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Summer vacation forms an integral part of every child’s life owing to the conclusion of a fruitful educational year, facilitating a gap of two months. Yet, children are found to while away this time indulging in pointless pursuits such as staying indoors with their video games, leaving parents worried about the lost time. Certainly, time is precious and children need to utilise this time more wisely to productive causes. For the children, it is the best time to learn new things that they do not have the time for during the academic year. Listed here are three ways to spend summer vacations in a productive way.

 

1.  Enlist your child in a sports activity

During the school academic year, children are too caught up in their assignments and homework to indulge in recreational activities - sports being the prime example. Indulging in a sports activity inculcates a balanced set harmony between physical fitness and mental dexterity, something that individuals have to harbour within themselves. There are added emotional benefits for kids who participate in sports - experiencing challenges that help them develop confidence and learn about the world, learning to deal with winning and losing and how to accept both with grace. Besides, their confidence is boosted as they push the boundaries of their capabilities. Hence, it is always wise to encourage children in taking up a sporting activity.

 

2. Enroll your ward in a summer camp

 Vacations are the prime time to enroll children in summer camps - with children having ample of spare time that needs to be dedicated in sharpening their skills.  Summer camp forms a special kind of commune where kids congregate to have fun. Within the pulsating environment of the camp, children develop a sense of independence as they try new adventures away from home. Summer camps are known for providing a safe environment where children gain self-confidence as they learn new skills. Camp is also a place where children develop a variety of social skills (e.g., communication, and conflict resolution ability). In short, the perfect place for children to learn and grow in unison.

 

3.  Enshrine the art of holistic living in your child

 Modern advancements and the detached, clinical temperament enshrined in modern age humans may have its salient points, but is detrimental for a growing child. In lieu with decreased social relations and moral values, children are lagging behind in concentration, tolerance, patience and so on. They require to be nudged back into the world of humanity - through learning spiritual practices such as Yoga and meditation. By channelling the inner self through these holistic practices, children can develop control over their mind, which ultimately helps in improving their concentration power. This in turn proves to be a great aid in their academics, alongside veering into the path of becoming a better human beings.

 

As we progress ahead in life, it is important to impart valuable lessons to the future inhabitants, and help them understand the impact of their actions on humanity at large. Summer vacation can prove to be a time of fruitful exuberance if parents choose most of the above mentioned activities for their children to reap benefits from.

The author is Vinay Goyal, director SRS International School.

 
Swami Vivekananda said of Education: “Education is the manifestation of perfection already in man…”

To become divine (or great), man must give up suspicion, jealousy, conceit and learn to work unitedly for the common good. Courage, faith (in oneself and in God), patience and steady work, according to Swami Vivekananda are the way to success. He said that purity, patience and perseverance overcome all obstacles.

Having moral values and learning is just building having a strong root; for the body, having a healthy root will help in having healthy leaves and branches. A famous quote says “if wealth is lost nothing is lost, if health is lost something is lost; when character is lost all is lost”. This is the reason schools have introduced a subject called moral science so that moral teachings can be disseminated among the today’s modern children. Inculcating a sound moral base is becoming a tougher challenge day by day.

Students today are so much into studies and games but somewhere moral teachings becomes compulsory as it gives them a proper shape and direction as how to act or react during various difficult situations. Moral values need  to be inculcated in all age groups especially in young children as it is said young minds are empty just as a plain white sheet so whatever mark we leave the impression remains for years. When it comes for a teacher to inculcate a moral base in their students it takes a lot more as teachers are the ones who shape our thoughts and mind to a large extent.

Moral education means an ethical education that helps choose the right path in life. It comprises some basic principles such as truthfulness, honesty, charity, hospitality, tolerance, love, kindness and sympathy. Moral education makes one perfect. Education is not aimed at obtaining only a degree, it includes necessary value based teachings which result in character building and social improvement too.

It is the need of the hour that schools today should include the concept of hidden-curriculum which refers to the transmission of norms, values, and beliefs conveyed in the classroom and the social environment. It helps to reinforce the lessons of the formal curriculum but many schools neglect it. They focus more on language, subjects and marks. For example, on one hand a school may publicly claim and ensure that it’s education policy and practices are formed in such a way that all students succeed academically.

