Should ‘Recent History’ be included in our school syllabus? | Sunday Observer

Should ‘Recent History’ be included in our school syllabus?

Last Saturday morning, I went to see a doctor and took a CTB bus from Pettah to Panadura to get back home. It was around 1.00 pm and I was seated in the middle of the bus, on the land side, covered from the hot sun with two gentlemen around the age of 50 seated in front of me. They were talking to each other at the top of their voices drowning the noise of the engine of the old bus. I was tired and sick, but their conversation gave me a brand new topic for my column.

Stupid idea

“How is your school now ?” The gentleman seated in the corner of the seat asked the other. “It is all right machan. The new principal is good. How about your school ?” “Mmmm…my school always has troubles. Children fight with each other and teachers fight with each other. Sometimes they get together and fight with the principal. But for me, the location is very convenient than the previous school. I am still new to the place and I am all right there.” It was thrilling to listen to the rest of their conversation !

“You know, the previous Government tried to teach children about `Samanalayas’ (butterflies)? What a stupid idea!” The male teacher seated in the corner seat said. “Yes, Machan. Still we cannot include proper sex education in our school syllabuses. Without doing that they tried to teach children about Samanalayas! I do not think that they have an iota of brains,” he said. “No Machan, they are very cunning and brainy. That is why they tried it. Information published in some web sites and newspapers said that they got huge amounts of foreign funds for that project.” “Oh really ?”

“This is what I think Machan. Samanalayas can do whatever they want inside their private homes and enjoy all the rights. But they cannot rule us, dominate us and guide us, the ordinary people of this country. How come Samanallu break the rule of mother nature?” he questioned. As the most interesting part of the conversation was about to start, I made myself comfortabe with my handbag on my lap.

“Machan what they should do is take steps to teach recent history to the schoolchildren.” “Yes Machan….I totally agree with you. Now the young looking teacher is talking more,while the other teacher is listening, agreeing whole-heartedly to the ideas expressed by the other.

“Machan…..we need to teach the recent history of this country to our school children. Children born after 1975 know nothing of the recent history of this country. They do not know about the hundreds of huge bombs that went off in Colombo and suburbs killing thousands, injuring many and making thousands of families helpless without breadwinners. Even some children in those victimised families do not know those details.

They do not know how red buggers (must be red baby elephants!) let their thousands of counterparts burn on tyres alive. Children do not know how they cut the heads of scholars and placed them on the fences of houses. They do not know how national properties worth billions of rupees were burnt down. Without knowing anything, now the young generation thinks that the reds are heroes and may be want to vote for them,” he said.

“Machan you are absolutely correct….there are other things machan…now even the adults have forgotten the terror era. So we have to include the details of the `terror era’ that existed for 30 years and how it ended in the school syllabuses.

Otherwise our children will approve terrorism and will not respect our armed forces which saved our motherland. We must mark Victory Day on a grand scale to raise awareness among our younger generation about our recent history. If the Government does not do it…I will teach it to the children myself “, he said.

Behave like animals

Fortunately there was a huge traffic block along the Galle Road. Even on Saturdays traffic jams are there with no shortage! The bus reached Moratuwa. Usually the speed of the bus increases on entry to the New Galle Road. Surprisingly, I wanted the bus to take some more time to reach Panadura! “Machan yes..I feel the same…otherwise no one will be able to live inside their locked homes when these children become adults.

They will behave like animals! We need to teach them how to respect and protect their motherland…..their religions… how to respect and protect elders. We must protect their young minds from evil elements which try to teach them about `creatures’…otherwise they will become a bunch of creatures themselves ha ha haaa,” he laughed. I got up and walked to the front of the bus to get off, wishing this country should have more and more school teachers like them.