From classrooms to playgrounds, what kids would change to make schools a more enriching experience

Lighter bags, lesser homework, more field trips and longer vacations… most of us wish we could have changed certain aspects of school for the better. Kids will be kids and of course, the current school-going generation have their own demands.

Sports goals

We should have a soft-mud playground for us to play on. We have a sports period, but there is no focus on sports, which makes it difficult to participate in tournaments and take the subject seriously. I am good at swimming, and I like chess and cricket, but since there’s no opportunity in school, I have to be coached elsewhere. As studies come first, swimming takes a back seat. If we were sent for competitions through our schools, we would be encouraged to give these interests equal importance. We learn team spirit, healthy competition, and how to respect other’s opinions, which are important life lessons, especially when we join the workforce. If we were sent for competitions through our schools, we would be encouraged to give these interests equal importance. With almost eight hours spent in school, followed by tuitions, we have very little time to learn such life skills. What happens when we are the working population of the community?

—Rohan Shinde, 12, ICSE

All-round learning

I think schools should provide not just educational services, but also social services—community work—as, I believe, important learning happens outside the classroom. We should also be given more opportunities to develop our personal interests and hobbies, which will help us discover and sharpen our talents. Having elective classes—art, music, journalism, computer programming—to choose from will lower the pressure of studies while offering a wide variety of learning experiences, and an opportunity to dabble in one of our possible future careers.

—Raina Andrade, 11, ICSE

Balancing act

It would be nice if we had more time for play and other activities. Having videos that show us what we’re learning about would be a better way to remember things. And of course, less studies and cramming without expecting us to learn our answers word for word would be more than welcome.

—Ananya Santosh, 11, ICSE

Fun way to study

Learning would be more fun if we had overhead projectors so that we could have accompanying visuals for what we learn, which would make study time more enjoyable. A television in each class would be nice as that would keep us busy by watching educational programmes during our free period, instead of doing nothing, or disturbing other nearby classes. Frequent field trips should be conducted as it facilitates a first-hand experience in all areas.

—Kanak Sanghavi, 8, SSC

Technology treat

Since we are a technology-savvy generation, we should have some arrangement so that we could watch theory in the form of experiments and computer simulations. Learning in 3D, for example, about the muscles, ligaments and bones of the human body would make studying more interesting. I think we need more application-based learning, activities and projects, instead of simply memorising theory.

—Natasha Francisco, 13, SSC

Regular assessments

It would be great if we had no homework, and had time to finish all our practice work and assignments in school, which would give us more time to play, or develop our hobbies and interests after school. I’d like to do away with unit tests as well as term examinations and instead, have weekly assessments, based on which students can be promoted. Learning a musical instrument, or pursuing martial arts or a form of sport (with choices in each category) should also be a part of the school curriculum for an all-round learning experience.