What do we want our children to grow up as? When every aspect of their lives is competition driven, where is the place for anything else? Be it from the toys the kids own, the clothes they wear or the school they go to, why is everything measured in terms of “being the best”? I have often heard parents brainwash their children to score high marks or else it is the end of the world for him. His interest, likes or dislikes don’t matter. After school the child is shunted off to either tuition classes or a plethora of activities to keep him busy. Even during the summer holidays he is packed off to a summer camp. He is denied any free leisure time with himself. Isn’t it shocking to hear that some parents put their child in IIT coaching classes from sixth grade onwards!
Aren’t the children getting burnt out, fatigued and listless with a host of health problems? The malady in our education system is there for all to see. Why are we as parents and educators turning a blind eye towards such a serious issue? We murder their creativity and enthusiasm for learning in cold blood! Why are we burdening them with more than what they can handle? Why can’t we address this lacuna in our system?
Gradually, due to awareness and understanding on part of parents and schools about our faulty system of education, today they are to a certain extent becoming sensitive to this issue. They are taking small steps towards making education and learning more holistic. It is encouraging to see some parents acknowledging and supporting their child in pursuing subjects other than the mainstream academics. While this is just a drop in the ocean, nevertheless a good beginning.
Just like a beautiful garden has myriad flowers, each unique with its own beauty and fragrance, each child is gifted with abilities unique to him. It is grossly criminal to compare children to one another. When nurtured the right way he may have a great potential to excel in life. Let us not stifle our children’s intelligence and try to fit them into a mould. Let us encourage them to open their wings and soar into the sky. Let us learn to respect them as individuals. Let us set examples by sensitizing them to the importance of values, adhering to the rules and to respect our environment and the elderly. Let us make their journey of learning more interesting. Let us learn to teach them to appreciate small joys of life, to be more humane than just human, to experience life and not just live it. Let’s learn to teach our children!