Sunday, January 21, 2018

Recess is out

PRIMARY school children who worry about bullies taking away their lunch money may soon get some relief.

That's because the National Primary School Principals Association (NPSPA) has recommended taking away their lunch hour.

In a move to help curb “school indiscipline”, NPSPA has suggested reducing lunch times by half-hour.

After all, during break time children indulge in behaviour that can set them up to become criminals later on in life.

One minute they are running around the school yard trying to hit each other playing scooch.

The next they are running around Enterprise Village in a gang trying to carry out a hit on whoever is holding the URP contract.

Minister of Education Anthony Garcia, being the old school disciplinarian he's known as, suggested that the NPSPA proposal has “merit” and that he's willing to “explore” it.

Just as soon as he's done learning about these “horseless carriages, everyone keeps talking about”.

Educators elsewhere in the world believe that break time plays a vital role in a child's development.

That's because these times offer children the opportunity for physical activity; which helps boosts concentration.

Also, by interacting with their peers, children learn social skills and develop friendships.

Recess and lunch times also provide children the chance for an unstructured part of their day; allowing them to pursue different interests, boosting their creativity and decision making skills.

Of course, these foreign educators who are in favour of adequate break times are mostly white people.

And all Trinbagonians know white people spoil their children and that the best way to discipline children is to beat them senseless or at least make them miserable.

Which is why I would also like to suggest more ideas to root out school indiscipline which I hope the Ministry explores.

They are—Change school uniforms: Children today are too comfortable with all their flashy shirts and pants and shoes and socks.

They should be wearing something that reminds them that they are at school to learn. And learning isn't pretty.

That's why school uniforms should be replaced with orange jumpsuits.

This will help teach students that learning is about obeying authority at all times as well as instil a sense that there is no escape.

Two traits which will serve them well in a future career in the public service or when they are waiting in line at KFC.

Hire police instead of teachers:

The law clearly says that teachers cannot beat children anymore.

But it doesn't say anything about police officers.

This is why police officers should replace all teachers.

Anytime a student steps out of line, gets into a fight, or can't recite their multiplication tables, an officer will be on hand to give them a beat down.

Plus there will be no need to retrain police officers as they already speak English and do Maths at a Standard Five level.

Electrify playground: Even if NPSPA gets its way with reducing lunch and recess times, it would still mean that children will have a half-hour to get up to no good.

That's why schools should electrify their school playgrounds.

A game of electrified hop-scotch for example, will help children focus on what they are doing instead of getting distracted by naughty behaviour.

And no one will be picking fights on the playground when they know snipers on rooftop towers are monitoring their every move.

There is a slight possibility that children may replace playing “rescue poll” with playing “prison break”.

But that brings us to the next suggestion.

Crush their spirit: You can't just punish children; you have to psychologically break them so they know not to commit that offence ever again.

For example, instead of making children write out what they did wrong 100 times, have them write out one of Minister of Communications Maxie Cuffie's press releases.

The mind-numbing torture of trying to figure out what Minister Cuffie is talking about will surely make even the most unruly child think twice of repeating his crime.

If you want to be particularly brutal, tell the child if they don't study hard they will end up becoming minister of communications themselves one day.

Shut down all schools: Why stop at cutting break times.

Let's cut all schools.

With no schools there will be a 100 per cent chance of no school indiscipline.

Also, no schools mean that there will be nothing to blame our failing education system on.

Plus, teachers will have even more time off than just a half-hour.

Having no schools is such a foolproof solution to current problems; I'm surprised Minister Garcia hasn't thought of it before.

—Darryn Boodan is a freelance writer