Until now, I still remember my father’s school life story. He said, back when he has been going to school, he just needed to bring a note book, a pen, and put them on his shorts’ pocket. Compared to his story, our education system has became more complicated for our kids, including the heavier school bag for them, literally. I have thought that my school bag was quite heavy during my school days. But, it seems that nowadays, children bring heavier school bag on their back. This phenomena indicates that our kids has been taught much more lessons compare to lessons taught decades ago, but, do kids in kindergarten or elementary school ? Aren’t the main task for children are playing and learning, not learning and learning ?

Image from elaisblog.blogspot.com

Let me take an example. Nowadays, my nieces and nephews (about 7-8 years old) are able to talk in three languages, which are Indonesian, English, and Chinese. All of them are taught in theirs elementary school. Compare to me, I have learned English since elementary school and started learn Chinese after graduated from senior high school. So, I think positively that they shall be smarter than me. But, don’t you think that the children would feel confused to use all the three languages altogether, while they still don’t know their mother tongue (Indonesian) language quite well ? Because, if I am becoming one of those super kids now, I will feel confused what languages I should use.

As I have stated before, I would agree that the main task for children is to play and learn something new. But, somehow, nowadays kids barely have enough time to play. They spend almost all of their time to study, to join many courses, such as art, language, or school lesson courses. In the evening, they still have to do their homework or study for the following day’s lesson. Well, I’m not saying that this is bad, but this phenomena is so different with the previous time, when kids have more sufficient and balanced time between playing and studying.

In addition to that, when I go to bookstores, I see a lot of education books that teach kids to read, do the simple math, and so on. But, in the other hand, I barely see the story books for kids as many as education books. Related to the title, it seems that our kids school bag are fulfilled by so many educational and technical books. But, aren’t kids supposed to read many cartoons, fairy tales, create an imaginary world in their mind and feel excited when their parents tell them a new story ? Well, in the name of ‘preparing our children to face their future’, sometimes, we prefer giving them education books and teach them, rather than buying them fairy tales books and read for them every night.

Of course, we cannot blame the kids parents because parents natural habits is to provide the best for their children, including their education. By letting their children grab the best education as soon as possible, parents think that they have prepared their children well to face the upcoming challenges that seems to be harder and harder. I’m not a parent yet, and I don’t think that this phenomena is all 100% parents responsibility. I rather blame our education system which emphasize more in getting a good result and competition.

By providing result-oriented system, our education system unintentionally make our children like robot that should be able to get a good result in school, although maybe our kids are not too ready to compete with his/her friends. When a child get bad marks, he/she will be punished, or compared to another children who get better scores. This leads to a situation where parents will make them study harder in order to not lose to other people. So, our kids has became in a competition while they should be in playing arena. Our kids has known stressful environment while they should feel joy.

I just hope that in the future, our education system for children getting more and more balanced. Not only give them a chance to get new knowledge, but also give them an equal chance to play, to have fun, to play hard and study hard. I also hope that their heavy school bags is full of toys, food, fairy tales books, not mathematics and science books.

*this post is also posted in In My Opinion – http://imo.thejakartapost.com/creandivity/2011/04/26/heavier-school-bag-for-our-kids/ *