Let’s Talk About Education This Children’s Day

Children’s Day is one of the most awaited events in the Indian school calendar. In memory of Jawaharlal Nehru and to honor his love for children, November 14 is celebrated in India as Children’s day. The main purpose of Children day is to encourage the welfare of children all over the country and emphasise on the importance of giving love, attention and affection to children. “The children of today will make the India of tomorrow. The way we bring them up will determine the future of the country,” said Nehru.

He was keen about welfare, education, and development of children in India. Nehru also said that children learn the most during their childhood, and that childhood should form the foundation of a potential career and bright future. So Children’s Day in India is a tribute to India’s Prime Minister Chacha Nehru and his love of children.

On this day, all over the country, various cultural, social institutions conduct competitions for children. This day is dedicated to increase awareness of people towards the rights, care and education of children. Many organizations conduct events for the children to inform them about their rights and make them happy and cheer. Schools and colleges host cultural programs, functions and events. Many times, teachers also participate in these functions in order to show their love and affection for children. In many schools, children dress up as Jawaharlal Nehru with a red rose pinned to the lapel of the knee-length Nehru jacket. They also try to give speeches like Pt Nehru and usually a competition is held in which the child who gives best speech is rewarded. Debate competitions are also held in many schools. In several schools, sweets, gifts and books are distributed to children on this occasion.

In India, November 14 started being celebrated as Children’s Day only after Nehru’s demise in 1964. Prior to this, much like other countries, Children’s Day was celebrated on November 20, that is the Universal Children’s Day as declared by the United Nations. India has been preponed the date to 14thNovember as the date the marks the birth anniversary of independent India’s first Prime Minister – Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.

But why have a Children’s Day celebration?

Children are God’s gift to every parent. They make life more beautiful, bringing a smile to every person’s face. They are innocent and fragile, which is why they are celebrated on Children’s Day. This day also symbolizes the way childhood should be experienced – with toys, magical storybooks, school, and friends. On this day we celebrate the rights of every child and the importance of giving each one a happy childhood.

On another note, Education is and always will be very important in building a strong foundation in one’s life. This is especially true in terms of looking at our future generation. We want our children to be educated, to be up to date with current issues, and able to provide knowledge to the next generation. Education is a strong building block in building a stronger and healthier community.

This starts by putting an emphasis on the importance of education in our children today. As a community, it is our obligation to help a child develop their identity and be a contributing factor to society. We must refocus on the idea that a child is the centre of our community.

As a community we must provide protection, security, knowledge, and most importantly good values. If we can help our children to become positive and engaging members of society, this will only help in developing, not only a stronger and healthier community, but a safer one as well.

When considering the shaping of our future generations, we must look seven generations back and seven generations ahead. It is important to respect our past in terms of how we were raised and how we can develop previous teachings to ensure that our future is growing as well. It is important to stress these values and to create a path for future generations to follow. A key factor in maintaining these values, again, is education. As a community, we want to see our children grow into strong leaders to develop and nurture our community further. Education and the importance of pursuing post-secondary education are vital to the development of our children and the community.

Education isn’t simply about achieving a “higher state of knowledge”; it’s about equipping our students with the tools they need to go out into the world and shape it for themselves.

What are a child’s rights? Apart from a home, caring parents, security and friends, a child has rights that must be guaranteed by the State. These are complete education and full health.

The World Bank publishes the World Development Report every year. The Human Capital Index (HCI) is part of the annual report. The 2019 report has constructed the HCI for 157 countries. It is a measure of “the amount of human capital that a child born today can expect to attain by age 18”. The explanatory note reads: “The index is measured in terms of the productivity of the next generation of workers relative to the benchmark of complete education and full health. An economy in which a child born today can expect to achieve complete education and full health will score a value of 1 on the index.”

No country has scored 1 because there will always be benchmarks of education and health that countries aim to achieve. Singapore occupies the first rank with an HCI of 0.88. The first 10 countries score over 0.80. They are Singapore, Republic of Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Finland, Ireland, Australia, Sweden, the Netherlands and Canada. Asians can be proud that the first four places are occupied by Asian countries.

Our children’s success, on their terms, is not something we can put a price on. Paying for grades without helping children cultivate life skills like dedication and accountability will only prepare them to rely on payouts and other external motivating factors down the road. Instead, when we inspire a love of learning,

Cultivate good habits and allow them to plot their own course, they will truly flourish.

The best of the best keep student-teacher ratios low, kids in school longer, and graduate the greatest number of students with a quality education. Who are these powerhouses?

Finland

Who knew that lots of breaks can help create academic aces? The Finns. The Northern European nation mandates that their kids — who don’t begin studies until age 7 — have 15-minute outdoor free-play sessions for every hour of their five-hour school day. And though grades aren’t given until fourth grade (and schools don’t require any standardized tests until senior year), their students’ achievement is undoubted. Consistently high PISA survey scorers, Finland’s latest rank is sixth in reading and 12 in math. And it’s not just a few smarties who secure the lead. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the difference between the weakest and strongest students in Finland is the smallest in the world.

Australia

What’s up down under? Education for all. Placing at the top of the Education Index in the United Nations’ Human Development Report, the country-continent of 24 million expects students will complete an impressive 20-plus years of schooling (The U.S., for comparison, expects 16). In fact, 100% of preschool, primary- and secondary-school age kids are enrolled — and 94% of citizens over 25 have at least some secondary education. Hand-in-hand with full classrooms (in a teacher-student ratio of 14:1), Australia admirably supports its educators. The nation gives incentives to teachers taking rural hardship postings and, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)’s 2015 Education for All Global Monitoring Report, is taking notable “steps toward pay parity for teachers at all levels.”

