Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Child Labour you did not know about

Warning: Controversy ahead

There is this training for children. Every year, thousands of children go into depression because of this. A few hundreds even commit suicide. Yet there is no law against it and no one talks against it.

We say that children should not work. Yet we think nothing of burdening not just their bodies, but also their minds, with content that they are unlikely to use again for a long time. We see no crime in taking them away from curiosity and pushing them into memory games that they nothing for the spirit.

Why is it, that no one thinks of formal education as child labour? Because, inherent in this whole "education is best for children" lie, is the assumption that formal schooling is the only kind of "education" that a child should get. Anything else is "child labour".

Yet, to a child not interested in rote learning, or what we call "formal education" that is the worst form of child labour - where you tame the spirit and teach the mind to absorb rather than question.

Even in the new age schools that promote discovery and a spirit of enquiry rather than rote learning, there is a curriculum to be covered.

Obviously, there is nuffink that is universally suitable. So i want to know why parents of multiple generations have believed the lie that formal schooling is the "only best thing" for their children? Why did no one look at their children and say, "this one? he wants to learn vocational work. His heart is in wood."

I am not saying keep children unlettered. Nor am i saying that we should accept child labour for what it is. I just want to modify the definition of child labour - What a child is being forced to do is child labour. A child labours in school just as s/he labours in a vocation.


Id it is said...
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Id it is said...

In essence what you say is true; however, 'labor' as used in the context of 'child labor' is bondage of sorts. The child is made to work at a job he/ she may not be physically or mentally ready for and the remuneration for that labor is a pittance. Also, in orinciple a child does not 'labor' in school, he learns if the school environment is what it ought to be. But I do know if schools where due to intense competition students lose the joy if learning and simply ' labor' to get the best grade.
A thought provoking post.

How do we know said...

hi Id: yes.. but the thing is, here also, the child is joining something they dont care about. Over a century ago, Shantiniketan was formed on this premise - let every student learn what they want to learn. so much simpler.

Gentle Breeze said...

Saari Umrr Hum Mar Marke Ji Liye...
Ik Pal Toh Abb Hamein Jine Do, Jine Do...
Give Me Some Sunshine, Give Me Some Rain