By Mir Umar
Every day, when I left for school from my home, it is always a pleasure to greet people; to see their cheerful faces and respond to their warm pleasantries. It is a different moment every time. Every day we get to know about different things at different places from a diverse people. It is really an oral meaning of learning. Also, it is pleasure and fun learning some extra things from the children below your age. They also sometimes speak those things which you haven’t even heard before. But the matter is that our society usually fails to understand their problems. They suffer badly and silently. Let me narrate an incident about their problems.
One day, when I left for my school, though being a senior student we don’t take many heavy reference books with us. It was a normal, regular day as any other. But when I was walking, my sight fell on a child who was carrying a big loaded heavy bag on his shoulders. When I reached near him, he was looking quite angry by his facial expressions. So, I introduced myself in a childish manner. I twisted my tongue also to convince him to speak about his problems to me, and it worked.
The child also introduced himself and now he was looking relaxed. When I walked a few meters with him, I looked at his school bag closely. It was heavy as if carrying some solid metal. I could immediately fathomed the cause of the child’s unhappiness was his bag. Due to the heavy weight of books in his bag, he carried it despite feeling angry. He was taking rest every now and then after walking in intervals. This made me pleased about him. When I asked him why he is carrying all the books in his bag, he said, “If we drop a single book in our home, our teacher punishes us.”
My conversation with boy continued and I offered him help in carrying his school bag and he agreed. He took a deep breath after I received his heavy bag. He fluttered his arms and looked happy now. But the truth is when I carried his school bag I realized how our kids are suffering in the name of education. I have never carried that much of heavy bags before. My arms too ached as I carried it for some distance. I started praying that we reached his school soon!
When we arrived at his school, I finally handed his bag back to him and he left me wearing a good smile. That day, all the time I kept thinking about those children who suffer daily but no one ever bothers to resolve their problems. It left a tug in my heart. It’s not just the story of one child but thousands of schoolchildren who suffer daily. This kind of attitude with little kids of tender age would have discouraging consequences ahead.
I think in near future the school bags could replace the weights in gym centers. Childhood is considered to be the best part of life and everything should be done to avoid stressing children unnecessarily. But now a days our school children have to carry heavy weight bags as if they are ‘donkeys’ not students. When small children are asked or expected to carry such type of heavy load of books and notebooks all the way to and from school, children will be least interested in studies. It will make them angry and unhappy. It will also affect their thinking which is unfortunate. They will also hate to go school. It is a fact that they will have to learn, but there should be a proper management of timetable for each of the subjects. A properly planned time-table should be made compulsory in all schools. Students should be asked to carry particular subject books and copies on particular days for each subject. It will satisfy children and will help in creating friendly environment of learning in schools. It is a tyranny on students if we fail to relieve them of this unnecessary burden. It is a genuine problem and should be addressed immediately. Otherwise, we would see stressed up and bored children all around us.
Mir Umar is a student of Comparative Literature. He can be reached at: [email protected]