Many private schools in Kuwait kicked off the academic year this week. Public schools will resume after the Eid Al-Adha holiday. Kids usually feel very energetic on the first day of school, when they reunite with their friends and talk exaggeratedly about what did during the summer holiday. The sparkle soon fades away by the end of the day, when they realize that they’re back to reality – going back to school means waking up early, doing homework, facing exam pressure, and worst of all, less playtime at home!
But what if we let them imagine and visualize how can they make school days better and much more fun? What’s the concept of enjoyment and learning in the eyes of these youngsters?
Ghalia Al-Tamimi, 10, seemed a bit confused and didn’t know what to change in her school. “I don’t know. I like everything in my school, and I don’t mind the homework. However, I would make our toilets smell better – they’re stuffy and icky!” she exclaimed.
On the other hand, 8-year-old Nadiya Al-Awadhi wishes students and teachers can bring their pets to school.The days then would be less stressful. “It’s the only thing I would want to change”.
Of course it is unreasonable for schools to be like funfairs. The serious environment and strictness shape students’ personalities. Dana Hussain, 12, is aware thatlife is not all amusement and play. “My school is balanced. There’s enough strictness and fun. We don’t want things to be too lax. But I sometimes I dream that we could get out of our classes at the end of the school day on a really long swirly slide,”she said, adding, “I won’t change our uniforms though. The winter one is smart and the summer ones are very slim.”
Dana’s younger sister Aya, 10, disagrees with her, as she does not want to cling to a school uniform. “Our uniforms are so expensive! I want to go to school free to wear more casual and cheaper everyday clothes,” she said. “I’m very excited about going back to school. However, if I were an architect, I would make it more colorful, modern and unique to attract more people to join. Also, if I had the power to change the rules, I would allow middle school to organize fun trips and assemblies like the ones we used to do back in primary school,” added Aya.
Children are little humans with vast, imaginative minds. Involving them in some levels of decision making in the educational process would create a responsible generation that’s going to develop as an effective part of society. Let’s give them a chance to show their capabilities hidden in their small bodies.
By Athoob Al-Shuaibi