where atop the normal school dues, a parent has to ice it up with school tour money.
In most cases, it’s a fee; you can never run away from. Why? Because your child has, in most cases been, manipulated to believe that the tour in question is the epitome of happiness and without it, he is a loser. Why couldn’t he feel bad anyway?
All his classmates will be buried into aftermath tour stories of how they rode in a bumper car, a roller coaster or even saw a huge lake and all he will be buried in are tears of regret. So, indirectly, the tour becomes a compulsory fee for every parent who wishes good for the child. So, let’s break it down. How exactly are school tours a thumbs up or a rip off?
First the pros. Well, travelling and exposing a child to an environment outside those walls is one of the best things that can happen to a child. Seeing something new to break the daily routine and monotony of Class-home-books is heavenly. As someone who deals with children, yes, the feeling could be nine stuff, there is no need to dress it up in bombastic terms.
Besides that, well, there is a need for children to learn from the society they are studying so much to engage. It is a very terrible thing to concentrate your learners in the midst of four walls all their lives and so the person who first brought in the tour idea, must have been a brilliant brain. But have the people who came after him given his idea the push he wanted in the first place?
To be honest with you, most tours are just termed “Educational” for formality. To give false confidence to parents who paid those tour fees that their money is for the right cause . 98% of tours organized by schools have nothing to do with education.
Children are taken to ice cream parlors, swimming pools, bread and biscuit factories and maybe sugar factories to tempt and quench the thirst of kids with petty foods and blindfold them into believing they got their money’s worth.
This is escorted with rice and a bottle of soda at the beach to top off all hype. There is nothing realistic to learn there [sugar factory] for a child below 15 years of age. Nothing. The complicated machinery is something University interns should see not kids who still suck their thumbs.
Infact, why call them educative when very few kids actually note down their findings. They are more interested in taking photographs, buying junk and preparing tales to pass on to the miserable kids who didn’t go to the tours. So, what is so educational about the stuff said above?
Let’s hop on to the most itching part. The gist of this conspiracy. The money. All that said, we have more than one smiling face. It is not only the child that wears the grin. The school that collects the fees has a grin wider than that of the mythical Cheshire cat.
Of course, as businesses, parents should be aware that tour fees are inflated. If you doubt me, try and ask for accountability from schools in parents meetings. Ask them and follow it up. You will be very surprised.
The core expenditure is always transportation, food and sometimes entry fees. When one adds this up, you will find a rip off of the century. So, we already know one thing, these tours are more of a financial branch of a school, than an educational tour.
If it was educational as they claim, primary four pupils have weather, first aid and the like as part of the curriculum. The places to tour should most likely be Metrological stations and hospitals. But how many schools do that? They instead take the kids to lake shores and point out a few physical features through windows.
In Primary five, kids study about animal keeping. These range from sheep, rabbits, cattle among others. So, with their notebooks, they should be more around large farms than amusement parks. That is the true definition of an educational tour.
I’m not fighting the programme. All I am trying to put across is, yes, parents can put up with the rip offs from schools in the name of tours, if those tours were half as educative as those handout chits claim.
Schools should revise the entire scheme and have some genuine leniency on the parents who support their cause for years. They shouldn’t try to be cheats.
Give parents accountabilities and maybe the rip off debates will rest. Then top everything off with matching the name educational tour with its rightful meaning.