Thursday, 21 August 2014

Teachers are agents of change, asserts JMI academician

Saudi Gazette report
RIYADH - Learning is a continuous process and even teachers learn a lot to keep them abreast with the modern day changes, a senior academician said here recently.
"Teachers are the agents of change. They bring a revolution in society. They are the most important elements in the school. Teachers must have certain characteristics: they must be trustworthy, truthful, and touchstone of quality," Abdul Naseeb Khan, principal of New Delhi-based Jamia Senior Secondary School said.
He was speaking at the interactive session for senior Indian International School Riyadh (IISR) organized by Jamia Millia Islamia Alumni Association (JMIAA), Riyadh Chapter.
Dr. Zubair Meenai, professor in the Department of Social Work, was also present.
The idea was to share educational expertise of the visiting Jamia faculty with the school staff to enable them to benefit from the knowledge base and practical experience of the eminent Jamia educationists.
Welcoming the guests, IISR Principal Dr. Shaukat Parwez underscored the importance of education for both the genders.
He said women could participate in public life as borne out in the life of women during the time of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Parwez thanked JMIAA Riyadh President Ghizal Mahdi for taking the initiative of making available the guests of the association to the school and creating an opportunity for interaction with the teaching staff of the school.
Addressing the teachers Khan said they should inspire their students and bring out the best in them. They should teach their students the art of living together. They should respect the individuality of each child. He asserted that training sessions should be held regularly to keep the teachers up-to-date with the latest developments in training technology. He also stressed on peer-to-peer exchange of expertise, whereby teachers could demonstrate their teaching skills and share it with other teachers. Khan also said teachers should be paid well so that they are able to meet their needs.
Prof. Meenai, who has been closely associated with the Centre for Early Childhood Development and Research (CECDR) at Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), shared his insight about psychological and social aspects of managing classrooms.
He said that teachers must ask themselves: Is my class inclusive and diverse? From which linguistic backgrounds do children come from? What are their learning styles? Do they learn better by listening, watching, or experiencing? Are there any learning disabilities among students? Does any child face visual, auditory, or any other challenges? For example is a child suffering from color blindness? Is the child hyperactive? What is the nutritional status of children?
This is important because better nutrition is correlated with better cognition.
He urged teachers to hear all voices in the classroom and devise their teaching strategies accordingly. 
The two guests took questions from the participating teachers on various topics including ways to strike a balance between English language teaching and promotion of mother tongue.
Dr. Asma Shah, vice principal of IISR girls’ section proposed the vote of thanks. She also thanked JMIAA for this initiative. The program was conducted by Farha Tazeen.
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