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POST TIME: 10 January, 2021 06:37:40 PM
Teach students professionalism for our future development
Ensuring an ideal class environment, interactive class facilitated by the well prepared teachers and debate competition can improve the students' active listening and appropriate communication skill which they currently lack of
Nusrat Sultana

Teach students professionalism for our future development

Despite the interruption to education due to COVID-19, it is high time we develop the characters of our children to design our country’s future. With the government organizations, we seem any bilateral, multilateral development partners and NGOS including MNCs are working together to help our economy to grow. It is surely encouraging and challenging at the same time. It is encouraging because they are helping us in our socio economic development including our environment and technology significantly. It is challenging because we need to satisfy all their professional expectations inside and outside the organizations to keep them investing and expanding their operations in our country until we become developed. So, I think we have no time to waste to build an ideal generation who would live ideally in the society and work professionally or efficiently no matter wherever they work. At present, it is a very important quality for our manpower to move this country forward faster and work independently in the future.

A study conducted in the USA in 2012 “Professionalism in the Workplace Study” suggests that the colleges (from the thirteenth year of school) should develop professionalism in students regardless of their field of study which is more important than the company programmes on professionalism.

So, the question is should we follow their footsteps to be developed? I think we should not exactly; as they are already developed as a nation. Rather, from class I up to class VIII, we need to teach our children some basic skills and a set of virtues or ethics first as per their class or standard. And this will eventually make them competent or professional no matter where they work. All the teachers, guardians, principals and the government should therefore work together as a team to achieve this goal.

Now, let’s see what professionalism means and what skills and virtues it mainly involves.

Professionalism means the conduct, aims, or a set of skills that characterize or mark a profession. It mainly involves:

  • Communication skills
  • Professional appearance and manners
  • Time management
  • Confidence
  • Ethics
  • Work ethic and
  • Knowledge

Now, the question is how to teach the students to acquire these set of skills and virtues from their childhood?

Ensuring an ideal class environment, interactive class facilitated by the well prepared teachers and debate competition can improve the students' active listening and appropriate communication skill which they currently lack of. The parents can also make sure that their children are listening to them without repeating their instructions from their childhood and they are sharing their experiences with them regularly with honesty and clarity.

In our new curriculum, we expect more group assignments or projects in the subjects like social studies, science or moral science as per the class or standard, because, this improves their teamwork, social skills, empathy and time management skill. If the students miss any deadline for the work they are assigned to door if they are late in school, they need to be penalized in some ways. This may improve their responsibility, organizational and time management skills from their childhood. They also should get some rewards if they can meet the deadline like the way they get for their full attendance. Because recognition in the form of reward makes them more confident, dedicated and goal oriented. In fact, some researches found that the mix strategy of reward and punishment works better for an improved   performance or behaviour of the students than only reward giving or only punishment implementing strategy. The guardians can also do their parts by giving them some small tasks or responsibilities regularly at home and keeping track of those.

In order to make the children problem solvers, decision makers, optimistic leaders rather than critics, the selective subject teachers should provide the students with more problem solving assignments as per their standard. Therefore, in the new syllabus, assignments with some real social problems need to be added. On the other side, the guardians can discuss some light family problems as per their age and ask for their opinions or solutions.

The teachers and guardians should appreciate their students and children for their good works, kindness, good behaviours or manners, etc. It improves their confidence level, self respect, self care and thus they learn to appreciate and love each other from their childhood. Appreciation also helps one to thrive for excellence no matter what job s/hedoes.

The teachers, principals and guardians need to monitor the students regularly if they are coming to school and going back home with the proper dress code or not. Because, it will make them understand the importance of being disciplined and having a pleasant appearance in their workplace too. It will also reduce the unexpected incidents occurred by the teen agers nowadays. It is also a good idea to involve our students or children in cleaning their schools or homes and making them do their personal tasks or hygiene on their own. The objective of this idea is to improve their cleanliness, organizing skill, independence level and responsibility for wherever they go and whatever they do.

Finally, it is very important for the teachers, principals and guardians to work together to monitor the behaviour of the students regularly not only up to class VIII but also up to class XII. Because, if we can ensure that they are following or practicing ground rules of the school and family rules of the family up to that level, they are expected to become an ethical and an ideal generation. And then in the future, this generation will contribute to the betterment of society living with values and the development of the country working with efficiency or professionalism with or without any foreign supervision.

The writer is former Vice Principal of Methodist English Medium School.