Editorial comment – School holiday time

The painted art works by the participants during the story telling,sing along,painting and christmas craft activities organised by Suva City Carnegie Library for the school holidays today. Picture: RAMA

THE revelation that an 11-year-old child who was in Suva City alone was picked up by police on night patrol is cause for concern.

Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro said the child was escorted to the police station where his parents were contacted.

The child, she said, had travelled from the Western Division to meet his parents, however, ran out of money to continue his trip.

Ms Naisoro is urging parents and guardians to talk to their children and encourage them to seek help from police officers when they need assistance.

She said the child was spotted during night operations conducted by police.

Police have so far received two cases of such incidents.

The incidents are certainly worrying.

They aren’t positive reflections of how some parents and guardians view their responsibility over their young charges.

Yesterday was the first day of the school holidays.

Over two weeks, students will put aside their books for a break from the classroom.

A number of sporting events involving high school students were scheduled for last weekend and over the course of these next two weeks.

For thousands of people around the country, while there will be interest hovering on sporting events, there are question marks still hanging over the annual Hibiscus Festival that is usually held at this time of the year.

It was held at the Valelevu Grounds last year, after it was taken out of the Capital City for the first time.

Today is also when the cream of the crop of young ruggers in our primary school system will converge on Lawaqa Park for the finals of the Kaji rugby competition in all grades.

Perhaps it is apt that we take time out to embrace our roles as parents and guardians, and perhaps consider what we can do to keep our children safe over the holiday period, and prepare them for the start of the new school term.

Our plans for them over the two weeks are important, especially when they head back for the next term.

We have an opportunity to plan how our children can spend their two weeks.

We can either make them interesting and a learning experience for our children, or we allow them to fly by.

Should we allow our children to explore and play, grow strong physically, emotionally and intellectually?

It is important that we appreciate the need to balance education and childhood, a period of growing up, socialising and learning.

There will be differing opinions on what constitutes a fair holiday program for children.

Surely there are things such as learning a new language, joining a sports club perhaps, learning to swim maybe, self defence, or devoting time to some reading for starters.

There are places to visit if you have the time.

Then there is the bit about devoting some time perhaps to revising work from the second term in readiness for the final term of school.

We should be vigilant though when it comes to safety issues concerning our charges.

Let’s be alert when on family outings to the beaches, rivers and the pools.

If you plan to be on the road, plan to arrive safely at your destination.

Parental obligation and responsibility are important.

Let’s plan well, be proactive and vigilant.

Happy school holidays.

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