Editorial comment – Planning for our children

Students of Lagalaga Sanatan Primary School celebrate Fiji Day and Children's Day. Picture: SERAFINA SILAITOGA/FILE

It’s that time of the year again when students will put down their pens, bags, and uniforms, and look forward to the end-of-year break.

Thousands of students will roll back their sleeves and kick off their shoes this afternoon.

You can sense there is great anticipation in the air.

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

Many will be leaving school with mixed emotions as well.

Entwined with excitement is a sense 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 2019.

Some of the best of friends will be parting ways from this afternoon.

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

School days are important for many reasons.

They help us set a base for our personal development and prepare us for adulthood.

Friendships that are developed in school can sometimes last a lifetime.

These are special moments in our lives.

Many students will 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 a 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.

This would be a good time to teach 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 avenues for children to occupy themselves.

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

Shouldn’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.

Perhaps we could even 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. |

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