Editorial comment – Holiday mode

Students of Tacirua Kindergarten during their graduation at the school. Picture: SUPPLIED

It’s that time of the year again when students start the countdown to the end of the school term for another year.

It’s when they will put their pens down, their bags and uniforms away, and look forward to the end-of-year break.

Thousands of students will roll back their sleeves and kick off their shoes at the end of this week.

There already is a great sense of anticipation in the air.

Many students will eagerly look forward to spending time out of the classrooms.

Many will be leaving school with mixed emotions as well. Excitement will be mixed with a touch of sadness for many students.

From those in kindergarten, to those in high school, there will be many reasons to celebrate.

There will also be many reasons to leave with sadness as children anticipate a move up in grades in the new school year.

Some will be moving to different schools in the new year.

Best of friends may soon be parting ways.

Then there are those who will be leaving high school to enter tertiary education or perhaps join the workforce.

School days are important.

They give us an opportunity to set a base for ourselves.

We have an opportunity to develop personally and prepare ourselves for adulthood.

Let’s face it though, friendships in school can sometimes last a lifetime.

Students may eventually go their own separate ways as they grow up and leave school, and develop new friendships as their lives take a different turn.

That’s the reality of life.

For parents and guardians, as we head towards the school holidays, we should remind ourselves about the importance of planning activities for our children before they return to classes next year.

We should remind ourselves that we have an early start in January.

So the holiday period should be a good time to teach our children to swim, take up music classes perhaps, learn self defence or even a new language.

They could join a sports club, or learn ballet or become members of a library maybe.

The point is, the advent of the digital age has brought with it many ways for children to occupy themselves.

Social network sites, smart phones and tablets can have a massive influence on how children spend their holidays now.

Why don’t we nurture in our charges a yearning for activity outside the confines of internet cafes?

Now that we are inside the annual cyclone season, perhaps we should create some awareness about basic safety issues and likely evacuation plans.

Why not nurture a child to become an avid reader with a quizzical mind?

How about making an effort to ensure our children are not just taking lazy holidays stuck inside their rooms or in internet cafes, but instead are part of an active holiday period discovering themselves and appreciating life in general.

Then there is the challenge for parents and guardians to be vigilant and proactively engaged in ensuring children are safe, happy, and ready for the new school year.

Before that though, let’s complete the school term well, safely.

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