Winter vacations always hold a special place in our hearts because after the tiring exams we can get some time to relax. Winters bring about with itself one of the most beautiful creations of nature. Coming back from vacation and starting work again is challenging but returning to school is hard. Your schedule in your holidays in warm clothes, short days & cold weather all gets changed.
Remembering our days of school, radio had been the only medium, through which we were getting update information. In last week of February, we would keenly listen News of 7:30 pm from Radio Kashmir Srinagar. Our main focus was to know whether vacation has been extended or not. On first of March, we wouldnot leave home, before listening to news of 9:20 am. When all hopes of extension were lost, we will turn to our class mate houses. Whoever hasnot reached surroundings of school, we would keep our school bags in the classrooms & ran to the houses of late comers. Get them daunted & discouraged by their parents and with hue & cry take them to school while shouting in the way. Some were super late, some kids absent, some cry at some point.
For both teachers and pupils, getting back from the holidays into the classroom to work was a challenge. Teacher were so caring that they spend the first week in slowly to start and how to finally gather momentum & to engage in some meaningful work , they did some practices of teaching and learning.
It has been seen after the holidays, all children are used to sleep longer and doing whatever they wish. In the valley, we all along holidays used to gossip, reading in the houses of teachers, eat lunch after coming back from these one man coaching centers, do our homework , play cricket along with house chores of giving dry leaves to sheep, dry fodder to cattle & in the evening listen short stories from grandparents. It was the time Dastaan goiyee was on its peak end. Since education was taken as a noble profession, we used to come in our homely clothes for the month of March & by mid April schools would look like schools. With the new school season starting, all these habits automatically get change & they readjust to the school.
Another great way to get students back on track and rejuvenate the motivation to learn was to arrange some appropriate continuous school activities like perfect welcome for the students,start of morning assemblies & children’s programs skits, plays & dramas. With the opening of schools, streams, channels, nallahs & rivers will flow. Almond blossom, Mustard fields waving, birds making hue & cry. Swallow, sparrow, & Bulbul coming out of nests. The onset of spring was seen, when little Angels were starting their schools.
The blooming of Elm, the shine of Apricot & Peach seen far away in fields. The white snow cover on the Hills around the valley gave charm to the whole environment. The new born check just coming out of the eggs given to the Hen for hatching. The shouting of women after Kites to save the chick from being smuggled. The early morning prayers
Then started the cleaness days usually Monday’s, when your teacher used to check your nails. Wooden slates were another hectic exercise for school going children and on first day, there was relaxation. Home made pen of bamboo sticks was another part of heritage with ink parts or mud ink parts.
Since there was no stress on dress code, children were asked to choose any colour of uniform either white or blue shirt with grey or black nicker. Day break in the afternoon or resus was 2nd lunch since; we use to eat early in the morning before going to school. As usual, health deptt deputes its men for vaccination to the children against various ailments like chicken pox etc by using single needle & sterilising the same.
The method of education most popular was play way method of education. Teachers were friendly & Teacher student relationship was excellent. Teacher was regarded as best person in the Society. Learning is a treasure which accompanies its owner everywhere.
(Author is a social Activist freelance writer & Civil Society member. His views are personal)