In the name of schooling

It’s been just few days when parents, civil society, Doctors Association and PSAJK together pursued the revoking of school timing in favour of our kids. This has again endorsed the fact that rather than being just onlookers; go-getters can make this earth a better place to live in.

To take the understanding a step further I would like to share some concerns for the welfare of school going children:

For coming years the school timings should remain from 9 am to 2 pm from May 1st till September and 10 am to 3 pm for October, November, December, March and April considering the climatic conditions of Valley. No school should be allowed to tamper with this by issuing circulars for reporting 30 or 15  minutes prior to the said time. The timing has to be reconsidered as there is an additional travel timing which is average 45 minutes for a child even living within a vicinity of 5 kmts.  We should not be fighting the same battle every year rather we should achieve better on other areas of concerns and achieve continued excellence.

This has an enormous role to play in their lifestyle and the affected parents. Rather than blindly following Indian states, Middle East or West for early timings where the climate is a deciding factor. Do I need to remind all about the alarming increase in diabetic rate among young school kids in these countries where it’s a normal sight to see school children carrying insulin along due to sedentary life style.

Talking about the developed countries like United Kingdom where before admitting the child to elementary school the school authorities ensure that the child lives only few minutes walking distance from the school. The story of our kids in this part of world has all of us as villains to snatch their childhood and put them in a “system”.

In present scenario where the parents’ most share of earning goes as an investment to the education of  their kids, do the schools adhere to the standards and facilitate the childhood to its full bloom is to be introspected before it is too late. The parents also need to look beyond the set standards.

Gone are the days when most of Kashmiris used to have big lawns and airy homes now land has shrunken and hardly the kids have any playing area in homes. As parents we think this will be compensated in school but alas the story has some sad parts. The kids are mostly caged in the modern infrastructure class rooms with maximum two sports classes per weak on their time table. Playing area and sophisticated infrastructure is a mere eyewash to attract people at time of admissions. The information is trusted upon the dynamic minds and least importance is given to the requirements of multiple intelligence among the young and enthusiastic learners.

While interacting with many students and trying to find out the basic understanding of the word “learn” among them the response was shocking as majority confused the concept of LEARN with just MEMORIZING.   The teaching and evaluation mechanism is unanimous rather homogeneous for a heterogeneous group of learners. Teacher training is given least importance where B.Ed is mockery of a system. School bags are far heavier than what these feeble shoulders can carry and nobody is concerned about the health of our future generation. Most of the topnotch schools of valley lack the basic hygienic drinking water facility.

The maids and the transportation department also lack the proper training to give them an insight about student handling. We forget that they equally play a crucial part in running the institutions.

The bottom line is schools have to shoulder crucial responsibility. Rather than just designing a curriculum and conducting exams they have an enormous role to play and initiate the change for better. Shaping the students, grooming their overall personality, nourishing their life skills, paving a way for their bright future and orienting the parents with a positive outlook to save the further damage.

The schools must have a system in place that bridges the communication between the stakeholders: Parents, teachers and students rather than barring the same for false decorum of the school

Constructive criticism is fundamental and our society is in much need.