 

 

At the same time, it can be observed that the students of the particular school are contributing to undesirable behaviors whether it is bullying or cheating on exams. This type of education will barely help a child to face life situations like opinion making, decision making and right course of action. To curb this problem, schools should adapt and offer special classes, seminars, and workshops with an expert counsellor under the guidance of educators who can help in incorporating ‘values' lessons into the curriculum in order to foster well-rounded personality development in children.          

Our society today is much advanced, much better than it used to be but what if the people of a society are not well mannered?  With rapid urbanisation and modernisation, the moral values of people are degrading day by day. An individual is not able to trust anyone be it their relatives or friends. Trust, integrity, love, and brotherhood all their feelings are fading away with time. It is the moral values that teach us to share and make new friends at school but today, children are taught not to trust anyone and make less of friends.

There is cut throat competition everywhere be it schools, colleges, offices or any talent competition. In today’s materialistic world, people are jealous of each other’s progress but rather than being suspicious and envious one must support and co-operate each other and work unitedly for the common welfare. In this industrialised era, most of the parents are working because of which they spend less time with their children due to which they lack moral values and are not able to differentiate between what is wrong and right.

 

 

The present scenario needs to undergo a radical change as the country’s future depends on its children.  

The author is Sumit Tomar, director of Vedas International School based in Sohna, Gurugram.

 
Today's highly competitive education system makes the students more stressed out, which affects their mental development. Consequently, they stay away from physical activities completely. The overall outcome of this type of schooling is that the upcoming batches of graduates and professionals have poor stamina and weak physique.

 

Besides, the lifestyle followed by children these days makes them inactive as they spend most of their time indoors watching television, computer and playing video games. Schools should include sports in their curriculum along with academics as it goes a long way in building the child's character and personality. Engaging in sports helps build strong friendships by bringing students from different schools, communities and backgrounds together. Sports and academic learning complement each other - the key is striking a balance.

It can be said that they replicate the two sides of the same coin. Sports are not played only to maintain physical stamina, but also to inculcate discipline and determination to win.

Playing sports alongside academics is a must for the all-round development of the student. These days, several sports scholarships are offered to children from underprivileged background to boost their motivation and self-confidence. Sports teaches how to deal with competition and how to cope with both both winning and losing. This kind of balanced learning process highlights the impact of physical education on the child’s social, mental and moral development in addition to physical skills.

 

A good sportsman learns valuable skills such as leadership, maintaining teamwork, and team spirit. Sports trains the students to face defeat with a smile and remain humble even in victory. It also makes the mind healthy by justifying the statement, “a sound mind resides only in a sound body”. The various benefits of engaging in sports include:

Healthy heart - Cardiovascular health improves as the heart pumps more blood. It reduces the chances of heart attacks and cardiac diseases.

Reduces obesity - Childhood obesity is a big concern today because of the food habits and sedentary lifestyle of children. Engaging in physical activities helps burn calories and boost metabolism. Students who are regular players of any sport are naturally fitter and healthier as compared to others.

Improves immunity - Indulging in regular exercise and sports makes the body immune to many diseases.  Playing sports results in sweat production that helps remove toxins.

Makes bones stronger – It helps to maintain bone density and strength. Sports helps to reduce the chances of osteoporosis.

Increases energy – Engaging in sports helps one become stronger and active which will help him to achieve his other goals​ faster.

 

Live longer – The chances of living longer increases by 10 percent. The risk of chronic diseases is lower among physically active people.
   

Teaches teamwork - Working towards a common goal with different players, coaches and members, helps to communicate well and play effectively.

 

Helps to build leadership skills – A player is surrounded by competitive team and role models while playing. His decision making skills and actions are improved while competing 

Sports reduce stress & depression - Engaging in sports helps reduce the levels of stress hormones in our body. At the same time, it stimulates production of endorphins which are natural mood lifters that can keep us away from stress and depression.

 

Sports improve sleep habits - Sports and other forms of regular physical activities improve the quality of sleep. Sleeping better can improve our mental outlook for the next day, as well as improve our mood because a relaxed mind is a rejuvenated one.

 

Boosts our self-confidence - Regular exercise while playing sports can boost-up confidence due to which a person is motivated to give his best. Strength, skills, and stamina increase through playing sports, which improves self-image as well.

