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There are many things which contribute to the success of a school but the existence of a hostel/boarding attached with the school makes it even more successful as the hostel fulfills the very concept of the holistic development of the child/student. A hostel according to the dictionary is an arbor where the inmates come for food and lodging! But a modern hostel is not just a mere lock out facility where the students lodge and eat but it is a place where learning takes a practical dimension. It is a place where a student learns to handle the various challenges that pop up in one’s daily life. The word ‘Hostel’ comes from the Latin word ‘hospitale’ which means a place of rest. Today the connotation of hostel does not only mean a place to rest as the etymological meaning of Hostel would suggest but it has become a multi dimensional asset of a student’s life.
When we compare our lives at home and life in the hostel we observe a huge difference in the overall development of the education and personality of an individual. Life at home cannot be compared to the life in a hostel. At home one has to live as per likes of other members of the family. Children find it difficult to stick to a timetable, ensure minimum 3 to 4 hours study a day and adhere to good time management principles to develop good routines. While at home there are constant disturbances due to one reason or the other. Many complain that if a relative or guest comes in, the time table and the routines get affected. Though parents are educated they hardly get time to attend them daily and most of them lack patience finally leading to disruption of a learning mood and family atmosphere. Students in the higher grades are under great pressure to meet the increasing demands for learning, imposed by the education boards and their constant and continuous evaluation systems. In fact, at home there is no atmosphere for serious studies. These are some of the reasons why parents today prefer a hostel for systematic learning and a successful life of their children.
No wonder why Livingstone Foundation Hr. Sec. School decided to start a student’s hostel – not as a service to students and parents, but as our duty to help them achieve their best dreams. A hostel is like a family of students with able leadership and guidance of their wardens. Students develop a sense of friendship and fellow feeling. Students learn the value of discipline. It teaches them a sense of responsibility in matters of taking care of books, clothes and health. Students do all the works with their own hands, thus becoming self-dependent. They try to manage themselves with the money from their parents. They learn to adjust themselves with all kinds of situations that can be expected in one’s life. Mutual cooperation, sympathy, and love are characteristics of hostel life. It will not be an exaggeration to say that only a hostel is the place where an all-round development of personality is possible.
A wholesome development of all the skills of individual students like games, creative arts, crafts and academics take place in the hostel as the students have direct watch and supervision by the teachers. Studying away from home opens up a world of exciting learning possibilities like combined studies, mutual discussions, criticism, or debating, etc., that add charm to hostel life. Good arrangements of games and sports, Sunday specials and competitions, and day-to day merry-making, make the hostel life a thing of envy for all. In a hostel, a student comes in contact with a number of other students. He acquires many good qualities from them. When a student sees his next door neighbour daily taking morning exercise, he also gets inspiration. He too tries to be healthy. One good student may become an example for other 100 hostellers. Hostels provide the best atmosphere for study. If students enjoy the hostel life in different ways, they also work very hard when the time comes for it. Weaker students can always get help from their friends. Hostel life not only develops the spirit of healthy competition, but also teaches the lesson of mutual cooperation. A well-managed hostel is sure to prove a blessing for those who are lucky enough to live in it.
But the big question which arises is – What kind of hostel should parents choose for their children? In recent years opening a hostel and running it has become a lucrative business for many, especially in Dimapur. Mushrooming of random hostels at every vantage point is a matter of concern for all because many of these hostels are run for the purpose of earning money at the expense of a child’s career. Many children are not even cared for properly. The children’s academics are not seriously dealt with. Some of these hostels are very lenient when it comes to discipline, allowing students to loiter around freely at night thus leading to many unethical and immoral activities taking place right under the nose of these selfish hostel owners. These kinds of hostels which are run just for the sake of money alone by unprofessional and untrained individuals have already ruined the lives of many students and would continue to ruin many more in the future if the parents do not open their eyes to see the truth and realize what is actually happening.
Children these days prefer such hostels because of the immense freedom they stand to get out of such hostels. They do not realize that they are walking in to a trap of uncertainties. Parents have a tendency to blindly believe in whatever their children profess without even trying to ascertain the facts behind what they say. In the process they put their children in such hostels where there is ample freedom for the students. Due to these hostels parents lose their faith in even the good and disciplined hostels and thus a relationship is developed on mutual distrust which is not conducive for education to take place.
Therefore it becomes very imperative that parents must concern themselves with finding out facts before ascertaining which hostel to put their children in. They should look at the administration of the hostel, its routine, staff, quality of mentoring and health hazards and precautions before jumping into conclusions and tailing others. I am sure that this will benefit not only the students in bettering their career but also boost the general perspective of parents towards real and genuine hostel life.
Mr. Zakir Hussain,
Hostel Superintendent