Cruel is the Word

Cruel is the Word

School timings for children, that have been reviewed within parts of Srinagar municipal limits, in and during summer, are cruel. There is no other word to describe these. At tender ages, young children have and are compelled to bear the burden of reporting to their respective schools early in the morning, forsaking much needed sleep and beginning a dreary day, all in the name of education. This is sheer nonsense. Education cannot and does not mean following a mere regimented life, especially at an age when there are and should be better things to so. All this is not to demean education and the process of it thereof. It(education) is not only vital but is in the nature of an imperative and no child , both for moral , intrinsic and practical reasons must be deprived of it. But, both the philosophy and process of education in this part of the world can be too mechanical, too regimented and too organized to be of any meaning. It can also rob children of the creative endeavor and enterprise. The question is how does all this have a relationship with timings for school going children? There, the answer, is a robust relationship between the two. Education, especially, at the primary level , must be something that is not only a mere learning process but also one that is enjoyable and pleasurable. It is when it is either that the learning process becomes dynamic thereby redounding to the overall intellectual development of a given child. But, when kit become sheer drudgery , the learning and the process inhering in it becomes stultified, robbing, to repeat young buds of their creative juices at an age when these should actually be encouraged. The need of the hour then is to inject sobriety and proportion in the nature, philosophy and process of education in Kashmir. Admittedly, all this calls for a paradigm shift or even a revolution in all these domains but a good starting point could be in the timings for school children. Yes, a degree of regimentation and discipline are important but these should be the be all and catch all of education. What should and must be priority is education of a nature that is joyous, that increases the wonder and amazement of young children, encourages critical and creative thinking develops well rounded individuals and not merely robots whose existence is determined by regimen and mere discipline.