Columnists

Let children enjoy the holiday

Educational Journey with EPHAT MUDENDA
FOLLOWING the outbreak of cholera late last year and its prolonged ‘stay’ in some parts of the country, it became inevitable that schools were to reopen late for the first term – at the end of January.
Several actually opened the following month after ensuring that matters of sanitation were effectively handled.
Now, teachers and learners can sigh with relief, having worked hard during the course of the condensed term. They need to rest.
This holiday offers the pupils a great opportunity to relax and have a break from everyday school activities. However, it may be challenging and stressful for some children, especially if they are not sure what to do while they are at home.
For others, time away from the demands of classwork can be a positive experience and the return to school after some enjoyable rest at home can prove to be a very big challenge.
While children will be at home for the next couple of weeks, parents and guardians will do well to provide an environment in which young ones live up to their (parents’) expectations. If they fall into the trap of peer pressure as they engage with their friends, they may be in danger of adopting vices that can affect their lives as they grow into adulthood.
It is understandable that children would like to be part of a group in the community and feel they truly belong there. But the most important question to consider is: what kind of friends do they associate with while they are on holiday?
Although peer pressure can sometimes be positive and help motivate an individual to do their best, in most cases, it negatively influences young people in a number of ways, including engaging in alcohol and drug abuse, trying different immoderate dress styles and rushing into sexual affairs, among other undesirable behavioural patterns.
School holidays are supposed to be relaxing and enjoyable for children. Though they do not need to be filled with activities at all times, there is need for parents and guardians to put in place strategies that should help children attend different fun-filled and entertainment events. Such a programme does not require a lot of money.
Activities which the children enjoy most should be considered. For example, if one enjoys singing, they can be encouraged to further learn how to play an instrument, compose songs or sing with others in a choir.
Involving them in productive activities in which their friends take part can be enriching to young people’s character and mental growth.
There should also be time for both girls and boys to learn the art of preparing meals at home. They should not be in the kitchen just to get the aroma of the foods being cooked, but to take part in preparing simple ones. Such practices are good for their development.
Those who love art should be provided with all the necessary tools that will enable them to enjoy nurturing their artistic talents from a home environment. Whether their favourite pastime is painting or drawing, they should be encouraged to enhance their skills. All this will definitely prove to be of great benefit to them in the future.
During this holiday, we can involve our children in visits to amusement parks, shopping malls, cinemas, and restaurants. Of course, such outside-the-house ventures are refreshingly different and offer a unique experience to all those involved.
The planned activities and outings should be those that suit your child, your family and resources available.
We should encourage all the learners who are closing schools today to remain focused on their academic progress and wish them a happy holiday.
emudenda@daily-mail.co.zm/ ephatm@yahoo.com



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