Educational Institutions and mental health
“Spare the rod and spoil the child” surprisingly, this remains a debatable topic. Even if the rod here is a metaphor I do not believe that a mental or physical punishment can guarantee personal development. Mental health and self-actualized individual emerges with the right education and of course, the right educational institution.
There are often misconceptions about the basic definitions of mental health and well-being. Yes, there are various disorders and spectrums caused due to various root factors like hereditary, culture, biological, environmental, etc, but one should know that the absence of these disorders does not guarantee sound mental health. A school student may have absolutely no issues when diagnosed with but could still wake up feeling dejected, anxious, or not motivated when he faces his coming days. And this is an example of poor mental health.
Educational institutes focus on a very disciplined strategy to get things done, be it assignments and tests along with the fixed amount of holidays following them (in addition to good faculty, etc). But being mental health-friendly also means ensuring that the students have good emotional and social well-being. If a student from a famous university studies well but faces extreme pressure or anxiety in any way, his overall mental health remains low and this sometimes can go unseen. These effects will harm the student in the long run. These days due to mental health awareness a lot of students are learning its importance.
To open up perspectives and ensure that students have a disciplined, safe, and memorable school/college life which would indirectly represent the professionalism and good work of a college, small steps can be taken. Educational institutes can ensure the mental well-being of their students by individual or group assessments of students in various ways like observations, aptitude tests, etc. School counselors or mental health experts can be appointed and even if this isn’t affordable, teachers themselves can play an important role by incorporating kindness, open-mindedness, being approachable, and understanding the students who do well and those who don’t. in the end, we realize that personal developments are the consequence of much more than a harsh system or academic successes and we can spare the rod to “blossom” the child.
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