I was struck over the weekend by a very disturbing sight. In fact, it was so worrying I had to call to the child and as usual, conduct an interview with her.
I can say that the average Ghanaian child faces the same challenges the adult faces when it comes to stress and managing it. Some children wake up as early as five in the morning, others around four to do some quick revision and continue with their house chores. In fact, in some homes, some children wash the cars, sweep the hall, clean utensils and do so many things. Others too have the luxury of just getting up to take their bath and move to the school.
Parents have been very instrumental in ensuring that children get well prepared before school and that remains a plus. But these days, there is something that we aren’t looking at. It is very disturbing and may cause health effects if it is not checked.
Have you ever taken a look at your child’s school bag before? What did you see? These days, some of the school children load their bags with things no one knows about. They carry this extra burden heavily behind their backs and feel tired as soon as they return from school, blaming their teachers and school mates.
I once asked a child, ‘What at all do you keep in your bag?’ She replied ‘Books’. Oh I see, so why so many books? I asked her again. ‘Our books get missing in school, we don’t know how that happens, so we send our exercise books and notebooks everyday to school’ Don’t open your mouth yet.
Some of these children carry several story books in their bags, and we don’t know whether it is to show off or what. Others just load their bags with junk like magazines. Some also take very big Bibles and dictionaries to school. Why should a little school child go through all this stress?
Parents, I think you should begin checking these bags your children take to school. Conduct surprise checks and tally the books with their time tables to know if there’s anything in there that is making your child carry that load. At Parent Teacher Association meetings, advocate for the provision of individual lockers for each student to avoid the inconvenience of students losing their books. Get relatively smaller dictionaries and Bibles that would reduce the weight. Help your children to de-stress, don’t make them go through all this, coming back to the house, depressed and down.
Do you think students should be allowed to use their smart phones and tablets in the classroom?
Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s stay interactive.
God bless you all. Have a great mid-week!!!
Image credit: http://www.ghanaschoolbag.com