Children as young as eight years have to worry each morning about making it to school by 7.30am, they try and stay focused in 5-6 classes that go on for an hour more or less and when they return home for lunch, they realize that the day has only just begun. Children at the primary school level can be seen attending tuition classes. Sending kids for tuitions seems almost like a compulsion for parents from Class VIII onwards to prepare the child for the much-feared board exams. The naivety is so widespread, we hardly see what our children are at a loss of.
School children are at their early formative years of intellect, where they need to be nurtured and not conditioned. These children spending another few hours at tuition after school hours is tantamount to child abuse where pushy parents are making their children miserable by subjecting them to academic coaching. In the society where the merit of a person is measured by his immediate possessions, the parents succumb to the “parliament” – group of parents whose apprehensions have formed a belief that over-competitiveness must be compensated by extra hours of teaching at private tuitions, and that school curriculum is inefficient to provide the necessary.
There’s a need to understand that school curriculum which is composed of sports, workshops, team activities, fine arts & music etc and the ‘life at school’ itself is important for the holistic growth of the child. Children can explore themselves; their strengths, weaknesses, talents and flair at various activities that only school education can offer. They get encouraged to read; explore what they’d like to read and derive inspirations that remain with them for a lifetime. Were the great leaders of our great country taught at private tuitions? Was it the 2-hour tuitions that inspired the great leaders such as APJ Abdul Kalam and Kalpana Chawla to transpire? Students assimilate the critical life skills of decision making, leadership qualities and virtue only at school. But the frugality of the parents’ minds has led to a situation where the kids are no longer capable enough to do self-study. The petty matter of percentage score has been aggrandized to an extent that the life of a blooming child is spent stressing over completing his homework on time; than to think, question, wonder and experience the world around him.
The young school children are to be seen and not to be stopped. Our actions set an example for the posterity, and the current trends, as it is palpable, has set our society on a path of decline. The right place of school children belongs to the school.