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The Principal of a school shares his thoughts on what a school's annual day function means to the school, teachers, and students. Hear what he has to say.
The beginning of a year is an eventful time for schools and students. It is also the time when most schools organize the most important event of the year, the annual day. Celebrating the school's annual day provides the school with an opportunity to showcase its achievements. This function also gives students an opportunity to showcase their various talents and interact with their teachers in a more informal environment. From dance performances to plays and musical events to speeches, the school annual day is one day that is eagerly anticipated by children and parents alike, every year. This is also a day when achievers are felicitated for their accomplishments in the academic year.
Along with students and teachers, the principal also plays an important part in helping organize the annual day and ensuring its success.
We talk to Dr Srinivasa Raghavan, principal of Bala Vidya Mandir School in Chennai to know more about his role and the significance of the school annual day in a student's life.
Can you share some of the roles and responsibilities of a school principal?
A principal is the custodian of a school. In India, this role is both administrative and academic. This means that a principal must completely monitor the pedagogical processes taking place in the school. This includes the training and behavior of teachers along with the behavior and safety of students.
Moreover, a good principal does not just stick to her assigned roles and responsibilities but is also heavily invested in the students. This means that she considers how children must be brought up, how to keep up with the social and technological changes of modern life, and the impact of society on education. This way a principal can evaluate a broad number of factors, which would help her to come up with effective and beneficial school policies.
Tell us about some of the challenges you face as a principal every day...
The hardest part is maintaining human relationships. We are quite like politicians in this respect. We have to address a huge number of parents with diverse views. This often means that we can't satisfy everybody. So, we end up facing criticism regardless of what we choose to do. Sometimes, this criticism is very hurtful, especially when we do something good and people criticize it.
What do you think is the most rewarding part of being a school principal?
Children's love. Nothing else can beat this best reward for me. Even if the children don't realize it now, they might in five or ten years. I know this because some of them have even come back to tell me how much they cherished their school days and how thankful they are.
Most schools are preparing to host the annual day. What do you think is the importance of celebrating this event?
The school's annual day allows students to display their talents and build their confidence. Some schools have their best students in the front, and others have their average and below-average students in the limelight. This is something we practice in our school. I have seen students benefit a lot from these functions as they shed their inhibitions and perform on the stage. Not to mention that they have more motivation to work on their talents, knowing that they can share them with an audience.
This is also a way for the parents to be involved, as they can come and encourage the children on stage. And not just their own children, but also other children. However, this is missing these days, as many parents only show up for their own child's event and leave once it's done.
Do you think celebrating the annual day also helps keep our cultural traditions alive?
Annual Day on its own doesn't have the power to keep our cultural traditions alive. Instead, a school should continuously work on this. One way to do this, as we do in our school, is to have small programs frequently instead of just one huge event. Moreover, these small programs don't always need an audience of parents but can also be for an audience of other students. In fact, it's important to have events just for a student audience.
Because, if a school has only one big event, like the annual day, then all the students end up being involved and don't get an opportunity to appreciate the talents of their fellow students. This is an unfortunate situation, as the amount of encouragement performers can draw from the appreciation of their peers is significant.
After the annual day is over, it's time to prepare for the final exams. And, for some, it's time for the dreaded board exams. What tips do you have for students?
A common issue is that most students only start preparing for the board exams toward the end of their academic sessions. Instead, they should prepare well in advance. This would allow them enough time to absorb the study material and practice the previous year's question papers. Having so much preparation can help them become more confident for the actual exams, which is important.
Indeed! The school's annual day is the culmination of the school's academic year. It's a time for celebration and recognition of the students as well as the school's achievements. It's also a time for teamwork and being proud of what the school stands for and believes in. Encourage your child to participate in the various events and see her blossom into an individual with several talents.