While the whole world is grappling with the still rampaging pandemic, a very serious and alarming concern is starting to creep into the minds of the collective public. The prolonged lockdown enforced by the government in an effort to contain the present crisis has thrown the academic calendar off the window, and there is nothing much anyone can do anything about right now. There is also the unfortunate fact that the situation might not improve enough to warrant the risk of opening educational institutions in the next few months. Our children are the most precious treasure for the whole of humankind. They are the future, the torch bearers of our species who will ensure the survival and progression as a distinct race that has come to rule the world and almost everything in it. And like everything, they also need to be prepped and prepared for the future, to carry forward and improve upon the advancements made in every aspect of our lives. It goes without saying that we should spare no expenses or efforts in nurturing and protecting them.
The bitter irony here, however, is that in our society there is an increasing evidence of apathy, reluctance and even willful misleading of the young children to serve some vested interests. The most glaring example of this is presently being witnessed in the way the state is providing education, or rather pretending to, to be more precise, to the children. Despite the verbiage and self-praise on the efforts being put into improving and modernising the education system in the state by the government, the utter failure of the whole exercise cannot be stressed enough. What is more disturbing is the fact that the state machinery vested with the power and the resources to bring about positive changes in the education system are still not ready to admit to their shortcomings, and therefore effectively curtailing the opportunity to review and redraw the system. The concern here has shifted from bringing up educated and qualified children to securing the biggest cut for oneself from the resources allocated for education. The end result- derelict schools, empty classrooms, absent teachers, negligent officials and depraved authorities who have totally lost the plot.
The danger, however does not stop here. Numerous social forces out to make a point regardless of the relevancy to the development and progress of the children are using these young and impressionable minds to echo their demands and diktats. Students too young to comprehend any social issues are often seen being used to shore up the numbers by various social and student bodies in the demand for various issues. There is also the dark and discomforting fact of child trafficking that has been largely ignored till now but one which is becoming a big cause for concern for everybody in the state in view of the rise in the occurrence of the crime. Yet another issue which will have far reaching consequences is the way incessant violence, crimes and social disruptions are starting to make impressions on the young minds. When such undesirable social aberrations are being taken as a way of life and understood as such, we have a big and unavoidable challenge before us, one which has the potential to bring the whole state into oblivion.
Nurturing and shaping our children is a collective responsibility of the society and we must learn to accept the challenge and take pride in chipping in with our efforts in trying to dispel the doubts and negative influences that are being experienced by the children. We need to look beyond narrow communal, religious or cultural boundaries and bring up our children to be eligible and qualified citizens of the world. The state authorities need to lead from the front. The current uncertain situation however presents an opportunity to plan for a radical change – one which can adapt and improve with the changing times without the hurdles of bureaucracy and corruption. This is a trial by fire for the children across the world and we must give them the best of opportunities and support to ensure a better future.