Full Day School: Fuller life for children

By Prabhakar Timble
05 March 2011 07:41 IST

The demand for full day school education as a critical infrastructure requirement should be actually made by educationists and teachers. At present, the proposal is mooted by the Government.  It is a tragedy that the trigger is pulled by the educationists to shoot it down.

Parents and learners would welcome the move only if the confidence building measures are taken up by the teachers and educationally inclined managements. If these two camps project themselves as unprepared and victims, the move would definitely meet opposition. The student welfare measure would be seen as elitist and unfriendly.

I perceive the teacher as the main stumbling block to the goal of a full time school. Many of them have entered the profession because of long vacations and evening offs. For others it is easy life without accountability for results. For some it is a part-time assignment with full time opportunity for tuitions and micro business. For very few, it is commitment and joy forever. It is because of these few that we find young achievers in art, music, sports, theatre and science. It is these few children who salute and respect those few gurus.

Many teachers and school managements do not know what is to be done with children if they are full day on the school campus. A school is today reduced to a location to teach the prescribed syllabus of the Board of Education. Little do we realise that the little syllabus can be mastered even through an open school learning mode. The formal school mechanism has higher objectives to achieve. It  is a laboratory for children to grow into adults. The teacher needs to move away from being a mere tutor. Teacher becomes a demonstrator and facilitator in this process of grooming. These higher goals are sacrificed  and mercilessly butchered at the altar of grades and marks.

A laundry list of items covering playground, library, toilets, common room and canteen though required should not come in the way of a full day school. In fact, absence of these basic facilities does not justify even part-time and half-day schooling.  The superstructure of this infrastructure is the human resource involved in education. It is for this resource to ensure physical facilities and also to compensate for deficiencies in physical facilities through innovative and creative interaction.

I have also seen the argument of denial of access to education to rural children being put forth to oppose the full day school. To my mind, the rural child will learn and flower better in a full day school environment. School would be the place of class work as opposed to the neglected and painful homework for the rural child. It would be a venue wherein differently placed learners can learn at their own pace in a group environment. It would throw opportunities to learn crafts and channelize creative energies of rural children. Group learning, group living and group playing would open the locked door of pluralistic learning and enrichment. In a full day setting, the school turns into a community offering scope for natural learning by the child. Teachers would also learn new methodologies of teaching by observing how children learn skills and games on their own without a prescribed syllabus or examinations. 

What happens in a school can make or break a child’s life. A teacher has the enviable opportunity of shaping the formative years of a child so as to make the child’s life, a wonderful journey. We need to realise that everything in this world, including the values we teach have an expiry date. Hence, continuous learning and training of teachers is imperative.

The main task of the teacher earlier was to provide information and make the child to retain, recall and repeat the same. Today, there is explosion of knowledge at different locations, channels and sites. Along with the full day school, we badly require proper recruitment and training of teachers. Both these are in a state of crisis today.

I feel the government will procrastinate on the issue of full day school. Most likely, the implementation would be put off for another year. I would argue to make a beginning by making the full day school operational   for teachers from the fresh academic year. Let the teachers get acclimatised first. Let them adjust their work style and adapt themselves. The teachers and school managements can use this one year for training, preparation of calendar of events, evaluate different options of engaging children for the full day and making provision for whatever physical facilities they deem necessary.  I am confident that the children will adopt the full day schooling much faster.

There are schools which have adequate   physical facilities.  These remain unutilised, underutilised and idle since the children and teachers desert the campus converting it to the silence of the graveyard for the major part of the day. Embrace the full day school norm. There is no need to wait for a circular from the Directorate of Education if you find in full day school gold for your children.


Disclaimer: Views expressed above are the author's own.

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Prabhakar Timble

Mr Prabhakar Timble is an educationist and a legal expert. He has served several educational institutions, especially as the Principal of Government College at Quepem, Kare College of Law in Madgao as well as couple of Management Institutes. He was also the State Election Commissioner of Goa.

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Previous Comments

The schools have become factories of mass production. Compulsion of passing the students without examinations or promoting them will never improve the standard of eduction and on the contrary will kill the instinct of competition among the students. The present Macaule's patter of education which we have adopted lock stock and barrel being the British legacy...is producing the product which is shy of manual work, does not believe in dignity of labour, feels below dignity to engage in manual works,and above all....does not believe in values, ideologies, ethics and morals.. all of which are so important for any healthy society.

We have been able to churn out millions who dont have self esteem, who are selfish to the core, who dont feel any obligation to the society, and all this needs urgent attention ..if the degeneration and degradation has to come to a stop somewhere...

The scams and corruption in every deal. the dynasty rule, the need for the legislations for the children to take care of the parents in old age...all speak for lack of values in the educational system...may be full day school alone may not be of any use............

- vishwas prabhudesai, loliem | 06 th March 2011 16:05


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