Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Is Death Such An Easy Option?

Every day when we open the news paper there is a scream for help from our children to reach out for them. We are turning a deaf ear to this plea. Yes I am talking about the suicides which our young children are resorting to. The headlines just pounce at you which says Child commited suicide as she or he feared failure in exams closer to or even before getting their results. I do not know whether I can say that these children were cowards because they had enough will power to commit such a drastic act. Did they feel that once they take their life then they will be free of all these tensions? Is it so easy to take one's own life I wonder?

It therefore brings our attention to two things. One, our education system and two, the pressure we exert as parents on our children. We say that we are now living in a very competitive world and if you are not well qualified then one cannot suceed in life. Is our education system geared towards helping in the all round development? Shouldn't education be not just about studies and grades but also about inculcating a good and strong value system?

In the earlier gurukul system, the little shishyas were given not just the bookish knowledge but also tutoring in the scriptures and vedas. If the students were kshatriyas, they were taught warfare, administration , political science, math, and various other aspects of life science skills. To prepare them for the world ahead. And the best part was the non-partisan attitude of those Gurus - the treatment was the same whether the shishya was a prince or a commoner.

Now, even though we have made so much of an advance in all fields, we are yet to develop a curriculum that is designed to help each child realise his or her potential to the . Just imagine a curriculum which is tailor made for each student based on his ability and one that goes to higher levels as and when he is ready for it. This would mean a one is to one ratio of a well trained teacher to a student. What an ideal situation isn't it?

During the earlier times, one wanted to become an engineer, a doctor or a lawyer because these jobs enhanced one's status in the social cricles. But today, a child has so many avenues to choose from for a career. Exceptional abilities in sports, arts (like painting or drama or creative writing) or technical ability are beginning to be recognised and children can dare to pursue their path of passion.

Next is the issue of parental pressure. Beyond a certain age, children like to take their own decisions and they also start believing in thier ability to judge between the right and the wrong. While there is no "one way" to do it, as we have noticed in other spheres of life, communication can resolve some seemingly impossible conflicts. Opening up the channels of parent-child communication is one's best bet to guide the children towards the right path. Beyond this, if the child wants to pursue arts (her choice) and not engineering (your choice), one should have a big enough heart to accept the truth that this was what was meant to be.

I would really appreciate your views on the subject. While it is great to have live our children's aspirations, one should look at the child's happiness quotient before taking a decision. Else, our children will keep addiing to the statistical number in this game of death.

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