Voices of Youth: Commute to school provides precious time for parent-child bonding

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While I agree with the arguments for children to take public transport to and from school (Parents, stop chauffeuring kids to school, Jan 14), I can also understand why many parents continue to chauffeur their children.

As students, our schedules are usually packed throughout the day, especially from secondary school. On top of a heavy academic workload, other commitments such as co-curricular activities and extra classes mean that students are perpetually busy and time is a precious commodity.

The car commute often provides precious time for parent-child bonding, and gives students a chance to relax instead of making a tiring commute.

School sessions also start very early. Some parents are understandably uncomfortable with letting their children head to school by themselves when the neighbourhood is still dark and quiet.

Moreover, as many children are sleep-deprived nowadays, parents try to give them more time to sleep by sending them to school.

Thus, the issue of snaking queues of cars outside schools is likely to persist as it is difficult to persuade parents to stop chauffeuring children without first overhauling the education system.

Also, most schools have decided against pushing back school start times purportedly to avoid clashing with the morning office rush-hour traffic.

It may be worth exploring other practical ways to mitigate the snaking lines of cars before school starts and after it ends.

For instance, with most schools having at least one day of home-based learning every fortnight, it may help to allocate a different day of the week to each school level for this.

Simply having one fewer cohort attend school would do much to ease the traffic jam.

This alone may not be an adequate solution, but perhaps a combination of this and staggered reporting and dismissal timings would help to alleviate this perennial problem somewhat.

Ashlyn Chua, 17

JC 1 student

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