Teachers becoming surrogate parents now

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London, Mar 10 (UNI) With the demise of traditional family, children are increasingly relying on teachers to become surrogate parents, a prominent British education leader warned.

''Thousands of children lacked basic social skills and schools are expected to patch up social problems rather than focus on educational issues,'' John Dunford, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders said.

Many pupils were unable to hold simple conversations, use a knife and fork or sit at the table, while others suffered serious behavioural problems because of the lack of a stable home life.

For too many young people, school was the 'only solid bedrock in their lives' where they experienced moral boundaries.

''It's perhaps a sad indictment on the present age that we accept the need to help parents to play their part-- to rediscover what being a parent means. Schools can't and shouldn't replace the role of parents,'' Daily Telegraph quoted Mr Dunford as saying.

In terms of good manners and good behaviour, primary schools have to teach children how to use a knife and fork and sit at a table.

Schools should target parents who fail to show interest in their child's education, he said.

In relation to the family, one of the most important factors has been the loss of family meals, which has reduced family conversations, with the schools getting more involved in teaching children to communicate, he added.

UNI XC PD BST1935

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