I have some great little kids in my neighbourhood. They are often seen playing badminton in the evening in front of my house. But besides that, you couldn’t have guessed their existence !
Once I got a chance to interact with them, and asked them what do they do after school – how come I see them only for an hour. They respond right away, as if it was obvious. – “We do our Home Work”
Well, it might seem OK to you. But for me, it was surprising. In my childhood days home work used to be the last thing to do….there was cycling, eating, watching Duck Tales, talking with my grandparents, playing Ludo, and then the home work would get some attention. It was important, but not so much to let go of all the fun in life.
But looking at these kids and getting to know the amount of work they do at home is really disturbing. They have to carry heavy bags, get information on any new thing they hear or see, always strive to be first in class and more than that try to keep the teacher happy so that she doesn’t complaint to the parents. It seems that they are always in some competition, always racing towards something.
Well, these things existed in my time also. But the intensity was not so much….or at least not for me.
My parents were working, so they were happy enough that I did my homework. For them what mattered was that I an my brother were being good and responsible at their backs. Education became a serious thing from my 7th standard, and oh dear, I studied like it was the only way to live ! But that was my choice, because I understood what I wanted and how I would get it by good grades.
But a rigorous study for 5 years is definitely better than a lifetime. When I left school, I had a good grade. But more than that I did not had any complaints. I lived my childhood really well – had fun for a long time, did everything crazy, learned many new games, and studied well.
I am today really grateful for what my parents did for me. They allowed me to enjoy those initial years my life to the fullest. They let me go and explore the world the way I wanted before becoming serious about everything. As I grew up and life kept on getting serious and more goal oriented, I take pride in getting to experience that innocence and joy early in life. It might not be so relevant, but believe me it gives that space to breathe and know yourself.
Today, I feel that schools and parents should understand that at such a minor age a child should not be burdened with education, grades and ranks. He/she should be allowed to first see and experience the world, and learn through mistakes. Those few years can make him/her a better person.
I hope our education system understands the importance of this.