South Korea

Standardized tests have met their match in South Korea. Students in the 49-million-person republic — who are randomly assigned to private and public high schools — routinely score at the top of academic assessments: Most recently No. 1 overall, and in “Educational Attainment,” in Pearson Education’s annual global educational performance report as well as fifth in both reading and math on the PISA survey. Long hours of study have helped the students become so successful, reports the BBC, noting that, “South Korean parents spend thousands… a year on after-school tuition,” for their kids’ evening cram sessions — every day.

Japan

Thanks to an intense focus on academics starting at age 6 (the primary school drop out rate is just .2 percent), Japan’s students have scoring well down to a science. Ranking No. 2 in Pearson Education’s annual global educational performance report and placing fourth in reading and seventh in math in the influential Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) survey — which tests 15-year-old students worldwide in order to compare countries’ education systems — the Pacific Ocean island nation is serious about learning. And it’s paid off: The literacy rate of their 127 million citizens is 99 percent.

Norway

Norway, rated highest in human development by the U.N., prioritizes education for their 5.1 million residents. The Nordic nation spends 6.6% of their GDP on education (nearly 1.5% less than the U.S. does) and keeps their student-teacher ratio below 9:1. Relying on a national curriculum that teachers interpret for their pupils — who aren’t defined by grade level — arts and crafts are part of the program, as well as food and health, music, and physical education. And their system is clearly working. A hundred percent of Norway’s school-age population is enrolled in school, 97 percent have some secondary education, and they’ve closed the gender gap in education to boot!

Netherlands

Geen Nederlands spreken? No problem. Even non-Dutch speaking students get the help they need to succeed in the Netherlands’ schools. The country of 17 million — ranked No. 8 in Pearson Education’s ratings and No. 10 in the PISA survey — provides teaching in languages other than Dutch for students in grades 1 to 4 to foster learning in all subjects. And to keep their 94% graduation rate at the secondary level, they also funnel extra funding to poorer and ethnic minority students. According to UNESCO, the primary schools with the highest proportion of disadvantaged students have, on average, about 58 percent more teachers and support staff.

Singapore

Described as an “exam-oriented” system, education in this island city-state of nearly 5.7 million in Southeast Asia strives to teach children problem solving. They’ve certainly figured out how to conquer tests. Ranking No. 1 in Pearson Education’s global educational report for “Cognitive Skills” and No. 3 overall, Singapore placed high on the PISA test too: No. 3 in reading and No. 2 in math.Teachers study-up in Singapore as well, participating in professional development throughout their careers.

Germany

Dissatisfied with their scores on the 2000 PISA tests, the European country — ranked 7 in the U.N.’s Education Index — took action. They reformed their education policy, including, “the adoption of national standards and increased support for disadvantaged students,” per UNESCO, and things turned around for their 82 million population. Today in the PISA rankings, Germany sits at No. 20 in Reading, a two-spot improvement, and is No. 16 in math, a five-spot jump.

The United Kingdom

Of Britons age 25 and older, 99.9 percent have had secondary education in the U.K. (population 64 million). And although England is currently strategizing about how to accommodate the extra 750,000 students that their Department of Education estimates they’ll have in their schools by 2025, the nation remains an impressive No. 6 overall in Pearson Education’s performance report and second only to South Korea in “Educational Attainment.” Cheers to that!

Ireland

It’s not the luck of the Irish that’s earned the European nation sixth place in the U.N.’s Education Index. The country of 4.7 million invests in the education of their citizens, spending 6.2 percent of their GDP on education (more than double what Singapore doles out). This prioritization has helped Ireland give nearly 80 percent of citizens at least some secondary education and graduate 98 percent from secondary level schools. (source:GlobalCitizen)

India is far behind in this list but they’re working on revamping the education system and other problems that the children of our country are facing today.

Parents can’t and should not push their children to study. Unfortunately, scolding, nagging and threatening won’t improve good study habits. What kids should understand is that they are the ones responsible for their own studies and homework.

Sad to say, kids are not born with the great study habits required for them to succeed in school. This is one thing they need to learn gradually. Normally, children start studying without the developed skills to do well.

As observed, this modern generation offers a complex approach for educational system. More books are read, daily homework given, monthly exams, projects, additional curricular activities and others that burden the kids. We’ve been seeing them dragging books and bags heavier than they could carry. Imagine a young 7-year-old kid is bombarded with much study pressures and tasks he does not deserve. This was not the case many generations ago.

On the part of the parents, teaching a grade school child causes much anxiety, fighting, and long hours of scolding. And the result? Physical and emotional exhaustion both to parents and children. Worse, parents did not help kids to improve good study habits.

Don’t pressurise your children to get top ranks. Most rank holders do not emerge as leaders or as artists, musicians or sportsmen or not even as great thinkers. They tend to take least risks. Even many entrepreneurs are normally dropouts. Rank holders normally become good employees. They become followers and not leaders. And you’d want your kid to become a leader creating his own path, isn’t it? It’s all about the right parenting.

Happy Children’s Day to everyone from the WSL team! Never let the kid inside you die.

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