Injustice - RP Devgan

The worst thing that can happen to a student in a School is injustice from a teacher and injustice to a teacher from the Head of the school or school authorities. Injustice to individuals can leave permanent scars in one’s life. Schools must be transparent and alert.

To guard against any injustice, the people in authority have to be just, kind and considerate. To make sure it doesn’t happen, they need to be very aware of what is going on around them.

Children often are victims of injustice when there is nepotism and favouritism. It usually happens when it comes to appointments made by principals, housemasters and teachers or when it comes to giving individual awards at the end of the term. The instances can be only stopped or conwhen the Heads are fully aware of the facts.

I remember in one  of the schools I headed, the ‘Best Artist’ prize had been announced and it was clear that the deserving student had been overlooked. When I got to know of it I confronted the Art teacher who very sheepishly agreed that he had made a mistake. When I asked him to change his decision and award the Best Artist Prize to the deserving candidate, a class 12 girl, he said it was too late . I would have none of it and insisted that since nothing could be done to change the decision, the two girls should share the prize. It was a pleasure to see the relief on the  second girl’s face who had finally got her due. She would have gone through life with this disappointment and possibly carried a  scar if I had not intervened.

Similarly, in one of my schools, a Head of Department gave a damaging annual assessment report to a teacher she did not like personally. Once again, I confronted the HoD and said that she was being prejudiced and unfair. The junior teacher was being “framed.” I made it very clear that such irresponsible behaviour would not be accepted and made her change the report.

This kind of thing happens in schools all the time if the people responsible are not aware of the facts and truth. So very often, the undeserving are made Captains of games or school prefects because the  Heads/Principals are ignorant of the facts. The least the Head of an Institution can do is to safeguard their staff and students from becoming victims of prejudice and nepotism. Injustice in any form rankles the victim and it should not happen. This is what transparency in a school is all about. It is all about being just and about justice.

My advice to all Principals and people in responsible posts is to take the trouble of getting to know of what is going on in the school by making your presence felt by taking an interest in the children, their activities and everything that concerns them. It’s only then there will be transparency and correct decisions made for the good of students and staff.

Mr RP Devgan is a veteran school leader, currently he is the chair person of Learning Forward India.

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