Let’s teach children first-aid, self-reliance, good values and coding

Photo: Alaric Sim (Unsplash)

Lajwanti D’Souza

Children being allowed to code from sixth standard in India is indeed pragmatic but I wish children are also given an opportunity to show their prowess in other capabilities.

Today, when I look back and fail to recall even a single Math theorem or remember all the countries in the old world Atlas, I ponder if instead of testing my memory, if my penchant for a subject or field was analysed, chances are I would have been a little more in charge of the real world.

Let me list a few ‘should have learnt in school’ skills – mind you, some of these you may have learnt in your school or at home – the idea of these are to share the importance of utilitarian familiarity,

I wish I was taught computation of taxes, investments and how to file IT returns. Yes, there are specialists who do this for today but even a few study lessons on the same would have at least made be self reliant today and not have chartered accountants and financials experts ruling my life.

A little bit of practical law. Pray, we never get into a legal wrangle but a wee bit of legal parlance is good to know. An basic understanding of property laws, marital laws, important legal terms and processes is good to keep stored in memory.

Some emergency medical care – basic medical procedures when hurt or in simple pain. Even CPR, or a choke release -if that could have been taught in school am sure it would have been my most precious acumen to-date.

Serious gardening- I remember growing an odd plant as part of learning how to grow plants in school and then marked for its height but a more deliberate spotlight set against the background on climate change and afforestation would have got many on more human path as adults.

Animal care and safety. So many grow up in life either scared of animals, hating them or ignoring them (am talking about stray and domestic animals). What if schools ran special classes for children to love and understand animals and be taught to look after them -as they say you know the character of a person when you check how he treats a waiter and a stray animal.

I children today, were subject to two hours of outdoor games. What if the government made it mandatory that in every school across the country it was mandatory that everyday two hours be kept aside for outdoor activity – this could be playing traditional games like Catching Cook or Hide and Seek or simply gardening – a time free from any device and academics.

How about some serious cooking classes which involves learning the combination of splices and sauces and world flavours and the nutritional backing of everything we eat -am certain food discipline would have been a more prevalent point of discussion today.

One lecture slot in the day should be permitted for the child to take up any hobby or further enhance her or his skills in the subject of choice. – this could be an academic pursuit or sports or a fine art of any of those I have listed above. This one free class can easily ascertain the child’s best of mind and likely career choice as an adult – those aptitude tests would not be necessary.

The point about being fit and healthy need not be a concern only when people hit their 20s right up to their 50s. That keeping agile and active means a strong body and also vital muscles like the heart in shape needs to be stressed at a young age – a lecture twice a month on fitness and healthy food would whip up a great sense of healthy food.

Boys schools especially need to engage their students in lectures which talk about gender sensitivity and respect for the opposite sex. Given the rise in heinous crimes in our country, bringing up sensitive and holistic children is important and the doctrine that girls are equal to boys in capabilities and talent needs to ingrained efficiently.