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Ghost children - who is responsible, parents or schools?

Written By: Ajmal-Masroor
16/04/2014 11:37
Burning Issue

Today’s newspaper headline caught my attention – the ghost children at school for ten hours a day. There are many children as young as four who are dropped at the breakfast club by their working parents at 8am and picked up after 6 or 7 in the evening. The children have their three meals at the school and they even fall asleep there. Parents of these children do not even have a meal together. The children walk around in the school like ghosts and they fall behind in their progress. In my view this is totally outrageous!

You do not have to be a genius to know that these early years with lack of emotional attachment would leave serious and deep rooted psychological trauma in these children. I feel these children will grow up with seriously damaged childhood, impaired emotional intelligence and be least productive socially. How can a child learn how to love others adequately when their earliest recollection of love is based on parents abandoning them in a school? How can children learn how to deal with emotions if they have been deprived of witnessing and experiencing genuine emotions from their parents?

Government Ministers, including Michael Gove, are erroneously pressing for nurseries to admit more two years old children and to stay open for longer hours. Their rationale is this would give working parents more flexibility. I am astonished by this totally preposterous proposition. Using school as a glorified babysitter is neither a sign of flexibility nor beneficial to the children. The moral question that is bugging me is how mean and selfish do we have to be to value money over our children? Can we ever prioritise jobs over parental love and care in the early years for our children? Should the society or the state expect both parents to work silly hours at the expense of the well being of our children?

I believe if parents are going to be so selfish that they cannot compromise their personal career ambitions they should simply not have children. My wife and I have two children, eight and five years old - a girl and a boy. Our lives have totally changed for the better since their birth. We have both made major compromises in our lives. My wife has opted for being the full time mother and given up her career plans for the early years of our children’s lives. I have chosen to not take up a conventional job that would keep me away from my children for long hours most days of the week. Fighting personal selfishness for the greater good of our children and society have been our core motivation. I believe children must come first!

I believe if parents are going to be unwilling to make serious changes to their lives they should simply not have children. As parents the changes in our lives have been major include the way we related to each other as a couple, the way we manage our social and leisure time and the way we travel or on holidays. We both love traveling and being free spirits but we can no longer just pick up and go. We have to think about children and their needs first. Children mimic their parents. 
If parents cannot alter their behaviour for the sake of their children they should simple not have children. We have found that we are more conscious of our behaviour, manners and language since the birth of our children. There are parents who continue smoking, drinking and behaving badly in front of their children. I have seen parents taking even drugs while in the company of their children. Parenting education and training should be made mandatory and not encourage them to abdicate their responsibility by assigning their children to schools.

I find the story of ghost children extremely disturbing and the government’s suggestion of extending school hours more upsetting. Unloved and abandoned children are potential ticking time bomb – when they explode they destroy everything in their wake. Short-term economic advantage may be blinding some people but the harrowing consequence is written on the wall. I would hate to see any child’s future is so badly compromised.

I believe the economic strategy of any government should incorporate more hands-on approach to parenting. I would like to propose radical ideas for the future of our children and the society. One such idea is that the state should pay one of the parents a generous salary for being a full time stay at home parent. We owe it to those altruistic parents for nurturing the future and longevity of human beings. Teaching children life skills including the most basic skills such as walking and talking requires precision, attention and loving encouragement. These cannot be taught by anyone better than a set of dedicated parents. True education of our children starts at home and in the loving embrace of the parents and certainly not at schools.

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UK Education Children at school work life balance Family life in UK Working Parents 


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About Ajmal-Masroor

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  • Name: Ajmal Masroor
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    Ajmal Masroor is an Author, Broadcaster, Relationship Counsellor , Politician and Imam based in London, UK. His facebook profile can be followed

    This Blog is made by his Fan and all writings are collected from his Facebook page which is Public.


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