Throughout the day, every human being experiences many emotions – happiness, bliss, disappointment, gratitude and anger amongst others. Anger is seen by many as a negative emotion which tends to spoil the person’s mood apart from disturbing the tranquillity of the environment the person is in. Science would say otherwise.

Last week, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has asked all its affiliated schools to become ‘anger-free zones’. 

Simply put, this would imply that everyone associated with the school, be it teachers, parents or other staff members should set an example for the children by managing anger and teaching them the value of being free from anger. This initiative is a part of the ‘Fit India’ programme started by the Government of India.

According to the news reports, the board aims to make students charged and happy while in school, so that they would want to return the next day.

The circular released by the board says that the move aims to make students become mentally active and emotionally healthy. It also lists out ways like increasing sporting activities, Yoga and art-integrated classes for a joyful learning environment which in turn would reduce anger. This news item triggered a volley of questions in me. You could call it mixed feelings. 

While I felt this change was essential considering the stressful factors that the student of today faces, the old timer in me thought how it could be possible to handle tough students and make them learn their lessons by being kind and joyful all the while.

I spoke to lot of parents and teachers to understand how they view this initiative of the board. I picked up few interesting answers out of the lot.    

C. Uma, coordinator (Grades 1and 2) of Lalaji Memorial Omega International School (LMOIS), Chennai said, “The CBSE’s initiative of an anger-free zone in schools as a part of its thrust on joyful education and holistic fitness is truly a wonderful decision. It will be beneficial in many ways. More often, students who exhibit signs of anger at school are those who perceive situations differently in comparison with other students. 

Such students should be recognized and taught to think of different ways to handle the problem that makes them angry. Increasing their awareness of anger is probably the most important step towards effective anger management. They should be made to understand that anger is a completely normal, and a healthy human emotion. 

Teaching basic anger management techniques, finding different ways to tackle or avoid situations that are likely to cause anger and preparing them to meet unavoidable life situations can help. Students should be taught to overcome anger by proper anger management tools which would facilitate complete development of the student who is balanced enough to control emotions and behave well in the society.”

A mother of an eight-year old, who preferred not to be named, said that it was a welcome move but looks impractical. “Whilst curbing anger looks achievable, anger-free seems too ambitious considering the diverse personalities, the present gen-x and the times that we live in. Again, implementing it across the board –including educators and learners alike, looks a tall ask,” she said.

Based upon the parents and educators I spoke to, it looked like there is divided opinion on this initiative.

Meera Jayesh Nagda, mother of two teenage daughters welcomed the initiative. She said,

”This is very positive move by the CBSE. Anger is something that can play havoc in a person’s life if not controlled. It is essential that children understand about the negative effects of anger from a young age. If they are allowed to learn in an environment free of anger, it will help them in understanding the concepts better. 

Also, it will help them to openly get their queries and concerns resolved by the teachers without a fear of getting an angry reaction from the other end. 

This will also imbibe qualities of anger-management in kids which will go a long way in making them more mature. They will learn the ability to remain calm even in tough environments. The kids will develop into better citizens of tomorrow and eventually we will have a better and improved India to live in.”

One another woman who wished to remain anonymous hits out at the initiative. “Things are not rosy in the world. There is no anger-free zone here. How will these students survive in this kind of world? We need to teach children to deal with reality,” she said.

It is common knowledge that anger is our strong reaction towards unfavourable circumstances which are not accepted by the mind. I would say anger is the last resort we take when we can do nothing else about the situation in hand.

Clinically, anger management is essential to keep many health issues like increased anxiety, high blood pressure and headache at bay. Personally, I would be happy if this initiative works out. What better than teaching tomorrow’s adults about keeping themselves detached from others’ actions and thus conquering anger.    

Preetha Kadhir

Preetha Kadhir is a Journalist with 15+ years of exp in national and international newspapers. She has penned rhymes for children and loves writing about education, parenting and societal issues.

The views and opinions expressed in the article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Tilak Chronicle and TTC Media Pvt Ltd.

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