Countering Failure - RP Devgan
To make children emotionally strong and fight against odds, they must be guided and mentored right from their early years. In Primary School, children are most impressionable. Most of the problems start with comparisons to brighter children. Not-so-bright children become conscious, which leads to jealousy, frustration, loss of self-esteem and lack of confidence.
The way out of this web is to learn to compete with oneself - forget what the others are doing and concentrate on your improvement. One should set reasonable goals and try to do better one's performance periodically. This gradual improvement brings out the best in an individual. With patience, perseverance and hard work, one gradually rubs shoulders with the best. Concentrating on one's achievement leaves little room for jealousy and heartbreak; children from an early age need to be encouraged to believe in themselves. They need to be told that every child has some talent. It just is waiting to be discovered. Regular encouragement and understanding raise a child's confidence and self-esteem.
As one starts on the journey to improve, it is crucial to reflect. Pause and look back to see how things are shaping up. Are the proper steps being taken? Too many people in this world repeat their mistakes daily, week after week, month after month and do not realise they are stagnant. They turn into robots.
Teenagers need to have a plan or a timetable they follow. The path to success is slow and, at times, painful. One must not give up. Failure leads to depression. To guard against this, one must learn to face losses and not give in. Most children who are weak emotionally have never participated in activities outside the classroom, be it sports or any extracurricular activities where they have faced disappointment and failure. Failure can be a great teacher. It makes you reflect, gather your wits and prepare for the next time. This makes you emotionally strong, an essential part of your character building.
The other day I was walking down the fairway on the golf course accompanied by a former student. He confessed that playing games and losing matches had taught him to face failure. He admitted that children who were just book worms lost out on building up their emotional strength and strong character. This is why our new NEP 2020 emphasises holistic education, which some call an all-around education.
I wish schools, for the good of children, start following the NEP 2020 guidelines, which will make children emotionally strong and prepare them to face challenges, not give up and not succumb to failure. This will help save the lives of venerable young children and make them happy. They can then look forward to a happy future with confidence and conviction.
Chairman Learning Forward India
With nearly five decades of experience as an Educationist and serving as a School Leader for schools in India and overseas, Mr Devgan brings rich experience as an administrator, sportsperson, and teacher champion. His love for children further strengthens the My Good School philosophy of every individual's personal and social development with the active support of teachers and faith in experiential learning and learning outside the four walls of the classroom. Former House Master and Dean at The Doon School, currently Member Board of Governors at Welham Boys' School, has settled down at Dehradun to help build Learning Forward India.