati, St. Marys Maligaon, Holy Child School, Krishnagar, Guwahati and Little Flower School, Hatigaon.

The main thrust areas of the seminar were beautifully explained by Dr. Peter with a power point presentation and slide shows interspersed with movie clippings from the highly inspirational Taare Zameen Par as well as some disturbing video clippings of small children as young as five years being employed in the hazardous stone crushing industry in North Bengal.

The seminar started with the principal of the host school Fr. Antony Thekkel welcoming the participants and Vice Provincial Fr. Thomas Lakra introducing Dr. Peter Gonsalves to the audience. The other dignitaries were Fr. VM Thomas, Provincial, Guwahati Province, Fr. TO Jose, Parish Priest and school Vice Principal Fr. Xavier Beck. During the course of the seminar, Dr. Peter harped on the ‘preventive method’ of education of Saint John Bosco, the 19th century Italian Saint, and also added a new dimension ‘expressive method’ of education where the child is nurtured and allowed to blossom with his inherent or innate talents. He also urged teachers to shed corporal punishment and instead follow some of the non-violent ways to discipline children such as talking to the problem child, being patient with slow learners, appreciate and encourage, etc. The seminar also saw some of the teachers emotionally share their own personal experiences with corporal punishment. The seminar ended with Fr. VM Thomas addressing the audience, where he cited an example of a mischievous student during his stint as Principal of Don Bosco School, Guwahati in the 1980s, who always used to be thrown out of the class. That student has now gone on to become a novelist and a professor at the University of London.

By- Saikh Md Sabah Al Ahmed

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