It’s the middle of the night, my daughter wakes me up. Somethings bothering her , she can’t sleep. She curls up next to me in bed and sleeps peacefully. 6:30 the alarm wakes us up , she whines , “ I don’t want to go to school. “ but why not ? you have a test today , I ask? Yes, that is why, I can’t understand a thing in accounts , and my teacher said if you don’t know anything skip the paper as its better to get an absent mark than a failed mark on your paper. “ The reason for her disturbed sleep is apparent to me now. Her granddad asks why she’s home, he says they never bunked in their day. Which is what prompted me to ask, why did you’ll never bunk? Well, he said , school was not stressful. It was simple. I was an average student and was expected to get average results. I played cricket well and represented my school. School was fun , we never felt like bunking.’ I understood his sentiment as I never bunked either . Luckily , my parents always said do your best but don’t stress about your results. My father being at the bottom of his class academically, is the only 1 in his friends’ circle at school, which included the toppers, to have succeeded in his career, which he and his dyslexic brother (who incidently couldn’t get past the 7th grade )started together . He believed in excelling at his job and understanding it to the fullest , where none else knew more than him. He always said ,”learn yoursubject perfectly”. My sister struggled with studies taking on vocational studies. She went on to excel in her field. My husband failed ,failed and failed at school, but tops, tops and tops his exams at work. My son thinks that if he can “somehow” manage to get into a big university ,” his life will be made”. Really?! I asked him, to bring me a list of the “top 5 universities” and a list showing me that each and every student from these universities have been a success in their own lives . Parents are turning grey trying to get that much needed 90% , or else , the horror!! The kids are losing sleep, along with their youth. Laughter, idle chit chat , simple fun time is replaced by tuitions. Why should our children need tuitions in most subjects, the school teaching should be enough! While my parents never took tuitions, we took them in 1 or 2 subjects that we had no aptitude for but “HAD TO LEARN” , RIDICULOUS!! I still have no aptitude for those subjects. Our kids have to take tuitions in almost all subjects. I decided against so many tuitions ,causing sleepless nights for my children. Out of the class of 36 students, 30 failed in 1 subject. Many of whom are being tutored for it. I ask, are these kids old enough to understand this subject? Is there something glaringly wrong with the teaching method here ? The teacher shrugs it off as distraction on my child’s part. If that’s the case , how come she has topped in some other subjects? If the child shows outstanding potential in 1 subject, which is not even an option in the senior years, but is forced to wrap her head around something beyond her mental capacity , is this stress upon her fair? At the tender ages of 11 and 12 the children should be carefree. They need not worry what their career paths will be. Schooling should take on holistic approach, where enjoying each subject for its worth would be so much nicer than chasing a score. Most parents make the kids take up French because it’s a “scoring subject”. How about actually learning to know a new language, and be able to speak it , be the goal? In many schools the 8th grade portion is covered earlier, the 9th grade in the 8th and the 10th in the 9th , so the 10th is pure revision. RIDICULOUSER!! Maybe we should start the 10th in the 1st , I mean why not ? age, aptitude and mental capacity obviously has nothing to do with it , right?! Education is important, very important , but relevant education is most important. In schools these days the children are expected to score 90% or more , tell me, if we don’t have 1 teacher who teaches ALL SUBJECTS , then why do we expect each child to excel at ALL SUBJECTS? Unless he or she does so, that 90% is out of reach, subsequently most “accredited colleges” are out of reach. The kids then resign themselves to the fact that, “ they are dumb”. Unfortunately, hidden talents remain hidden, and self esteem takes a hard blow. I wonder , what changed along the way. Schools were once, learning, friends, and picnics. The grounds gave way to parking lots, the most coveted part of the day , recess, is reduced to a 10 minute food swallowing OR using the loo time, just so the schools can run 2 shifts to rake in the bucks. Whatever happened to chew your food slowly, breakfast is the most important meal of the day ? But there is no time for that. I wonder if we as a society have already lost the plot, or is there still a chance for redemption . . . ??