Of course development of a child at holistic level is required, but adding pressure to already burdened child makes the situation worsened. The schools shall come forward and become real partners with parents in bringing up the child in a friendly environment, says Mona Verma.
Seeing their child grow is the dream of every parent and they cannot imagine losing even a single opportunity of capturing the precious moments both in camera and their hearts. I feel overwhelmed when I see the emergence of novel teaching practices and perspectives and hence opportunities before the young generation in galore. But within a few moments my entire enthusiasm and positive outlook fades away. The reason is simple and quite visible.
Being involved in Education Sector has showed me different colours of ever-changing dynamics of Education, both in positive and disturbing sense. Till a decade and a half back, no one was aware of the term crèche. Yes, of course many of us must have watched some babysitters in Hollywood flicks and I used to hear my mother muttering and sometimes sobbing quietly ‘How terrible, these small kids are so lonely?’ But today when I look around, ours ever-surging urban population is in no good state. The educated migrated denizens from every nook and corner of the country to metropolitan cities try to ‘fit’ in the social system. But in majority of cases this fitment exercise takes form of FITS.
T-Time to prove
An individual and his family remain entangled in the vicious circle of fierce competition, resources to survive and sustain and an urge to prove and show-off to everyone around. Any package no matter how colossal is unable to bring any trace of satisfaction and happiness. Anyways, this is highly subjective but what is common in most of the cases is the growing loneliness and burden on these young naïve minds. Now the question arises which parent does not want to spend time with their children helping them learn, grow, imbibing values and confidence, providing protective environment and helping them to cope in difficult situations.
On the contrary what is left are some brief calls to enquire ‘Are you back from the school’, ‘Complete your homework’, ‘Go for tuitions on time’, ‘Take out packed food from the fridge and eat’, ‘Pass on the phone to the maid’ and so on. It is a daily conversation in many cases, really sad and disheartening and it is quite difficult to imagine what the young child goes through.
There are different players and elements that may act as a source of positive change in the widening gap in relationships in families.
With growing economies and boundary-less world, the job opportunities with big private players has taken a toll. Thanks to employee-friendly practices wherein some organizations have realized this widening gap and this growing concern and have taken a few initiatives namely:
1. Some of the organizations have set-up in-house crèche for female employees and they are allowed to see the child as and when they feel.
2. Some organizations have introduced flexible timings and Work from Home options especially for female employees.
3. Some organizations have moved ahead and reduced number of working hours for young parents so that they can spend maximum time with their child.
4. Transfers of female employees and movement to different locations is somewhat limited by some progressive enterprises.
Schools and Education System
Amidst fierce competition and growing burden on the children and absence of the parents during most of the occasions, schools are expected to play a pivotal role in providing some comfort and right sense of direction to the children. Of course, there are set parameters to judge the ability of a child and hence there occurs differentiation between meritorious and average students. Unfortunately, despite much hue and cry and genuine concern of numerous Educationists, the attributes to gauge a child’s capabilities are still academic-oriented and yes undoubtedly there is much emphasis on sports and co-scholastic activities, the paradigm shift is still much in theory.
Of course development of a child at holistic level is required, but adding pressure to already burdened child makes the situation worsened. It is a highly debatable and controversial topic that what to be included and what to be disengaged from existing Education System, but what is quintessential is the attitude and perspective of the school authorities and Educationists needs to be child-oriented and empathy and genuine love and concern is the need of the hour. The schools shall come forward and become real partners with parents in bringing up the child in a friendly environment. It is the responsibility of the school not only to assist the child in coping but they should counsel parents to understand the basic elements to build and create true and promising citizens.
The government authorities and agencies related to Education have started Help Lines and Counselling Sessions to help children to overcome stress. Undoubtedly, they may come as a big assistance but the question arises to what extent. A few moments of motivation can never compensate the real-time problems they are facing year after year with growing intensity.
The key element who can truly address this growing problem besides the Organizations and Schools are parents and without a change in their attitude nothing can be set right no matter what level of efforts are involved.
Parents, especially younger ones are supposed to take out time to spend with their child and should be actively involved in their proper upbringing. They shall ensure a sense of togetherness and bond of love and faith in the heart of the child. The young mind shall not feel that s/he is lonely and burdened. With advent of nuclear families, relationships have somewhat taken a backseat.
We as parents shall provide a positive exposure towards relationships, positive discipline and respect for others. We always roar, suggest, think and feel that a child shall be given enough space and opportunities to progress in the direction of their choice but when it comes to our own child, ironically, we have all qualms, apprehensions, self-designed aspirations and unfulfilled desires and the complete focus is to learn, compete and gain success at every step and level, no matter how tiring, exhausting and sacrificing it proves to be.
This entire scheme of things leaves these young minds vulnerable, depressed, exasperated, confused and lonely. Some children survive and take this burden in their stride. Some of them fall in wrong company and with available resources get involved in all kinds of malpractices; from drug addiction to hit and trial cases and it takes them miles away from real world.
But there are some really unfortunate ones who become fearful of their failures to the extent that they succumb to such failures and it leads to a tragic end. It is no hidden fact that the numbers of road rage cases, hit and run, suicides are on an all-time high.
We as parents need to realize a fact that simply by providing all possible resources and facilities can never compensate what is really missing from their lives, our valuable presence in their lives. I have a simple urge that let their world not only be confined to maids, drivers, tuition, television and latest and expensive gadgets.
They need Us
I cannot claim that the suggested methods are going to bring about a significant change but will certainly improve the situation to begin with. What is required is that everyone assumes and carries out their responsibilities in the best possible way.
(Ms. Mona Verma is an Education Thinker and Edupreneur )