Nov 28, 2011

What they should teach in school

I commute to work by local train everyday. As a result, I usually have loads of train tales, grievances and more to tell or rant. This post is also a result of some such incidents.

As I have mentioned before, I hate it when people litter. Especially the educated ones, who throw garbage without a second thought. A few days ago I was travelling back home. Sitting opposite me was a family, with a small kid, about 3 or 4 years old. One of the ladies opened a toffee and immediately, before I had the chance to utter a word, threw it out the window. My blood started boiling right then. I wanted to watch what they would do next before bursting out. They gave a pack of Polo to the little girl who started unwrapping it. And, to no one's surprise, following the lady's footsteps, reached to throw the wrapper out of the window.

That is when I stopped her. Took the wrapper and put it in my bag. And told the family, is littering what you want to teach the little kid? That incident made me think.

We build character and learn very important life lessons when we are little. From our teachers, our parents and people around us. It builds our point of view, our opinions and more. And if at that age, children are taught that it is ok to litter, it is ok to spit on roads, it is ok to be rude, then the next generation too will grow up with the same values as today.

I strongly believe that one subject that should be included in the school syllabus is CIVIC SENSE. You will say, oh but you needn't teach that officially. I disagree. I feel that kids should be taught from the very beginning how important civic sense is and what one should and should not do. I do believe, if this is ingrained well, they will move on to teach the elders around them.

Think. One kid has the power to make the parents, the relatives, all stop and think about what they are doing. One kid will change the mentality of an entire family.

Make civic sense a subject, teach kids what will happen if you litter. Teach kids about how diseases spread due to spitting, teach them that you should be polite in public and respect others' opinions, teach them about dry and wet waste. Have clean up-drives, have kids walk up to strangers and tell them that 'you are doing the wrong thing', give them the courage to stand up and speak out and make their world better.

Otherwise the next generation too will grow up to be educated, ignorant people who behave like apes and pretend to be the most civil of the lot. Isn't it time we show them the mirror right from the beginning so that they can be civil and change the world around them too?