Winds of reform: ICSE, CBSE schools make pupils do community service

From mopping floors to gardening, several city schools line up range of activities to discipline errant students

As a part of their endeavour to make schoolchildren  who break rules understand the importance of discipline, most ICSE and CBSE schools in the city are now adopting some unconventional methods.

Cultivating discipline: Gardening is one of the alternative punishments
for errant students. Representation Pic

If a pupil is found guilty of troubling his classmates or teachers, he will be asked to do community service. This will include, mopping the classroom, gardening, washing vessels, clothes or assist the peon in carrying out daily activities.

"Some of our students who are from upper-class and don't like being shouted at in front of others, as they feel insulted. Apart from subjecting them to community service, we talk to the students them personally, explaining them the importance of maintaining discipline," said M Joshi, principal, JPS Cygnet School in Hadapsar.

"It is for certain that scolding and subjecting students to corporal punishment can spoil them further. But making them do community work can bring improvement and sensitise them towards hard labour," stated L Rajput, principal, M H School.

Apart from giving community work to undisciplined students, in extreme cases, the school authorities prohibit
students from attending activities they enjoy, such as art or sports that are a part of their curriculum.
But at Vibgyor High in Wanowrie, the first school to set up a counselling centre for undisciplined students, community service alone doesn't work.

Principal D Ahlowalia said, "Our centre has three experts who deal with the children. Counselling is done with parents' permission, while we keep track of all the problems and activities a child gets involved in. Instead of punishing a child, we identify its problems and work upon them."

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