The Power of a School

Mehreen Versi (Arusha, Tanzania)

Dear Reader,

It is after great thought that I am writing this to you. Before I continue, I have a few questions. What is the purpose of a school according to you? What role has/does a school play in your life? What memories are you trying to build from school? What is the first word/thought that comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘school’?

As a student myself, and now an observer, it may be a norm but a very disappointing one. Generation after generation has gone through an out dated system on all grounds, be it academic or disciplinary. I have always believed that a school is an institution that builds the foundation of each individual. Since we talk about each person being an individual, behavior will differ from one person to another; however, schools aim to make each child behave the same. If they don’t, they face dire consequences. Many people will differ with me at this point, but dear reader, let me explain what I really mean.

Discipline is important in life and is instilled in children at home and schools from a young age, but have we ever taken a moment to think about our ways of instilling discipline? Why are we still using coercion that was used back in the years till today when we have the ability to progress; and it has been done in every other field. Do schools want to instill fear, hate, and dismay? Or would they rather instill respect, discipline, love, connections, and creativity. The world today is progressing at a pace that many of us cannot match. Schools do have the power to bridge this gap, and this has gone unrealized till now.

It is important to note that how we treat anyone will eventually reflect in their actions irrespective of their age. Schools can instill discipline in students in a number of ways that do not include coercion. Another advantage is that it will teach students to think outside the box for solutions to common problems in life. Creative sessions can be organized to instill punctuality, respect, and discipline. Book readings and reviews around these topics, asking students that behave outside the bounds set by the school to write on a number of topics that help with self reflection, meditation, connecting with nature by planting a tree/ flower. These are simple interventions that help correct behavior that disrupts the school environment without humiliating a child.

No school meant for it to happen,

Not for the student who has beating marks,

Not to the student who hates school,

Not to the student who now has nightmares.

But it happened,

Through tradition,

Through coercion,

Through humiliation.

No school meant for it to happen,

Not for the alumni to go out shy,

Not for the alumni to go violent,

Not for the alumni to feel stuck after school.

But it happened,

Through victimizing,

Through yelling and hitting,

Through being closed in a box of books.

No school meant for it to happen,

Not for the student who was bullied,

Not for the student who failed,

Not for the student broke down.

But it happened,

For the one that didn’t speak up,

For the one who did not understand,

For the one who got frustrated.

It is time for schools to change their outlook, to change their perspective. Not everyone who leaves will be perfect, but a large percentage will be happy. Do not snatch a child’s naughtiness and innocence completely; it is what makes them the most creative and imaginative beings on earth.

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About the author

Mehreen Nazarali Versi is a published author, an avid reader, and poet. She wrote her book; Spectrum of Happiness when she was 18 and published it a few years later. She writes articles covering a number of subject areas, edits content both of academic and non-academic nature. Her aim is to build a community of critical readers who are able to read, question, and reason with content beyond what it says as plain text.

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