In India, November 14, the birthday of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India is celebrated as the ‘Children’s Day’. Pandit Nehru loved children and the day is celebrated as a tribute to him. Schools across the country organize cultural programs to mark this day.
The concept of Children’s Day was first put forward by Reverend Dr. Charles Leonard, the pastor of a church in Chelsea. He recognized second Sunday of June 1856 as Children’s Day and held special service for Children to dedicate them. With time, the Children’s Day was named as ‘Flowers Day’ and is celebrated on different dates globally. The International Day for Protection of Children is observed on June 1, since 1950, in many countries. Also, the Universal Children’s Day is celebrated on November 20 on the recommendation of the United Nations.
Childhood is the most important phase of a human life, for it decides on how a human manifests himself for the rest of his life. It is the crucial stage which forms and differentiates an intelligent person from the foolish. As said by John Milton, an English Poet, “The Childhood shows the Man, As Morning shows the Day”. Hence, it is important that every child receives proper education and moral values right from the Childhood to make sure that he develops into a complete individual. To underline this importance and the role of Schools and Parents in nurturing the kids for a bright future, we celebrate ‘Children’s Day’. Not only this, the day also sends a famous message to mankind., “Live like a Child, at least for a day to enjoy Life”.
On this Day, let us examine a few problems faced by Children in India and discuss on how to address them.
Problems faced by Children in India:
Today’s child is tomorrow’s citizen. It is the quality of education and moral values that we provide to our children, which decides the future of a country. It is very important that the government focus more on providing better facilities to Education so that the nation will not face a shortage of Human capital in future. Unfortunately, in India, the Education system is not well-developed.
- Lack of facilities in schools aided by the state government:
Unlike, the United States or any other developed country, the schools in India does not have a positive opinion among the public. This is because of the lack of facilities and proper infrastructure in the Schools. Though the government offers free education in these institutions, most of the time they lack basic amenities, resulting in parents staying away from schools aided by the state government. This can be considered as one of the reasons for the commercialization of primary education in India.
- Lack of rules and regulations to control private schools:
The commercialization of schools has been the point of debate in India, especially at the start of every academic year. This is because every private school hikes the academic fee without any basis, thereby, creating pressure on the parent’s income. In fact, the state governments have failed to enforce rules and regulations on the private schools from increasing academic fees without following the guidelines as mandated by the Stae Educational acts. Because of this, parents will have to compromise on the quality of Education that their child receives, as not everyone can afford the costly Education.
- Educational pressure on Children:
It has become a common practice in the schools to provide additional courses in the name of foundation to major entrance tests. For instance, some schools offer IIT and MBBS foundation courses right from V standard so as to make them efficient for attempting the entrance tests, which will be conducted after seven years from then!
School managements have been successful in making the parents believe that such courses will enhance the career opportunities for their kids. However, the reality is every child will miss his childhood in its entirety due to the pressure of heavy workload at a tender age. The parents will have to think twice in such cases, as creating pressure on children will only hamper their overall development and performance.
- Lack of Child-focused initiatives from the government:
Since no Child has a right to vote, it’s quite common for the politicians to overlook when it comes to framing policies for Children and investing in them.
- Sexual Abuse and Child Labor:
Despite various provisions laid down in the Indian constitution to protect the Children from Child labor and Sexual abuse, the social evils still remain in the Indian society. Though the government banned the employment of children in various hazardous occupations, in reality, the implementation lacks. Sexual Abuse on children in Educational institutions and child trafficking are the major concerns especially in the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
- The change must come from the Parents as only they can decide on the future and development of their kids. Parents associations must work against the unnecessary courses offered by the schools, which are not necessary at a young age.
- It is the responsibility of the Parents to provide their children with every reason to celebrate their childhood. They should make sure that their child is dealing with right levels of pressure.
- It is high-time that the Government of India starts looking at children as tomorrow’s citizens and stop treating them as ‘Non-voting’ population. India can be a developed nation, only when the government provides required facilities for the overall development of the Children.
- State government must make sure that the public schools match the standards of a private educational institution. They will have to maintain proper infrastructure in schools to change the public opinion on government institutions.
- Most importantly, the state governments will have to frame stringent rules and regulations to restrict private schools from increasing academic fees. Also, the Educational officers will have to conduct surprise raids on private schools to check the implementation of the government’s guidelines.
- Strict monitoring has to be done by the Child welfare boards to counter child trafficking and Child Labor.
It is the responsibility of every parent to protect their children from the excessive work pressure in schools and provide them with reason to smile when they look back at their childhood after twenty years. Similarly, it is the duty of the government to control all the ill forces which go against the interests of a child.
In short, provide your children with the same ‘happiest memories’ that you had in your Childhood days – Awaken the child in You!
“HAPPY CHILDREN’s DAY”