Bonny Singh had recently become the Prince of the forest. One morning, he decided to take a tour of the forest to learn about his kingdom, especially the state of education.
He disguised himself to look like an old lion with a grey beard and moustache.
He walked slowly with the help of a stick so that no one could recognise him.
As he walked around, he saw many children, both young and old, playing around and disturbing other animals.
A few naughty ones tried to snatch his walking stick. Bonny was taken aback by this nasty behaviour.
“What is going on here? Why are the children behaving so badly and not in school? They are being very unkind,” he thought to himself.
He went to the palace and called Jacky jackal, the Education Minister to ask about the education system in the forest.
“My Prince, we do have a school in the forest, but no teachers are ready to teach despite us giving them high salaries.
Any teacher we hire, resigns within one week of them joining the school. The students too are not interested in studying so we had to shut down the school.”
Prince Bonny spoke to various retired teachers of the school and they too said the same thing, “There is nothing we can do. The children just do not wish to study.”
“What could possibly be the reason for the children not being interested in studies?” thought Bonny to himself.
He decided to understand the problem in-depth and asked permission from the King to do so.
Next morning, Bonny called his school friend Charlie cheetah.
Charlie had just completed his training in child psychology. He loved teaching and being with children.
Bonny requested Charlie to take over the responsibility of teaching the forest children.
The next day, Charlie reopened the school doors and got the entire school cleaned. He hired Chinki cat as an assistant.
A week passed, but no child came to school. Charlie then sent Chinki cat to meet the animals personally and find out why the children were not interested to come to school.
Chinki met and interacted with a lot of children and their parents.
“School is no fun. One has to only study and read books, memorise them and write an exam. What good is going to school then?” complained Robbie rabbit.
“And there are no games, sports, or fun activities and we have to only sit on the bench the entire time. I always have a backache after school,” added Ghazi goat.
“There is no fun during lunch either.
The food that mom prepares for us in the morning goes cold by lunchtime
and doesn’t taste good at all,” said Romi puppy.
“The children are not taught any practical skills and we want our children to know skills like plumbing, carpentry, sewing, and not textbook knowledge only,” added Romi’s father.
Chinki noted all the complaints and came back to school to discuss them with Charlie who smiled as he read all the concerns. He now understood the root cause of the problem.
After a few days, the animals of the forest were surprised to see a variety of swings on the school grounds.
Various sports equipment like balls, footballs, and cricket kits were arranged neatly in sports boxes.
A table had been arranged with colourful books and games like Carrom Board
Charlie waited for the children to come to school after making all the arrangements.
A few of them circled around and looked curiously at the interesting items. They could not gather the courage to enter the school premises.
Charlie signalled Chinki who ran and kicked a football.
The football flew high and fell out of the school boundary, where Ghazi goat was standing.
“Please pass me the football, but make sure you kick it and not throw it with your hands,” said Chinki, encouraging Ghazi.
Ghazi looked around and kicked the football with all her strength.
The ball went straight inside the school. Ghazi was so thrilled, she called all her friends. Soon, a full-fledged football match started on the school premises.
It was a fun experience for all children.
Next morning, Charlie was pleased to see a few children coming to school.
He allowed them to play, paint and read stories along with studying the school subjects. Soon, the children started to enjoy coming to school.
They learnt tables in the form of songs. Lessons were taught using plays and skits.
Basic mathematics like addition and subtraction were taught by exchanging fruits among the students.
Science was explained using practical experiments while examples from real life were used to teach moral values.
Charlie asked the parents of the children to run the school kitchen for the children.
The meals were sponsored by the King who wanted the children to have fresh and nutritious food.
Soon, the school became popular and started running at full capacity.
As the number of students increased, a need for another school rose in the forest.
When Charlie went to meet Prince Bonny to open another school, Bonny asked, “How did this miracle occur, Charlie?”
“The children were always curious to learn new things. Textbook learning makes studies boring. They find education fun and interesting when practical examples are used. When we included fun activities to classroom learning, the children got interested along with adults,” explained Charlie.
Bonny was delighted to hear this. Charlie truly knew his role as a teacher was to make studies interesting.
He was appointed to handle the education department of the entire forest.
He trained many animals to his method of teaching so that all the children of the forest were happy to attend school daily.