Fifty years ago, no one thought it was wrong to have children admitted to schools at the age of five (or even later). Now even two-year old children are admitted into schools. If there is any reason for doing so, it can only be that others are also doing it (the same logic is used by bribe-takers and fornicators: everyone’s doing it, so we also do it). What parents don’t realize is that their children are being turned into nervous wrecks by being forced to go to schools at eight in the morning. Children need to play and interact with others to grow up into healthy human beings. But with this absurd practice of keeping them away from homes for five hours daily, not only is their health being adversely affected, they will end up hating everything to do with the learning process. And then there is the huge workload given to them.
My son’s five-year old daughter has to do so much homework that she has no time to play with other children. She’s dead tired by seven o’clock in the evening. Here she goes to school every morning in tears, but she loved going to school in Dubai (where she spent the past year). There, the atmosphere was relaxed, children were taught basic math and languages (English and Arabic) in a friendly manner, and she learnt to speak fluent English in just a year. Here, teachers’ cruelty to children could turn children into anti-social humans.
How can children be made to love learning? Obviously, by training teachers to be kind to children. But with the kind of salaries teachers get even in our elite schools, it’s doubtful if we’ll ever see any improvement in teachers’ attitudes. Right now, it seems that even madressahs are better than most of our schools.