School ! A place of discrimination?

What really is school? It is a learning facility for children and young people. Now, what do they learn? From kindergarten through secondary level in Mauritius, we are taught French and English to master these languages. Most children who attend school and acquire these languages are mostly fluent in them, but there are situations when youngsters who cannot speak or comprehend them are criticized. In the United States or the United Kingdom, the native language is English and it is okay if they do not know another language like French, so why are children criticized in Mauritius? Some people don’t realise how horrible the child must be feeling.

Children who attend school come from a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds, including poor, middle-class, and rich families. School should be a place where children feel equal and not too inferior or superior because, at the end of the day, they are all learning the same things. Some subjects that students study in school, such as mathematics and literacy, are occasionally obsolete depending on the career they will pursue in the future. Values, respect, and subjects that depict the real world should be included in the learning curriculum and thus will benefit children tremendously. As schooling is compulsory in Mauritius until the age of 16, some children are unable to complete their education; thus, tiny schools that teach work-related subjects but not English, French or mathematics should be established, an institution where they learn directly about the task they will be performing, such as electricians, painters, architects, musicians, vocalists and authors, among others. They become acquainted with the real task.

“Bully”, a term used by everyone to those who psychologically and physically torment other students who are weaker than them. These bullies are unaware of how much they are hurting those children. Every year, 20% (1 out of every 5) primary school and secondary level kids report being bullied. Bullied youngsters are more likely to develop depression, anxiety, sleep problems, worse academic success, and quit out. Moving on to school-related issues that influence students, these are events that occur within the school that cause the student to experience anxiety, underachieve at school, or even commit suicide.

Teachers’ pressure on a kid is a crucial factor; some teachers believe that forcing children will drive them to work, but this is not always the case, and other students may perceive this as excessive pressure. Some teachers call students “lazy”, “dumb”, or other derogatory terms without considering how the students are feeling. School should be a place whereby students feel accepted and safe.

Body-shaming should be discouraged since many students experience it because they are too overweight, too slim, too dark, or even too white, and they stand out among their peers. After all, the blood inside the body is only one colour. Body-shaming others will not change the reality that you are immature and cheap. Parents or anybody close to children who are stressed, depressed, or believe someone is bothering them should talk about it, assess the problem, and find a solution. School is getting increasingly unsafe. Something I believe should be established is a social page or website where youngsters who have access to technology and are going through a difficult time may express themselves. Professionals such as psychologists or professional therapists should manage these pages so that they may talk to these youngsters anonymously. This might result in a little change.

Dishali Ramdenee