Once upon a time

This is a scene set many decades into the future……

We zoom into the kid’s bedroom of a family living in a city. It is time for bedtime stories! Did you know that bedtime stories are timeless?!

Mom is with her two kids. They listen with rapt attention, as she tells them a fascinating bedtime story…

“Once upon a time, long long ago, there lived a brother and sister called Kiran and Asha, and they used to go to school.” Said Mom.

“What is school?” Asked her kids in surprise! They had never heard of a school. No one went to school!

“Well, a school was a place where kids used to go to learn. It was like a big building where many students would gather together and learn from a specially trained person called a Teacher” explained Mom.

“Aw, how strange!” exclaimed the kids! “Why would they do that?”

“Well, you know, long ago, people used to think that kids can learn only in schools” said Mom.

The boy was quite surprised by that! “Why would they think like that? Wasn’t there any internet and online learning or virtual teaching in those days?”

The mom was at a loss for words. She tried to explain that a school had a room where kids of the same age used to sit together and a teacher used to come and teach them different subjects.

The kids were amused by this concept.

“Why on earth would you put kids of the same age together, Mom?” chimed in the girl. “It sounds so artificial, I mean where in the world would you find people of the same age working or living together!?”

“Hey Mom, are you sure you are not making this whole thing up?” asked the boy.

“Ofcourse not son! Let me continue with the story so that you get a better idea of this thing called school.” replied Mom.

“Kiran was in a classroom with 40 other kids the same age. The teacher used to talk, and the kids used to listen to the teacher. If the teacher could not be heard because of the din in the classroom she would shout at the kids or threaten them with punishment to make them to listen. The teacher would work very hard to try to teach kids”

The boy asked “Why would the teacher shout at the kids? Are they her own?”

No son, said the mom. The teacher wanted the kids to study well and score in the exams.

“What are exams?” Asked both of them together!

“Exams are where the kids are given questions to answer every few months. The children used to study very hard to get good marks in the exams.” Said Mom

Ok, you mean they used to have exams to remember everything they learnt? asked the boy.

“No son, Based on their marks they were able to select different careers”

“You mean, the kids used to give exams and get marks but not remember what they learnt?” asked the girl in puzzlement

“Well, yes that was usually the case, dear…but there were exceptions” said the mother lamely, but she had to admit the exam system had been a failure almost from the start.

The kids were still quite puzzled!

“This whole school and exam thing sounds like a fairy tale story, or more like a horror story Mom!” exclaimed the boy!

The whole school and exam thing seemed too strange for the kids, so..yeah…old fashioned!

Here they could learn anything they wanted right in their own rooms, or they could go with their parents to study the real world outside!

They could play with other children when it was cool in the morning, and in the early evenings before it became too dark. They could also learn on the job about various practical things to do around the house, helping their parents and others. It was simply beyond their comprehension that such a thing as ‘school’ would exist!

Both the children were relieved! “Mom, thank God we have no more schools now! We realized how blessed we are! Thank God we are learning at home! Good night Mom, love you Mom!”

This is a peek into the future. Are you prepared?

Here are some useful sites….to help you get going..into the future!



Published by Dr. S. P. Mathew

A Mumbai-based practising Physician, passionate about God's wonderful creation, fitness, and integral health, writer, activist and family man. Saved by God's Grace alone :-) to be his Ambassador.

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