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Students are more than just grades: Mrs. Yolande Henderson a Pakistani Christian educationist of sorts


Mrs Henderson

A Pakistani Christian educationist Yolande Henderson asserts pupil are more than the grades they secure. “You can’t go through life with 13 A*s plastered on your forehead, what are you?”

Mrs. Yolande Henderson, wears an ardent desire of excellence on her sleeves has 60 years of teaching to her credit. In 1954, she joined St Patrick’s School as an English literature and language teacher and never detached herself from St. Patrick’s school.

In 1950, her family relocated to Pakistan from Goa. “I came from a family of doctors and, in order to break the mould, I became a teacher. I didn’t become a teacher because everyone else in my community was doing it, I became one because I loved to teach,” she said.

Also read: Sister Mary Emily Gonsalves, a brilliant educationist of Pakistan

Mrs. Henderson holds an opinion that passion for teaching has slowly vanished from today’s educators, “Today, everyone is out to make a fast buck. Education isn’t education anymore,” she grieved for. Mrs. Henderson adheres to the theory that education is more than ‘book knowledge’; essentially it also involves shaping a student’s personality. She believes that contemporary approach towards imparting education does not place much emphasis on shaping up the personalities of students. Schools mainly focus on the earning policies. “They have become commercialised, treating parents as customers, the school administration as salespeople and the students as products.”

She initially started as a junior section teacher but her sheer passion for educating children has led her journey all the way to becoming the O’ Levels headmistress. Her desire and fervour remained steady and same during the course of time. Until 2006, when she quit the job owing to deteriorating health, nonetheless she still teaches children at home.“I’ve never won a medal in my life, I’ve never really excelled at anything, except I became a pretty good teacher,” she makes plain.

Nonetheless, Mrs Henderson laments over the worsening attitude of students over time. “The students of former times were more polite and had a more relaxed lifestyle,” she said. However, she focuses on the point that owing to the increasing trend of after school tuitions along with on side pressure of grabbing admissions to reputed and prestigious colleges abroad; stereotypically students have been robbed of the other aspect of education which is to becom a better human being.