“Honest Rooms”

Honesty is a state of MIND and no legacy is as rich as Honesty.

INTEGRITY shows up from WITHIN, while HONESTY is our outward REFLECTION.

I firmly believe that SCHOOL essentially is that driving force which initiates within a child the faith to take the first step of knowledge with confidence and instill and sustain in them the curiosity and passion to have a quest for learning and a zeal for life.

The SCHOOL ensures that every child transcends every barrier to emerge as a COMPLETE INDIVIDUAL undergoing a 3 – FOLD transformation to burn bright with a fire that is unquenchable.

  •  A bundle of convictions and values that they pick up for themselves, tried, tested and proved during the years in school – Enlightened Spirit.
  •  They get equipped with the essential life skills to become sensitive, caring and intelligent persons to battle out every situation in all wisdom with dignity – Empowering Mind-set.
  •  Modern task of education is to put the students in the habit of thoughtful enquiry, engaging them in work that rises out of great need in the world, fuels their passions, taps into their talents and deepens their conscious to boldly say ‘NO’ to all that is evil and ‘YES’ to all that is right- Emboldened Scholar.

I would like to share one of the practices that was followed which brought about a great impact in the lives of the students and the team and I am sure that this will encourage my fellow educators also to take forward the same practice in their schools.

It was to start with the concept of “Honest Rooms” which finds its meaning in the lines mentioned below.

INTEGRITY is telling the TRUTH to MYSELF,

HONESTY is telling the TRUTH to OTHERS . . . . . . Spenser Johnson

INTEGRITY shows up from WITHIN, while HONESTY is our outward REFLECTION.

“Honest Rooms”

The conduct of examinations with NO invigilators.

To begin with, the idea of ‘Honest Rooms’ was kept open for the students of class 9 and 10 with a sole purpose to make the students believe in themselves, to make them understand that there are going to be times when their integrity will be tried and tested on the outside to bring in the best from within, to handle every situation in all wisdom,with dignity, strengthening their convictions.

All the students were informed about the concept of ‘Honest Rooms’. The call was given to the students to volunteer themselves after giving a serious thought. There were mixed reactions from the students and the staff as well. I am very much indebted and thankful to our Administrator Dr. B. ChandraSekhar, who not only welcomed the idea but also extended his unconditional support to take forward this very BIG and CHALLENGING initiative ahead. Initially many students volunteered. All of their queries and misconceptions were addressed and clarified. Finally, we had a total of 161 students from class 9 and 10 who had come forward giving their willingness to appear for the Term – 1 Examinations in the ‘Honest Rooms’. The parent consent was also taken.

The ‘Judgement Day’ finally arrived and the Term – 1 Examinations began. All the classrooms in the school are well equipped with the CC camera and during the examinations we had a dedicated team at the back end to monitor all the classrooms proceedings.

The entire team was waiting for the examination to finish, and to hear from the back end team about the students’ response. As the Principal, I waited in my cabin for the examination to end with my fingers crossed to enquire if any of the student did succumb to their decision by using unfair means. Day – 1 was successful with no incidents of copying of any sort. It was a great and encouraging start. It was an emotional moment to see our students stand by their convictions. Day -2 was also successful but we had one representation from the parent who had requested his child to be shifted to the regular examination hall as he feared that his child may fail with no help from his peers. But thanks to my student who for a day though shifted to the other room, came back the next day requesting to be shifted back to the ‘Honest Room’ irrespective of the fail or pass result. He expressed that he had convinced his parents and now was very much determined to go back to the ‘Honest Room’. It was truly a proud moment and in fact tears rolled down my eyes. I held the student firmly and with a pat on the shoulder permitted him to go back to the ‘Honest Room’. All the Term -1 Examinations completed successfully with no issue of any malpractice in the ‘Honest Rooms’. All the students were given a standing ovation in the Morning Assembly. It was a great day of celebration for the entire Johnson Grammar School family. It did not end there. These 161 students shared their convictions with the other students. It was truly a memorable day when I visited all the students of class 9 before the start of Term -2 Examinations. All the students on accord shouted to express that they all wanted to write their Term – 2 Examinations in the ‘Honest Rooms’. It came as a big surprise to me and I could not hold back my emotions and had to fight hard to hold back my tears. The entire team was overwhelmed and silenced. All the classrooms were converted to ‘Honest Rooms’ for all the 534 students of class 9 to appear for their examinations with NO invigilators.

There was no end to our excitement and joy which was overflowing within every team member sharing this news with everyone everywhere. This was truly a memorable initiative which will be remembered down the lane with all 534 students of class 9 having appeared for their examination in the ‘Honest Rooms, with not a single case of malpractice. Nothing was more satisfying than to hear the testimonials of our students which sounded aloud their convictions. I would like to request all my dear educators to take forward this tradition across the schools to make our students at first point a good human being who with an Enlightened spirit and Empowering mind turn out to be an Emboldened Scholar.