'Aasaan Potruthum!' (Salutations to the Teacher)- A full-day event for Teachers!
Feb.1, 2014- T.Nagar, Chennai
Vatsalyam, in association with Gandhi Education Centre, Chennai, conducted a 1-day event aimed at motivating teachers from Corporation Schools in Chennai. Named 'Aasaan Potruthum' (Salutations to the teacher), the event was attended by a select group of 24 teachers from different schools who are sincere and serious about creating a invigorating classroom experience for students.

The proceedings began with an invocation song by Kum.Vallabhi Chellam.

Inaugurating the event by lighting the traditional lamp, Shri. S.Pandian, B.Com., B.L, Managing Trustee, Gandhi Education Centre underscored the role and relevance of teachers in social reengineering and urged them to equip themselves to combat the challenges before them and create a vibrant knowledge-driven society.

Throughout the proceedings there was an air of informality which facilitated free and frank interactions. Significantly, every member participated in the discussions and spoke on the most moving & frustrating moments in their career, experimental initiatives they embarked on, impediments or resistance they faced and the recognition they won.

R.Sivakumar’s 'Ayisha', the award-winning short film screened in the post-lunch session and the filmmaker’s subsequent interactions with the audience triggered a spirited discussion on the teacher-pupil relations and the need to eschew corporal punishment. The subtle student-teacher bonding portrayed by the film came in for a special word of praise and reminded the audience they are the children’s parents at school, even if their parents fail to be teachers at home.

This was followed by the exposition on the attributes of an ideal teacher by Shri.L.Lekshmikanthan M.A.M.Ed., Chief Education Officer (Retired.) wherein he outlined the challenges he faced during his tenure and how a team of dedicated teachers can bring about a paradigm shift in the system and make it more student-friendly. Saying that equipping the teacher is the first step in creating a resurgent India. He urged the teachers to strengthen the basics in the teaching methods of languages and mathematics so that the students acquired the minimum proficiency needed for challenges ahead. He reiterated that students in Tamil medium were really handicapped only in their comprehension but not in their competence. "They are no way inferior to their compatriots in English medium or any of the students in private schools. All they need is a sound grounding in English. Nothing else will create a level playing field for them and put them on an equal footing with others", he said and received a big round of applause.

In the penultimate feedback session, each participant expressed appreciation for the event and requested ‘Vatsalyam’ to conduct such programmes more frequently.

The event concluded with the National Anthem.

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