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Back to School

Returning to school for a new academic year is a different experience for different people. NT BUZZ  gets students and parents to share their thoughts, while others reminisce about their school days

VENITA GOMES | NT BUZZ

School life is different for every person. And the reopening of school conjures up a lot of vivid images for both, those who are done with their schooling, as well as those who are still in school.

The nostalgic times

“Memories of my school days are not stored in photographs but in the smell of sliced bread/ butter or the smell of new books and uniform. The crisp white blouse with a green pinafore, Oh that feeling!” recalls artist Clarice Vaz from Saligao.

Though going back to school was a reunion with friends which she looked forward to, she however hated the fact that she had to stay in the school boarding. “I loved school. It was fun being with friends and teachers; they were my family- a home away from home. But the nuns would scare me, they were strict!” she recounts.

Vaz also fondly recalls her Mapusa-based school. “It was an old rented building that had planks of shaking wood for the flooring and a leaking roof. In fact, when we would run we could hear the sound of the moving planks. But it did not matter as long as we were enjoying each other’s company,” she says.

For Anthony Da Costa from Margao, the early morning walk to the school is among his favourite memories of school. “I loved walking to school during the monsoon. The school was 15 minutes away from where I lived. To reach there, I had to pass through a hill and during the rains the streams would flow and we would make boats and release them. Tracking the boat until it reaches the stream close to school was the fun part,” he narrates.

And all the children from his village used to go together to school, he recalls, which is no longer the case. “Today you can see school buses and cars dropping children. Though it is convenient for them it is impacting their health at the same time,” he says.

However, going back to the school routine of waking up early in the morning was a hard task for Anish Rodrigues, now a graduate. “During the summer break we could sleep in late and no one would wake us up. So when school started, it used to be so difficult to get up early,” he says. This meant coming up with innovative excuses for being late to school, says Rodrigues. “I once woke up only at 7:50 a.m. and school began at 8 a.m.! To avoid punishment, I told the teacher that one side of the roof of our house had collapsed due to the heavy rain. As it was the monsoon season she believed me!” he adds.

New stationery, gadgets, and more

And children today enjoy getting ready for school just as much as in the days of yore. In fact, purchasing new stationery like bags, books, pencil boxes and much more is the best part of school restarting for seventh standard student of St Aloysius High School, Stancy Joanes. She also loves the idea of getting to meet new classmates. “There are many new faces and after a long summer break reuniting with your old friends is the best part,” she adds.

Third standard student of Manovikas English Medium School, Alicia Dsouza whose school is yet to reopen, also thinks the best part of going back to school is getting to meet her friends and teachers. “Going back to school means getting to learn. I love studying. I have made some cards for my friends and teachers to tell them I missed them,” she says.

A student of Sunshine Worldwide School, Lucius De Almeida finds change to be the best part of the new academic year. He says that in the new academic year everything changes; the classmates, the class, and the teachers. “It makes me excited, and I get a feeling of anticipation. I love school because of my friends around me and the motivational environment. It is the best thing any child can experience at school,” he adds.

Another student, Neel Mahajan waits for school to reopen to share with his friends what he did during the summer break. “I like the feeling of meeting my friends again, starting with lessons, chatting and sharing what we did during holidays,” he adds.

Rush and panic

For the parents though, the start of a new academic year is a testing time of harried running around trying to fulfil their children’s requirements and needs.

Taleigao-based Shilipi Talwar who is a mother of two children, says: “During the summer vacations we are relaxed. However, a week prior to school reopening we start panicking a bit as we have to buy things that the child require for the new academic year.” Add to this, the routine life of waking up early, preparing healthy breakfast, keeping the tiffin ready and sending the child to school returns. “It is kind of a cycle, what our parents did for us we are doing for our children. As the school reopens our responsibilities increase as we have to see to their homework and take regular revision,” she says.

Malti Rane from Mapusa who has three children also finds the school reopening stressful, due to all the shopping involved. “I don’t think the first day is as hectic as a week prior to the school starting. The demands children have are endless. They want bags, bottles, notebooks and they are very specific when it comes to choice, they want special brands and type. And if you don’t give it to them their tantrums are never-ending,” she says.

Though people of different age groups have different tales to narrate about the reopening of school, uniting with the friends, purchasing new stationery and going back to school tends to remain the same.

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