As usual, students in elementary school received their report from teachers quarterly. Therefore, December is the third quarter for them to receive all marks they achieve from September to December. Three days ago, Sisca, a child in the second grade of elementary school came home without a cheerful smile in her face as usual. I asked her whether she got the marks. She reluctantly gave it to me and said that it was not that good. She was right, her marks were not good enough; all was under the class average. Moreover, all marks were red marks; red marks mean marks that are low or under 6.
She smiled bitterly receiving back her report. “You can do it better next time” I said convincingly. Again she smiled and run into her mother waiting in front of their house. The mother checked the report and got angry towards the child. The child run into the house and cried.
I discussed this thing with my mother. My mother said that almost all children in our suburb do not have enough time to study. Most of them spend their time playing or helping their parents working in the farm or in the field, since dominantly, households in our suburb work as farmers. Tragically, they have to pay a lot for the education that in fact, their children do not get skills they need. My mother added that parents also cannot help their children, such as finishing the homework, since the parents also do not get enough knowledge. “But, the parents got education when they were in the elementary school, didn’t they?” I asked my mother. “So why they cannot teach and help their children?” My mother who is a teacher explained that recent education is far different with that in the past. Recent education sometimes is too difficult for them. If we compare, what the recent children in the second grade of elementary school are studying are courses studied by the children in the fifth or sixth grade. Besides too high knowledge, the materials taught are not the same with those in the past. Moreover, the parents do not have enough time to help their children to study since their time is spent dominantly in the farm or field. Unsurprisingly, most parents cannot help the children in their studies, but give their children’s education a hundred percent to teachers.
I tried to compare this fact with that in Jakarta, a big city in which education system is more advance. If children in the suburbs and villages spend most of their time to play and help their parents, the children in big cities like Jakarta spend most of their time to study and do not have enough time to play. The children have to attend many courses after school to be able to follow the courses in the school. Math course looks the most difficult, so needs to be learnt more in the training courses. The addition of courses surely needs more money. Therefore, education in big cities looks far more than that in the suburbs or villages. After going through busy time in weekdays, on the weekend, the children in big cities will spend time with parents in mall or other places. Unsurprisingly, it is rare to spend time with friends of the same age.
Understanding these two different facts give me a conclusion that there are two polarized group of children enjoying the same system of studying in, let say to limit the case, elementary school. The first is those who do not get enough support from parents, and the second is those who are demanded by parents to study too much. Nothing of those is better I guess! Children need balance activities between studying and playing. I feel very grateful growing in the situation that I can still have enough studying and playing.