How can Alumni help their Schools/Colleges?

I am involved with the alumni association of our school and we are exploring how to meaningfully connect/help our institution so that students/teachers can benefit from the alumni network, and alumni can help each other.

Among various points discussed, here are some activities which I thought would be useful. Please add your suggestions in the comment box below.

  • Career counseling & Guidance on selecting college courses could be done for students to guide them on the existing scenario in colleges/job market, entrepreneurship.
  • Sports, Teachers day/Children’s day Competitions could be conducted for students & alumni.
  • Sapling plantation, Donations to orphanages, Cleaning of beaches and other such activities could be organized to inculcate social consciousness.
  • Culturals, hobby-related competitions could be organized for students on a regular basis.
  • A fund could be created and maintained for the benefit of students & teachers in case of emergencies.
  • Helping needy students to get educational loans at affordable interest rates to pursue higher education.
  • Creation of interest groups like photography, movie making, wildlife, trekking, astronomy, etc. could be organized involving students & alumni so that both can benefit from the activities and learnings.
  • A few events involving the general public (like exhibitions & carnivals) could be organized so that people around the area can see and interact with the school.
  • A book exchange/book rental library could be created with both academic and general books donated by the alumni to benefit students.
  • Discussions & speeches by alumni from various fields & colleges (from both India & abroad) to enable students to get different perspectives.
  • Organizing educational trips/internships for students in companies where alumni maybe working or know someone.
  • Organizing short-term student/faculty exchange programs.
  • Collecting information and guiding students about national/international events, competitions, and other opportunities.
  • Connecting students interested in certain fields with experienced professionals (from the alumni network) in that field.
  • Having active social media outlets like facebook pages, blogs, etc. where student-alumni activities, student & alumni accomplishments can be highlighted.
  • Organizing debates, talks, talent exams to improve the aptitude & soft-skills of students.
  • Organizing mock-parliament sessions where students could be given the opportunities to speak about issues, areas of improvements not only in the school & their area, but also in the society at large.

Destination Infinity

 

Board Exams for Class 11 in Tamil Nadu – A Good Idea?

The very premise that students will study and teachers will teach only if there is a board exam is RIDICULOUS.

Forget the question of whether we need the newly introduced XIth Std board exams inTN. Do we actually need such teachers and students?

Here are some good points for and against this decision.

If you ask me, we don’t even need an education system which drives students towards mugging up/memorizing the course content, vomit it verbatim, and clear their exam papers in “flying colours”.

Until we work on an understanding-based/practical-oriented curriculum right from Class I and stop the scramble to obtain “lucrative” engineering/medical college seats that promise riches irrespective of the students’ aptitudes and interests, it won’t matter even if there are board exams for all twelve years starting from Class I.

Until then, we will keep producing useless engineers who don’t have a clue about engineering (me included) and doctors whose only focus will be to maximize their Return on Investment.

We reap what we sow. Karma.

Destination Infinity

PS: This is my 1000th post on this blog 🙂 

1000 Blog Posts on destinationinfinity.org

Are School Uniforms Necessary? NO.

While our schools get away with strict policies on student’s dress codes/clothing with almost no one questioning them, I feel that we can do away with school uniforms. In this article, I have written why I feel school uniforms are unnecessary.

Let’s look at reasons why people seem to want school uniforms.

  • School uniform encourages equality and prevents discrimination. 

This is plain wishful thinking. Let’s admit that there is inequality at every step of our lives and we can’t do much about it. If not with uniforms, there are thousand other reasons to discriminate and people often amuse themselves by discriminating. When the student goes out the of the school. Wait, even when the student is wearing a uniform and is very much within the school, he/she is going to experience discrimination at multiple levels.

So why hide behind the veil of uniforms and try to conceal the fact that we are a discriminating species? The only thing uniforms seem to be promoting, in my point of view, is hypocrisy.

  • Uniforms teach students to dress smartly and formally after they join corporate companies

They can also learn how to dress smartly and formally after they join work. There is no need to be trained 12 long years for that.

  • Uniforms enable one to take pride in being a part of the organization

If a uniform is required for this, and not other important factors like quality of education, etc. then I wonder why schools even exist.

  • Uniforms discourage discrimination, social conflict, bullying & crimes

Why not ask all the prisoners to wear uniforms and roam freely on the streets? Uniforms prevent crimes, right?

  • Uniform makes students take studies more seriously and study without distraction 

If uniforms are going to make students study better, I wonder what are teachers for and what those millions of tuition and coaching centers are for!

  • School officials can recognize their students faster 

Even an emblem on one’s shoulder or a badge/ID card in one’s pocket will do the job. I wonder if schools want to brand/advertise their schools through uniforms?

  • School uniforms support unity in diversity

One of the easiest things for the society to do is to rest happy that at least in schools we have ‘succeeded’ in eliminating all forms of discrimination and hence have achieved unity in diversity, all because of a uniform!

Think about this – parents not only have to buy multiple sets of uniforms (white on Mondays/PT periods, colored – on other days, etc.) every year, they also need to wash and maintain them. And uniforms are expensive. Some schools even create an additional revenue stream by selling or recommending the ‘only preferred seller’ for their uniforms.

Freedom of expression is thawed. Yes, we are free to express ourselves in any way we want and our freedom of expression, including clothing, is guaranteed in the constitutions of most countries. But not in our schools!

It doesn’t allow a person of a particular sect/tribe/religion to wear/not wear what they might want – wearing a head scarf, not wearing shoes/tie – for example. If I don’t prefer wearing shoes and I am comfortable wearing chappals, why not allow me to? Why compel people to wear shoes, coat and tie in a country where temperatures easily cross 40 Deg. C? Isn’t this sadism?

Destination Infinity