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Children Prior To Schooling

The children in Iraq were silent victims of the on-going violence in the country. Many of them had become child soldier’s taking up arms without even understanding what was happening.

The children in Iraq were silent victims of the on-going violence in the country. Many of them had become child soldier’s taking up arms without even understanding what was happening. Mahal, a ten year old from the war torn Sierra –Leone was seen to have been confronted by a few locals with guns outside his house and the next day he didn’t come back home. Some joined the war out of patriotism, while a few reluctant ones took to arms because they were told to do so. In short, while the other children across the world were playing around and having fun or studying at schools, these children had chosen to take the beaten path. In an interview with the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflicts, it came to be known that only 50% of Iraq's children were eligible to attend primary schools.

The spokesperson also said "Many Iraqi children are not attending schools anymore and many of them were recruited into violent activities or are in detention. Most of the children lacked the basic services and many of them show psychological symptoms due to acts of violence that they witness daily.” Since 2004, the number of teenagers who were recruited by many militias and rebel groups to carry out attacks, including suicide missions, had grown to large numbers  and about 1,500 children languished in detention facilities. What was their learning at that point of time? A teacher who took in a child after he had joined the Militia and saw the pain in conflict said that when she told the young boy to draw a picture, he drew the scene of war- with battle tanks and hand grenades. The colors he used were the colours of the military camouflage uniform, brown, green lots of red and yellow.

John Holt created the word unschooling in 1977. A class teacher who became the founder of unschooling and the modern homeschooling movement, he felt schools weren’t the only mode of learning. True. Even the royal family at some stage was tutored at home. They learnt more than those that went to school- probably because there was a goal in the manner in which they were trained. Also because the tutoring was exclusively on a one to one basis and the best in the field imparted the best education they could give.  Attitudes are already changing.

The proud dependence on school seems to have reduced. It is hard to visualize a de-schooled society or an educational institution in a society which disestablishes school. What the world must know is that the inverse of school is possible: That we can depend on self-motivated learning instead of employing teachers to bribe or compel the student to find time and the will to learn; that we can provide the learner with new links to the world instead of continuing to funnel all educational programs through the teacher. Yes, that prior to schooling the home can make a big difference- and more, that the home can supplement the schoolFeature Articles, if it wanted to! Schools will never die.

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The writer of this article is a school advisor in OnlineSchoolAdmissions and provides free of cost consultancy to parents and schools on admissions. Parents can look for schools directory list on the site from where they can search for the top school in Bhopal or a play schools in Delhi in which they think they can admit their child. They can also search for the top 10 schools in Patna as per their choice and can fill up the application forms online.

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