Mental Health Issues In Students – The percentage-oriented education system takes a huge toll on children’s mental health. Schools need to bring in more interactive, hands-on learning in classroom.

Pressuring children to get high grades can affect their mental and physical health, and set the stage for stress, anxiety, lower self-esteem, and depression. Studies and surveys have shown that mental health problems are becoming prevalent among students. In fact, poor performance in exams is identified as a major factor responsible for suicide cases among young people. To reduce the academic pressure and improve physical and mental health of school children, educationists have been encouraging schools to introduce more interactive, hands-on learning as well as sporting activities.

In an exclusive interaction with the HealthSite, leading educationist and Founder & CEO of TreeHouse Education & Accessories Ltd., Rajesh Bhatia, shed light on the importance of holistic education and how it can help create a generation of innovators and not just passive learners. Excerpts follow:

Q1. What are the health and learning benefits of a more hands-on experience in classroom teaching methods as opposed to a non-interactive, chalk & talk model?

As an educationist and a parent, I believe that the process of imparting knowledge cannot be one-sided. Instead of rote learning and monotonous chalk and talk rigidity that our system is rooted in, we should encourage students to actually experience the world in an organic way. Our system is extremely focused on results and on retention rather than creation and this triggers immense stress and many mental health issues among students. The statistics speak for themselves. As educators and parents, we can do better. Instead of pressuring them, we should encourage children to think in an unregimented manner, stimulate their minds to find solutions instead of spoon-feeding them cut-and-dried morsels of information, and set their imaginations free to engage and interact with complex ideas. Only then will we have a generation of innovators and not just passive learners. The human mind is not just a sponge. To paraphrase writer Jeffrey Eugenides, biology gives us a brain but education turns it into a mind.

Q 2. What measures should schools incorporate to assist in a child’s physical fitness?

For the longest time, the adage that the only way to succeed in life was through academics, was popular and to some extent it still is. Slowly as the concept of holistic education began to evolve and educators became aware of the toll that the percentage-oriented education system takes on children, the concept of physical fitness slowly began to grow beyond the mandatory PT class. Today, students are being taught mindfulness and a lot more and in our schools, we have weekly clubs where children learn Yoga, gymnastics, dance, and a lot more. We encourage sports with numerous competitions and realize that sporting activities are not just about physical fitness but also teach students, both competitiveness and teamwork, discipline as well as playfulness. All schools can go beyond scholastic studies and make learning more movement oriented and interactive, within the classrooms and beyond.

Q 3. Why do we need to focus more on the moral, social, and comprehensive development of a child?

Let us first understand that morality is not a one-size-fits-all idea. In education especially, we cannot do virtue policing or impose any rigidity on students and must respect their diverse faiths and belief systems. But yes, there is an overarching system of morality that is about being a good human being, being empathetic, kind, socially responsible, sensitive towards the lesser privileged, towards the environment and animals. That is what we try to communicate in our schools. Be it climate change or social unrest, if students are sensitised to such issues and encouraged to participate in solutions from a young age, they will acquire a ‘can do’ attitude. An enlightened citizen is one who sees the linkages between personal, national, and global realities. We should strive to build a generation of such citizens.

Q4. What has been the recent change in education trends in India and how it is affecting children’s health?

Post the pandemic, we have been forced to think of how we can change the education system for the better because its limitations have been revealed to us. Today a hybrid education model has almost become normative and in an air quality crisis, the kind that New Delhi is experiencing currently, we have no option but to switch to online classes. This may not be ideal but is better than a complete disruption of studies. There is no one way to ensure the mental and physical health of our children but we can tweak the areas where they are most under stress and also take feedback from them as they are the biggest stakeholders in the education system. It is time to listen to them and also bring in experiential, hands-on, holistic learning that will equip them with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to not just fit in the world but to change it.

In particular, the advantages of modern education can be summarised as:

  • Modern education is a dynamic method of learning that allows kids to learn much more quickly. Interaction between students and teachers improves understanding.
  • Another advantage is that students can participate in physical exercises to increase their efficiency. Students in modern education may do much more than simply learn; they can also become more social and participatory.
  • Cocurricular activities, relaxation, theatre, and art in school assist pupils to become creative, diligent, and patient. This is one of the aspects that motivates pupils to attend school. Home Mental Health Issues More

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