With schools set to open, children unprepared for classes
On the the first day of the academic year, Areej gets up a little early to make a special breakfast for her small family. Once the breakfast table is set, she walks into her daughter’s room and says: “It’s a new academic year, may it be good for all of us.” When she attempts to wake up her daughter Salam so she can get ready for school, Salam shuffles around and pulls her blanket over her face. She then tells Areej to leave the room and shut the door behind her. When Areej insists Salam wake up and go to school on time, she says the first day of school isn’t important and then begins crying because she doesn’t want to go to school. This scenario is one that is all too common and particularly frustrating for parents who remember their school days fondly.
“When I was a student, I could never sleep the night before the first day of school. It was always exciting to see old friends and teachers again. I still remember the preparations the night before – setting out my uniform, preparing my schoolbag, making sure my shoes were clean. I remember how me and several of my classmates shyly went to greet our class teacher on the occasion of the new academic year. I loved school and those days will never be erased from my memory,” recalled Areej.
While millennials are considered to be a highly educated generation, their lack of enthusiasm for school can be traced to their frustration with an education system that is outdated and increasingly irrelevant with the every changing speed of science and technology.
“I can’t remember if I ever wanted to go to school. I wish the summer vacation would last for 6 months because whenever I think of school, I remember my arrogant Arabic teacher. Also, going to school means having to get up and go to bed early. I don’t have any time to pursue hobbies,” said student Futoon Hamad.
As the new academic year inches closer, some students, however, can’t hide their excitement. Shahd Abdulaziz says her school has a special place in her heart. She longs for her classmates and teachers and also looks forward to doing some school shopping.
“I buy everything related to school with great care. I pick my schoolbag carefully as I want it to appear elegant. My school is my future and the beginning of the academic year means I’m entering a competition in life that will bring me closer to realizing my dreams,” she said.