Too young for school?

By Sekuru Taurai

Yesteryear will not always be yesteryear as it is followed by this year which will be followed by next year and many more years to come. Yesteryear children started school at a ‘’mature’’ age in Chibhoraniland. Starting from what was then called Sub A the youngest would have been eight years old with most going at nine, ten and even older. They were then old enough to withstand the tough conditions of walking long distances to school barefoot and with no jersey in the cold winter, this after spending the night sleeping over a reed mat on the hard floor. Most of the writing was done on the ground using a finger. This is how I started my schooling journey yesteryear. 

Today, however parents send their kids to school at two, three, four years old. For a good number it’s a way of getting them out of the way so they can go to work with some peace of mind. All the same, don’t you think that the poor kids will be too young for this sort of stuff? Imagine the poor kids having to wake up so early in the morning and what a task it is for the poor moms who have to pull them out of the warm blankets on a cold winter morning. At the school they are forced to learn almost a dozen different subjects. During our time we had three, English, Shona and Arithmetic. Like empty tanks the children are filled up with knowledge by the know-it-all teacher more like the fuel service station attendant filling up motorists’ cars. Now what beats me is that although I learned a few subjects during my yesteryears I know much more than these kids who are learning so many subjects. Even my English is much better than the salala and norsebrigades who try to talk like the British themselves. Check out these children’s handwriting and it will be like a duck walked over the page. Of course being a BBT (Born Before Technology) I will never catch up with them when it comes to technology. Give me that smart cell phone and all I can do with it is make and receive calls. I would rather have a chimbudzi and with a computer all I can do is type, save and read. 

So sending kids to school at a tender age may have its advantages, some of which as a non-psychologist I may not be aware of, but it has its own disadvantages too. We therefore need to weigh the pros and cons here. 

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