Recently, I read a surprising news article in The Telegraph that the UK is getting rid of analogue clocks in school because kids are no longer understand and tell the time. Is it something alarming, or I am just exaggerating my thoughts that kids these days might be good at placing new examples in from new gun laws or inventing new and cheap environmental ideas. Still, they can’t read time from analogue clocks or hold a pencil? According to Malcolm Trobe, deputy general secretary at the Association of School and College Leaders, “The current generation isn’t as good at reading the traditional clock face as older generations.” Somehow, the situation is similar in most parts of the world, including India and Pakistan, where kids under the age of 12 still find it hard to understand and tell time from analogue clocks. Is it essential to know how to read the time on analogue clocks for children?
My concern here is not specifically about banning analogue clocks, but is it the only solution available for authorities to make student life easier? To abolish a practice that is hard to learn or understand? It’s like instead of finding ways to let children overcome this dilemma by themselves, they just run away from the issue and pretend that it does not exist. Let’s analyse the problem from a different angle. How do children learn to read time from digital clocks? Why do children find digital easier than analogue watches? I assume children have been trained since their childhood to be acquainted with tech-gadgets even when they hardly spell a word. Similar efforts can be made by providing children with enough resources to teach them how to read analogue clocks. For example, instead of removing analogue clocks, simply put both analogue and digital clocks side by side so students can learn in what direction analogue clock pointers go during a particular time.
Why am I so concerned about this news? Being a teacher and an animator, I use technology abundantly in my lesson plans, and that’s why I believe in a balanced approach instead of emphasising one resource. Therefore, even though we live in a modern – technologically advanced era, and we should train our kids to cope with future technological advancement, being tech-advanced simply doesn’t mean that we start hiding our weakness behind the veil of technology. We should teach our next generation to act prudently and face their issues with a learnable attitude.
Parents, students and teachers, what are your thoughts about this news? Let me know in the comment box below.