Sun.Star Pampanga - - PERSPECTIVE! -

In cul­tur­ally dis­ad­van­taged com­mu­ni­ties, the school in many cases be­comes a ma­jor el­e­ment in pro­vid­ing emo­tional se­cu­rity for chil­dren. Here again the prin­ci­pal by ex­am­ple and ori­en­ta­tion de­ter­mines the school’s at­ti­tude to­ward chil­dren. He must set in mo­tion the kind of school pro­gram in which pupils can re­ceive sat­is­fac­tions in a va­ri­ety of ways, in which pupils feel a real stake in the school

Guid­ing pupils to put forth the con­sis­tent ef­fort that learn­ing re­quires is a sig­nal task fac­ing com­mu­nity schools. Pro­vid­ing a pro­gram in which chil­dren have many op­por­tu­ni­ties to de­velop in­ter­est and tal­ents, where cog­nizance is taken of re­al­is­tic ex­pec­ta­tions, and where the value of pos­i­tive award is un­der­stood, would seem to of­fer the best chance for op­ti­mum pupil learn­ing. The school then be­comes truly sig­nif­i­cant in the lives of the chil­dren.

How a prin­ci­pal and staff work to­ward these goals will dif­fer among schools, de­pend­ing on the par­tic­u­lar cir­cum­stances. Some es­sen­tial ingredients would in­clude: (1) con­sid­er­a­tion of in­di­vid­ual learn­ing needs as much as is fea­si­ble;(2) pro­vid­ing for a host of ex­tra-class ac­tiv­i­ties based on pupil in­ter­ests, and (3) uti­liza­tion of school and com­mu­nity re­sources be­yond the nor­mal school day.

Pro­vid­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for sta­tus build­ing ac­tiv­i­ties is achieved through the school­wide pro­gram. The per­cep­tive ad­min­is­tra­tor rec­og­nizes the value of en­cour­ag­ing spe­cial in­ter­est clubs, a school news­pa­per, pa­trol, mon­i­tor and play leader groups, stu­dent coun­cil ac­tiv­i­ties, and as­sem­bly pro­grams. Such var­ied ac­tiv­i­ties en­able pupils to gain recog­ni­tion and as­sume lead­er­ship roles./ More­over, such ac­tiv­i­ties if prop­erly directed de­velop a strong iden­ti­fi­ca­tion among both pupils and staff.

The school is by no means the only re­source for needed en­rich­ment. The prin­ci­pal should know the com­mu­nity cen­ters, set­tle­ment houses, park district and other com­mu­nity agen­cies that con­duct pro­grams for young peo­ple. Through in­ter-agency co­op­er­a­tion, he should be able to guide pupils into worth­while af­ter school ac­tiv­i­ties.

— oOo— The au­thor is Head Teacher III and School Head of San Jose High School Florid­ablanca, Pam­panga

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