Bir: Kalon of Department of Education Dr. Pema Yangchen attended the 50th-anniversary celebration of STS Bir on 13 May. The Bir Sambhota School celebrated its 50th anniversary with educational exhibitions, cultural performances and various events over a two-day program.
Education Kalon inaugurated the subject-wise exhibition showcased by the students and commended both teachers and students for the excellent presentations.
Addressing the gathering, Kalon thanked the settlement officers and public for their continued support to STS Bir school. She expressed her gratitude to the former staff members for their service and dedication.
“The school heads, teachers and parents have always worked hard and shouldered their responsibilities with determination, dedication and commitment. As a result, the school has been functioning effectively and efficiently despite the decreasing number of children,” Kalon observed.
She encouraged parents to contribute towards their children’s education through examples such as good manners, sanitation, healthy diet, healthy habits, etc. and highlighted how parents influence their children’s reading and writing at school.
“Spoken language is the foundation of learning to read and write. Moreover, children use their knowledge of spoken language as a start point in learning to read,” Kalon said.
Next, Kalon visited TCV School, Suja, TCV School, Chauntra and STS Chauntra. She held meetings with the students from class 7 and above and separately with teachers.
At TCV Chauntra, she inaugurated the ICT room, a DoE ICT Pilot project funded by USAID. She also visited the Special Need Unit inspecting their classrooms, hostels and other facilities.
Kalon expressed her delight in meeting and interacting with the differently-abled children and to see the well-maintained facilities.
In her address to the school children, she spoke about three topics: A) Inculcating an attitude of gratitude, becoming a contributing member and embracing reading; B) Attitude of gratitude; and C) Benefits of a good reading habit.
Speaking on the first topic, she asked them to reflect on the question, “If I were not in school, where would I be today?”; “If I had never received this opportunity to go to school, what would I be doing right now?”.
Through such interactive session, she reminded them about the importance of having ‘an attitude of gratitude’ and its benefits. Citing scientific research, she explained how people who practice gratitude are more positive, kind, compassionate, less stressed, more alive and healthier which are all positive physical and mental characteristics that we all need and aspire.
“Where do you see yourself 15/20 years from now?” She reiterated the importance of the attitude of gratitude and how it guides people in making a better choice of what they could do to become a contributing member of our society. She challenged them to think about the communities in the future and urged them to do something of value to our communities-give back.
Finally, Kalon talked about the benefits of a good reading habit, highlighting it as the most important and necessary characteristic of a student.
“Those students who read more, do better in school and therefore, pursue the path of education for their career.” She added, “Also, as Tibetans, we must be proficient communicators in Tibetan and other languages should come next.”
She concluded by reminding the students to work towards becoming compassionate and morally responsible human beings as advised by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Kalon’s address to the teachers focused on the role and responsibilities of teachers today. She talked about how globalization and increased exposure to new ideas are shaping not only the education but more importantly, how our students learn. “Teachers must accordingly change their roles if effective and efficient teaching-learning is to take place. Children learn best when they are actively involved in the learning process and when they are provided with ample opportunities to explore alone, with one another and in the company of both small/large groups.”
In a more detailed explanation, she talked about how group work could be an effective and valuable method if planned carefully and facilitated efficiently.
She pointed out that it encourages active learning, develops critical thinking and improves communication and social skills.
“Good social skills such as motivation, self-confidence, flexibility, cooperation, active listening, teamwork, negotiation, respect, etc. help us function well not only in schools but in our society. Students with a better set of social skills have better academic performance and it also enhances the overall teaching-learning environment which in turn promotes school safety.”
She concluded her successful school tour at STS Bir.
-Filed by Department of Education