A school is an important place to develop the minds and bodies of the young as they take their first steps in broadening their understanding of the world and themselves. As the primary `clients’ of schools are the students, emphasis should be placed on their progress into productive people capable of being worthy citizens in society.
To produce such people, it would be ideal if the school provides a conducive environment for learning. The surroundings should not be a busy thoroughfare, but rather, peaceful and green as these will relax the mind and encourage introspection. Also, the climate in school should be one that encourages learning. If park benches with tables are placed in cool shady spots and occupied by students who are quietly concentrating on their work or busy discussing their work, the school will become an inviting place to those who are reluctant to study.
A school is as good as dead if it does not have dedicated teachers who put in effort in making learning an enjoyable yet thought-provoking experience. The ideal school has teachers who are thoughtful in planning how the lesson can achieve the aims outlined and unafraid of being different in their methodology. Lessons become more interesting as they stimulate creativity and independent thinking. Teachers are ‘friends’ to their students, that is, the students see them as approachable and deserving of respect. This also helps to bridge the gap between teachers and students, allowing the former to act as counselors whenever the need arises.
The curriculum taught in the ideal school would focus on the pupils’ learning rather than the teachers’ teaching. By this, I mean that effort would be made in ensuring that the curriculum provides challenges for the students and stimulates them to pursue the subjects with interest. This is in contrast to the current syllabus in school where the teachers merely lecture and cram information down the students’ throats. Instead of giving the students the information, more would be done to allow exploratory learning, like work projects and assessing the process by which they arrive at the conclusions rather than just grading the finished product.
Opportunities would be given for individualized learning in the ideal school. This means that there are enough different co-curricular and extra-curricular activities in school to meet the different needs of the students. Instead of the teachers telling the students how to run the activities, students would be trusted to do the job. This will lead to testing out their organizational skills as well as problem-solving abilities. Even if an activity is not well received, the students will be able to learn from their mistakes and move on to greater awareness. This is important for the growth of the student as an individual as well as a team player.
An ideal school is one that allows the students to discover their strengths and minimize their weaknesses. It is one that makes learning enjoyable and interesting.