Friday, April 17, 2015

Down Memory Lane...School Excursions!

I was looking at the picasa album now for writing captions for the photographs we had taken during our tours recently.  Saw many photos of school children and remembered discussing about them with my son.  I remember going to Mahabalipuram once, to Children's park in Adyar once and then to Egmore museum once.  I don't remember going anywhere else with our teachers.  I remember it was fun.

My sons had gone to more places than Mysore, Kodaikkanal and other exotic places.

My relative is a teacher in a private school here, in Chennai.  Their school takes the children every year to Maya jaal, Golden beach etc. where children are asked to play video games, make them watch a movie, give them some food and bring them back. I haven't heard them visiting the Vandalur Zoo or museum or Vedanthangal Bird sanctuary, which are educative to the children.  They collect money from the children, use their school bus, get concessions at the resorts and make money.  Nothing is there for the children to learn about anything.  I have visited Vedanthangal bird sanctuary thrice and saw only govt. school children visiting there, all the time.  They were so excited to watch the huge birds there and were taking down notes from the placards written on the platforms.  The teachers also were explaining about the birds.  It was nice to watch them.  Private schools never take this much effort.  Well, I forgot, they take the older children to Singpore, Malaysia, every year.  Do they take them to Acquarium or bird sanctuaries over there? Or shopping malls and game stations? We have got so many treasures here, in India but they prefer going abroad!

Do you remember your school days' excursions? Please write about them in the comment section!

School children at Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary, near Chennai

School children at Vedanthangal bird sanctuary, near Chennai

School children at Gol Gumbaz, Bijapur
School children at Badami cave temples! These children asked us to take pictures! Posing seriously!

School children at Gol Gumbaz, Bijapur

School children at Pattada Kallu Temples, Bagalkot dist., Karnataka

Small school children at Alamatti dam, Bijapur

Our 'guide' at Aihole!

A girl 'guide' at Aihole! Our guide had finished explaining about the temples at Aihole and we paid him.  This girl, her brother and some other children were watching intently what was going on.  Then, first the boy came near us and told us that he would like to explain the history of 'Aihole' to us.  We laughingly said, 'OK'.  The boy recited his lesson, without stopping, in one breath! It was fun watching his face.  I should have taken a video! Then, his sister stepped in and started reciting the same thing! Look at her expression.  We gave them chocolate bars.  Before other children started acting 'guides' we ran away! We heard 'saar, saar, naanoo heltheeni'! We didn't look back!

EDITED TO ADD ON 20.4.15:     Times of India link:

Educational consultant K R Maalathi said this trend was worrying. "Schools don't want to take any risk these days. Tours give children an opportunity to understand the world better. If they are not given such exposure they will continue to remain tied to their mother's apron strings," she said. "There is no need to stop trips. One only needs to take precautions."

P Vishnucharan, correspondent of Shree Niketan Patasala School, said it was unfortunate that while the board encourages schools to go beyond the textbook it is now clamping down on field trips. "There is no doubt that safety is of utmost importance. But we should not have to restrict tours based on their relevance to the curriculum," he said.

 I CAME TO KNOW YESTERDAY FROM A TEACHER THAT CBSC BOARD has asked the schools to stop taking children on excursions, unless needed.  Checked and came across the TMI link.


KParthasarathi said...

I fully agree with the point you made that school excursions should be educative and interesting with active participation of teachers in explaining.
It is part of learning process.
The pictures of young guides who are smart in making some quick bucks brought a smile.

Sandhya said...

K PARTHASARATHY: Thanks for the first comment, Partha Sir!

Yes, but they 'explained' about the place. I didn't wanted to give them money, so gave them cadburry's chocolate bar! They were very happy!

Even schools are after making money, nowadays.

SG said...

Interesting post. I am glad you had a great time.

Destination Infinity said...

I remember visiting Planetarium when I was very young - I still remember the awe I had for that place, then. After that we enjoyed going to Dizzy world. I don't think we wanted to connect with nature much during those days. But when we grow up, we realize the importance!

Destination Infinity

Sandhya said...

SG: The photos were taken at different places. I enjoyed the way the children were enjoying visiting here, or were they happy because they are out with their friends. Sometimes I feel the place is not important for small children but going out with friends is important! This is the reason I don't like the schools taking them to play video games and watch movies.

DESTINATION INFINITY: Your angle is right, D.I. Going out together is important! And you still remember enjoying the places you visited! Nice.

Shail Mohan said...

