Thinking and Education


Continuous Education

The Day the Students “Demonstrated”

I heard that many students were unhappy with the way the canteen operator was running the school canteen. Rudeness on the part of the “boss” resulting in arguments and quarrels with the students; non-replacement for accidental spills resulting in children “losing” their meals; incorrect change etc. All these complaints are standard and the canteen operator had been spoken to by the teacher-in-charge. But rumuors began to circulate that the students were going to stage a “strike” or boycott. As this has never happened before…I as HM thought nothing of it.

One day, while I was in one of the classes, I saw a reporter from the local press outside my class. She told me that she had heard that there was going to be a “boycott”of the canteen today! I was surprised. Anyway the school bell for recess rang and I dismissed the class. Upon that all the students ran to the canteen! Well, there is your boycott! The reporter laughed and left.

I had a shock a few minutes later. And what a shock! It seemed that all the children had gone to the canteen..but they did not make a single purchase! They just sat on the chairs and talked among themselves! All the food was untouched. Not a single sen was collected by the canteen operator on that day!

There was a big emergency meeting in the school that day – teachers, prefects and canteen operators. 

This shows how out of touch we can be, although we are confined to the school compound. How could we so misread and failed to understand what was going on. We need to listen more and to take appropriate action.

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December 2007

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