PrincipalEducation as Stage-setting

On November 30, 2014, the Loyola Union presented held the audience spellbound as they gracefully presented Barclays Ayakoroma’s drama, Dance on his Grave. As the scenes and acts progressed, the cast and their “assistants” -the crew – changed roles several times. Not everyone got to act or perform on the stage, but almost everyone took turns setting the stage, minding the lights, beating the drums, helping fit costumes. Every member of Loyola Union participated in what I call stagesetting, which facilitated the wonderful performance that the audience enjoyed! But the not-so-obvious intricacies of that collaboration, the dedication of many people some of whose efforts are not immediately apparent, are what make the drama work! Education, like drama, involves several stage-setters. Like in drama, we are sometimes unaware of how many people (ought to) collaborate to make the education of an individual successful. Education involves providing the “costumes”, laying the track, setting the “goal posts” as it were, marking the course, acting as props, and creating the environment that generally enables the type of interactions or experiences that the sort of transformation that we envisage. Education is therefore not something that is done in or by the school alone. It is not something that teachers and school authorities alone do. There are a lot more important actors, assistants, and collaborators in the educations of an individual. Apart from teachers, the immediate facilitators of every student’s education are his or her parents and siblings –in fact, his or her family. Another crucial set of immediate facilitators of a student’s education is his or her peers, fellow students –particularly classmates or course mates. But how many parents make sufficient effort to know and appreciate this set of “educators”, this set of stage-setters. In addition to appreciating the teachers and other adults who work with their children, parents should endeavour to not only do their part individually but also to appreciate the active participation of (other) parents in their children’s education. Likewise, every parent should make effort to know, appraise, and appreciate the peers of their children who constitute a crucial part of their education.

Joseph Stanislaus Okoye,S.J