I have said this to my son many times. If he is an unhappy child, I have failed as a father and folks, I take this very personally. I have come back to Chennai for my usual traveling educators series and learned about Anita and also the blue whale challenge.
I feel insulted as an educator. I feel our intelligence and passion are insulted. Time and again, we lose out to negativity and the spreading of it. Let's just spend a minute thinking about why this is happening folks? It is happening because education is associated with negativity. We talk about stressed out students dealing with anxiety and emotional breakdowns and all this for a simple grade.
Let me ask you something. Is there a law that we are supposed to scare our kids with exams and grades? Is there proof that hours and hours of tuition and coaching classes are the only reasons why students do so well. As educators, is it not a massive slap on the face that our students have to go to other people's classes so that they can do well in exams? Does this not bother us at all?
You know what folks? I am not saying this to insult our profession and trust me when I say this because, I am one of you. We need to make education lovable and addictive and more importantly, make it a level playing field. It is the difference in standards that led to the death of one of our most intelligent minds. Anita represented hope. Anita represented the true passion behind learning and what it can lead to. We lost an angel and if that does not upset you, most probably nothing will.
No, this is not about pedagogy or latest methods of learning. It is about love and how it can make learning a level playing field. We are supposed to be the inspiration and I am sure some of us are, but this group needs to get bigger. As I was recovering from the news that we had lost Anita, I heard about the Blue Whale Challenge and how this mad man has got students and adults thinking about torture and even death. Seriously? We are losing out to this idiot? Excuse my language but I am beyond angry right now. We need the confidence and the spirit to rise up to the challenge of making learning lovable again and it starts right now. We have a million tasks to make this world a better place to live in and instead of that, we listen to this clown hiding behind a mask?
Let us begin a revolution folks and it is a quiet but fun one. Post a video per day on positive learning and make it funny.
Make sure 10 people smile and share this with all on social media. Tell your students to hug you before class and say "good day" to every one they see. Ask them say thank you to the janitors and security guards of the school and get to know 5 things about them.
No, learning is not just about subjects; it is beyond walls. Character is the foundation of learning and it brings magic to learning. Let us unleash this character in our students and the grades will automatically go up. It is time for renewal and revival. I can only hope and pray that you are with me on this. Looking forward and welcome to the classroom without walls.
From the Desk of Gabriel Suppiah