Monday, 24 June 2013

Our kids have fewer places to go on field trips - Long live the Post Office

I had mixed feelings when I read the above headline last week. It was a throwback to a different era of communication with the Post Office as the ‘HUB’ of communication definitely in the 70s, 80s and early 90s. The Post Office used to be such an integral part of our family and friendship (who wants to make penfriends when you have Facebook & SMS?). There was a fuzzy logic-based pecking order in which a post card or a postal envelope or a telegram would be chosen as the instrument. A post card packed with lines written in Kannada with a fine handwriting used to be a harbinger of news. In our house we used to have a thick steel wire which was bent in the shape of S on which the letters would be pierced and archived. The telegram which enjoyed the tag of instant communication and hence 'premium pricing'. A telegram invariably would be a source of anxiety or unlimited glee depending on the cryptic message often announcing someone's unscheduled arrival by train or announcement of child-birth. 

Kids exploring the plant nursery
In this era of SMS and Twitter, I was wondering what effect it would have on children of this generation. At The Little Crest, we take our children out on a field trip to expose them to the neighborhood's essential services. The favorite destinations with kids is the bakery, fire station, plant nursery and the police station etc. The visit to the Post Office though not as much of a favorite as the neighborhood bakery or the  Fire Station, does have its unique appeal. The quite efficiency of the postal personnel when it came to sorting and organizing the letters for delivery is a sight to behold  (for the digital savvy the SORT is possibly only an algorithm !!!).

Feeling the texture of a Jack  fruit

The relevance of the Post Office has eroded slowly over the years, significantly in the big cities in India. It is important for the schools and parents to expose kids to the Post Office to familiarize them about this 'relic of the past' just to ensure that they understand how the neighborhood was about 15 years ago!.

The educational value of field trips is immense. Invariably, in the plant nursery, we ensure that all children carry home a plant. Here is a Youtube link to The Little Crest, Bannerghatta Road centre's field trip to a nursery. Children also get to taste a fresh fruit at the nursery. Most importantly, they all have several stories to narrate on their bus ride back!!

Meanwhile, we have to reconcile ourselves to the fact that we have one destination fewer to take our children on the next field trip!!

No comments:

Post a Comment