I remember the first two photos :) All of them are lovely.
I don't remember going for any picnic like this from school. Besides my parents would never let me :(
You know Sandhya, it is not just about there being treasures here before going to another country. Visiting other countries is good and educative, I'd say it is a MUST for adults too, just so people know how others live, walk, talk, behave. They should see how there is no eve-teasing in many places, how clean the lanes are, how laws are obeyed and other such things. If you live in a well and wait to see the whole well before going out of it, you will never know that there are other types of water to live too, canals/lakes/rivers/seas and it will be too late to understand or bring about changes. It is also good for children to know that all that their elders say is not true.
Yes, I do agree children should also be taken to nature parks like these, on nature walks and introduced to flora and fauna, not made to sit all the time in classrooms.
Schools want to make money yes, but why are parents running after such schools?! I blame parents more than schools. Both my children studied in Kendriya Vidyalaya. Many advised me to put them in better schools (meaning schools with high fees!), but I felt how they did in life depended on them too.

Rahul Bhatia said...

Memories of school excursions are always joyous!

Sandhya said...

SHAIL MOHAN: Your angle is very good. But I feel that children should know their own people, their own country first with all the plus and minus points, when they are young/very young. They will know to analyse things later, well, during college days or later, not in school days. Let them learn the differences later and bring positive changes in their own country...I am happy to know that some young people who have returned from abroad have started trying to do so.

Yes, the parents should be blamed for selecting schools just to get good results academically. My sons studied in a normal school. They didn't have special classes, no home work till 5th, no IIT coaching classes from 6th std. etc. But I am very sorry to know that even that school has changed...they are collecting huge donations, have started IIT coaching classes from more drifting off from the current subject!

I remember you admiring the school children at Vedanthaangal bird sanctuary when both of us visited the place. They were writing down notes with full concentration. If proper education/training is given, these children also will go places. Then all of them will start bringing positive changes here, Shail!

Thank you, for projecting this angle! I wrote another post here!

RAHUL BHATIA: Yes, Rahulji! Thank you!

Renu said...

I agree that school excursions should be an education albeit in a different way about different things.

That way i saw in Zurich that there children are encouraged to explore much that even little ones enjoy their school and dont want to take any leave.

Sandhya said...

RENU: That is nice! Children should enjoy going to school. My sons' Chennai school was good in that matter. They didn't give much homework. No extra classes after school hours and so they were happy!

sharu said...

Nice post and well said:) I totally agree with you

Onkar said...

So true. Fortunately,I have some memories of going on excursions to forests, tiger reserves and river-sides.

rudraprayaga said...

Excursions and picnics provide the pupils right-hand learning.Useful post.

Sandhya said...

SHARU: Thank you, Sharada!

ONKAR: That is nice. Children should be taken to the places you have visited. They will never forget, not to movies and video games. CBSE has ordered the schools not to take the children out now!

Sandhya said...

RUDRAPRAYAGA: Thanks for the comment, Rudraprayaga. The excursion should be such that the children should remember them later.

Krishna/കൃഷ്ണ said...

Nostalgic memories


radha said...

We were taken to the fort, the zoo. And when there were movies that they thought were meant for children, we went there too. The theaters had shows at a concessional rate for schools.

My children went to Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. In their LKG/UKG they were taken to a police station, railway station, post office. As they grew older to the zoo, museum. And later of course on outstation trips to Hampi, Ajantha Ellora Caves. It was quite nice. But worrying times till they came back home

umsreflections said...

Oh...I agree totally...there are no trips which are educative and interesting too...
All these children do are play the same video games wherever they go...
I'll be happy even if they allow them to play for one whole day without any books !!
I had gone only to the Mahabalipuram for my school trip...sigh...

Sandhya said...

KRISHNA: Yes, Krishna

RADHA: Post office, Police station, Railway station, Zoo ! They are very very lucky. Children will learn many things from these places. Hampi, Ellora caves? Great! Yes, it should be tension time for the parents but mostly the teachers were responsible teachers and the time was not this bad then. It is not easy for the school also to take children to a bit far off places, still the children should be remembering these places even now and the friends who were with them.

I am very happy to read your comment, Radha! Now, no more excursions, it seems. Feel sad for the next generations.

UMS REFLECTIONS: Even that is stopped now. You must be remembering the Mahabalipuram trip even now, right?!

Rama Ananth said...

School is no longer fun.
Though i enjoyed my school days,we were never taken anywhere from the school.

Sandhya said...

RAMA ANANTH: That is too bad. But normally all schools were taking children on excursions on those days. Going out without parents and with friends is fun!

sm said...

beautiful photos
yes its good if someone explains the history related to that place.

Sandhya said...

sm: Yes, sm!

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