We’ve no time please, we’re children

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We’ve no time please, we’re children

Post by FluteHolder on Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:21 am

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/weve-no-time-please-were-children/article6533566.ece?ref=sliderNews

Children have their own sense of justice, and the feeling of revolt at being play-deprived is palpable when they open up to me. School managements, often with the active collaboration of ill-informed and overambitious parents, have been insidiously but determinedly robbing our children of a most basic need to play, explore, create and chill, at their own time, in their own space. We are talking of thousands of schools, pre-schools, “day-care” and “activity centres” across India that cite complex theories of learning, show brilliant images of neural connections develop at breakneck speed till the age of six, quote educationists from Maria Montessori to Howard Gardner to justify the need to shove new concepts down the throats of millions of children. Parents are spoilt for choice — i-math, calligraphy,sanskaar or the ubiquitous art and craft — and convinced they are raising a generation of child prodigies by minutely chalking out every moment of their day.


Finally, what of the child’s mental space? To get those great grades, answers or keywords are dictated in notebooks which kids regurgitate on their worksheets. Students are thus being robbed of the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them, of the ability to think on their feet, to organise their thoughts and use their own language and logic. How will this generation “Make in India” when they cannot even string up a decent sentence together on their own.


Unarmed and unmasked, the heartless robbers pursue their heist in broad daylight, relentlessly robbing our children of the time, space and freedom to play and learn at their pace, a freedom that should be every child’s birthright. Children do not have a voice, and schools, ministries of education and sometimes parents do not have a heart. And so the burglary goes on unchecked.


When will we realise that children do not just twiddle their thumbs and waste away if given some downtime? They may daydream, draw or doodle, but they are also learning. They may kick, hop, skip, fall, fight and make up, but they are still learning. Please let them learn. Please let them play.

FluteHolder

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