Archive for February, 2010
Raju has been on my mind since morning. After finishing my Walking Tour I was riding back home. This school going kid asked for a drop so I stopped over to pick him up. He said he had missed his bus and looked so lost. He was studying in class 8 in one of the schools in the locality. I have a soft corner of kids these days for the truck load they carry on their back called ‘School Bag’ plus the disgust I have developed for our education system seems to add to it.
I asked Raju why did he miss the bus.Did he wake up late ? He said No Uncle (yeah I know kids these days just cant tell my age right ; ) He was up at 5:30am to go to tuition classes which was delayed today so he got back home much later than the usual which is 8:30 am. He quickly grabbed breakfast and was on his way to school. Asked him how was school, he said it was okay, without much interest. Which started at 9:30 am everyday and the drama went on until 4:00 pm. So I asked him what he did once back home? He said he had tuitions in the evening as well. I asked ‘Tuitions Again !!’ He said yes, from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm. It was a little hard for me to digest. Because after tuitions classes he got back home did his homework for the next coupla hours had dinner and went to sleep. And this was his routine everyday. I asked him if he understood what was thought in school. He said ‘Yes’. Then go for tuition classes I asked. He said so that he understood better coz the school thought at a fast pace.
The whole thing sounded like a military regime to me. I asked,So when do you get to play? He said “On weekends” Ola !! I thought it was only the working folks looking forward to the weekends and now you had school kids joining the bandwagon too !! Looking back at my childhood, what I cherish the most the time spent with friends playing and doing all the crazy things that one wanted to. So I asked Raju don’t you miss playing for a couple of hours everyday. He said like he was talking to an idiot ‘Uncle, I am in class 8, two more years before the all important class 10. How could I afford to play’ . I was shocked. These were not words of school kid but that of his parents and teachers who had succeeded in drilling such non sense into his head that Playtime sounded like a crime !! He said hoping to put some sense into my head ‘ Now was the time to study and not play’
Wonder what kids are taught these days in the name of education. There seemed to be no joy, no interest neither the innocence the came along with childhood. It seemed like we were all getting one step close to whats described in Aldus Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’ producing machines and all set to run the rat race. Like somebody said, The problem with the rat race is that even if you manage to win it you still remain a rat !!
As I stopped in front of his school, Raju thanked me and jumped off the bike and ran inside coz he was already late for his ‘special class’ which his principal was taking coz their class was lagging behind in Math !!
I wondered when Raju grows up and realizes that his childhood was robbed. Who would he blame. His School, his teachers, his folks, his peers or just himself ?? I dint have an answer. Do you ?