Robbed of Childhood: The Story of Today’s Nigerian Child

I have keenly observed that an average Nigerian child is robbed of his/her childhood. The right to play has been taken away completely, particularly among the rich, who want their children to be perfect in education. Yes, this is a noble desire, which must be pursued with wisdom and skill. Today, children, particularly from upper primary school age go to school in the morning; return at about 3.00PM and a home lesson teacher is already waiting for them at home. The home lesson teacher takes the child from about 3.30PM to 7.30PM. By the time they are through, the child is tired and ready to sleep. Weekends are not an exception to these gruelling experiences the child is taken through in the name of receiving education.

While it is noble to get the best of education for our children, it may not be noble to deny them of the opportunity of being children.  I am not opposed to extra lesson, but it must not be done at the expense of the child’s time to play and rest. When a child is denied the right to play, he will never become a complete adult.

We all remember the story of Michael Jackson, who became a star from as child and never had the opportunity to be a child. He carried the cross for the rest of his life. Here are his confessions and lamentation:

Have you seen my Childhood? I’m searching for the world that I come from ‘Cause I’ve been looking around in the lost and found of my heart… No one understands me. They view it as such strange eccentricities… ‘Cause I keep kidding around Like a child, but pardon me… People say I’m not okay ‘Cause I love such elementary things… It’s been my fate to compensate, for the Childhood I’ve never known… Have you seen my Childhood? I’m searching for that wonder in my youth like pirates in adventurous dreams, of conquest and kings on the throne… I beg us to please give our children a break. If we do not, the idea of seeking the best education for them will become counterproductive. May God help us. Have an inspired day.

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