Sports should be introduced in schools with complete sincerity. A healthy and strong body is not possible without sports and physical activities. There is a famous saying that “All work and no play makes jack a dull boy”, so make sure that your child does not become the next jack with a dull personality

The author is Sumit Tomar, director of Vedas International School, Gurugram.

 
Education has always seen the heavy hand of the whimsical nature of time, when considering a nation with a turbulent history as that of India. Education has been the most opted avenue of expressing freedom of will while inculcating the spirit of thought and moral conscience to a more transcending level. In spite of such rich connotations, the present educational system seems to be devoid of this very essence, promoting mindless acquisition of knowledge to suit vocational pursuits.

It is an undeniable fact that the present day society, which nurtures the younger generation, faces serious shortcomings in terms of moral, ethical, spiritual and Dharmik values. Parental pressures on children are increasing at an alarming rate, with stress to focus on the competitive examinations alone, taking a greater toll on the young mental framework. Children are getting alienated from the crucial aspect of personality development through moral and ethical training. The pointless pressure has taken the reallocation of educational parlance from a holistic approach towards education to farcical rote learning. Unfortunately, the standard of education has drastically deterioriated in the last couple of decades due to lack of infrastructure and degradation of moral capacities. Consequently, both teachers and students have been completely deprived of the exceptional amenities that could foster a better standard of living.

Students need to have supple minds that are capable of analytical thinking, while integrating complex core concepts that aid them to evolve as human beings. They need to build an infallible foundation of scientific and technological knowledge, while staying true to their roles in the planet. This is possible through deep levels of determination, focus and concentration, that is enshrined in Gurukul learning. This is the reason why Gurukul systems are considered to be the best places to facilitate a sound learning environment.

 

Gurukul System

The kernel of Gurukul system of education is intrinsically based on time tested values and principles. It envisions its strength in developing a native sense of concentration and interest while enhancing a child’s knowledge and development of the brain. The wards in the Gurukul are oblivious of outer distractions, living in close proximity of a teacher, where greater emphasis is laid on student’s mental, cognitive, spiritual and physical wellness.  The system functions on the well-rounded holistic development of a child, enshrining values such as discipline, self-reliance, right attitude, empathy, creativity, and strong moral beliefs. Initiating children into such an enriching atmosphere in the early stages helps them hone their perceptive skills and critical thinking from a tender age, giving them an edge over others.

 

Ambience

Often, Gurukuls are located at picturesque places enmeshed in absolute serenity, far from the hustle and bustle of city life. It is here that tender minds are encouraged to have a balanced, analytical vision, ensuring an ambience where education is objective yet rewarding. Location plays a central role; being ensconced amidst nature, devoid of any worldly distractions offers an environment which is most conducive to learning.

Self-reliance is one of the most crucial values that one imbibes from this isolation - one of the greatest values to inculcate as a human being. The serene ambience of such schools is ideal for education and holistic growth.

 

Modern infrastructure

Gurukul systems have a vibrant significance in Indian history, holding prominence over the sheer quality of education disseminated. At present, age-old concepts have amalgamated with modern culture to facilitate the progress of an enlivening learning environment for students.  Traditionally, Gurukuls have always emphasised on the importance of practical knowledge. Similarly, Gurukul systems today believe that bookish knowledge and rote learning are mere tools of time, not sufficient enough to demonstrate the true value of human existence. Gurukuls provide practical knowledge under modern infrastructure including practical laboratories with state-of-the-art facilities and technology. The curriculum prepares student to excel in all fields of life, creating a perfect blend of academics and extra-curricular activities, making the educational journey remarkable.

 

Holistic education

At present, with parents becoming ambitious to make proud statements about their kids’ academic performance, students are driven by the feeling of animosity by competing with their peers.  Replacing rank-based system, Gurukul builds a value-based and value-added education system which identifies and promotes the uniqueness of each student, allowing them to excel in their area of interest. One can visualise a better educational environment which builds the character of a student, and not drag them down.

 

Conclusion

It is evident from the above mentioned facts that Gurukul system is the path towards a healthier, conscientious world. We should progress with this vision to educate young minds and foster ethical, social, moral and spiritual values through holistic learning.

 

The author is Raunak Jain, managing director of Tula's International School.