But what is EQ? Simply stated, EQ means an individual's ability to understand other people, what motivates them and how to work with them in a team.
Why is it important to develop EQ in students from a young age?
First, EQ is vital for any professional in the current world where it has become a necessity to not just work in close contact with individuals but also work in and as part of a team. Being a hard working individual is no longer enough and an employee must also have the ability to co-ordinate and work harmoniously in a team.
Second, empathy is not just a necessity at workplace but also a needed quality in classrooms. Despite efforts, every now and then cases of ragging or bullying come up. These incidences scar a student for life. It is these kinds of situations which can be prevented if our educational curriculum also paid attention to helping students develop Emotional Intelligence.
Role of teachers
In India, where there is a huge pressure to perform academically, there is less or no attention paid to a child's emotional well-being. Teachers too, are often conditioned to generate results in the form of more students getting higher marks than an all-round development of students.
It is not uncommon for Indian classrooms to have a few students who are distracted and are under-performers. Instead of looking after the emotional needs of such students, they are termed stupid and their emotional needs are brushed aside.
This is where the role of teachers comes into play. A teacher should be receptive to their students' emotional needs and should be able to identify the root of a child's misbehavior in class or their reluctance to participate in classroom activities.
It is only a misfortune that despite having academic qualifications, many individuals find it difficult to function at workplaces because of their inability to empathize with their co-workers and operate in a team. It is high time that Indian educators paid attention to helping students develop 'soft skills' as well as learn empathy and compassion.
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