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Friend and a mother to a 7 year old :” All my daughter’s classes have gone for a toss”.
Me : “why? I mean schools are shut, but online classes are on right?”
Friend: “arre no….because of the pandemic her dance, singing, tennis and swimming classes are shut for the last few months, she might have to start from scratch again. Only her piano and painting lessons are on, because the teachers comes home to train her.
Me : looking at her with the shocked emoji…and then asked her” why so many classes? And how is she even managing?”
Friend : trying to explain to me with the intelligent tiger mom attitude, “oh ho, see, unless they learn everything, how will they even know what interests them the most. Let her learn everything, and later she can decide which one she wants to carry on with”
Me : still looking at her with the same “emoji” and trying to change the conversation as it made me very uncomfortable.
Recent few television advertisements just reminded me of the same conversation I had with this friend few months back.
“Jack and Jill won’t go up the hill anymore”. Do you know why? Well because “all work and no play made them dull and boring”. Because after school hours and endless tuition classes, they will be learning “Coding” and become so called engineers at the age of “10” instead of enjoying and playing.
We feel for the six year olds today. Instead of allowing children to enjoy their childhood, these new online apps are killing their innocence and turning them in to robots.
A recent article on “the” says, rom Kumon to Abacus to Byju’s to Fiitjee to Trinity and now WhiteHat Jr. for coding — every few years pushy Indian parents find out about a new course or class or technique that their children absolutely have to learn to cope with the ‘rat race of life’. They cram their children’s day with non-stop activities that would put even tiger-moms and soccer-moms to shame. After all, if your child is not a type-A all-rounder, it is safe to conclude she is a failure.
She must sing in the morning, study in the afternoon, go to sports coaching or dance class in the evening, and code at night. No matter which one she cares about.
Ten years ago, it was the Aakash coaching institute that was the Mecca of parents’ dreams of their children making it to the IITs. Not that the dreams were ever realised, often parents just walked away with their wallets significantly lighter. Today, it is coding for six-year-olds, because dreaming about anything less than MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) is a sacrilege and you, of course, have to start young.
WhiteHat Jr., an educational technology startup, is dedicated to teaching children coding. While teaching coding itself is not an issue, the fact that the company — and ambitious parents — thinks that children as young as six-years need to learn it (or be forced to by their parents), is a massive problem.
We thought the future will be more liberating, children and young people of this country will have more freedom to be what they want to rather than forced into. But these apps and new technology somewhere is manipulating the grown up minds, to force their children to achieve, which most of the times are beyond achievable.
Written by priyangsu maji