Being a part of a team that has been training students for over 8 years, I am now fully convinced that Wordsworth was indeed right when he wrote the above lines. By now, it has come further and we have to say that these puny little ones are now well equipped to be our grandfathers even.
At 9, my son knows more about the TV, PC, PSP, Internet and what not, than what I would ever know. All sorts of cables and wires snake across the walls of his room and it almost feels like the Data Centre of a behemoth MNC. The other day I caught him playing online games on his PSP with someone just across the corridor and another one half way across the world.
When he was just four, his grandfather found him sitting in the driver’s seat of his old Maruthi Baleno. After watching his maneuvers complimented with sound effects, the septuagenarian advised- “Please stick out your hand through the window and indicate when you want to turn left or right”. Amaan gave him a scathing look and retorted- “If you stick your hand outside a space craft, it will be torn off”. The proverbial gap between generations now span across solar systems and galaxies.
Have you by any chance seen the cartoons that they watch nowadays? Gone are the good old days when dumbo Tom used to chase naught Jerry, just two simple characters floating across the screen. Now you have hundreds of weirdoes flitting across the LED at lightning speed. Just watching it for a few seconds will make you dizzy. And all you need to do to feel terribly humbled is try playing one of their computer games. You will have more options on one single screen than what you would want in your whole life. Too many choices to make…..phew.
Remember the days when the only alluring enticements that kept us away from our books were Chitrahaar , Campus and a few good Sunday morning programs. Now with multiple channels, websites, OMD’s and Disks, no wonder the little ones cannot concentrate.
Have you watched these brats as they pray or wait for something (for the bus or for breakfast). They will be shifting their weight around, wiggling their fingers and nodding their heads all the time. Having got used to things that pop up even before the keys are depressed, they just cannot stand waiting. Talk to them and you will see how quick their eyes move. I can bet that you cannot keep them looking at your face for more than a few seconds.
Lot of parents complain to us that their wards don’t want to study. “The kids don’t respect us, They are so restless. Can’t get them to sit for a while” they say. The list is long. Though I don’t have a solution, I am sure about the root causes of these problems.
How can we expect them to respect us when it’s quite obvious to them that we are much slower than them. They think that we are worse than dilapidated Pentium 1 PC’s. We cannot operate the “In- things” of their world. We are just obsolete old pieces of hardware way beyond repair and upgrade.
How can we expect them to like their lessons, when what is being taught and how it’s being taught hasn’t changed much over the years? In this time of instant gratification, It is fully understandable why they find everything dismally slow and boring.
Since its impossible to log them off (and impractical as well), the only solution is Catching up. We will have to also change our paradigms about lessons and learning and have to adapt to the new ways of the world. My nephew recently finished his French holiday homework in minutes by typing the paragraph into the browser and pressing “Translate”.
Another one comes home after his Quran classes and asks his parents- “Do you know how Moses saved his followers ?”. “Why don’t you tell us dear ?, they sweetly replied”. Now here comes the son’s version.
“The Egyptians followed Moses and his team. Moses requested god to build a bridge over the sea. God had the bridge built in a jiffy. Moses and team crossed it. As the Egyptians were crossing it, God sent fighter planes who bombed it into smithereens”.
The shocked parents asked him- “Is this what your teacher taught you today ?”
He replied- “No. But if I tell you what he taught me, you will not believe it”
Child is indeed the grandfather of man.
And my dear parent mates !!!! Shape up or be shipped out.