Ina kuana, Antashe lafia ko?

These are expressions in Hausa language, Northern Nigeria, meaning, ‘Good morning, hope you had a nice night?’ I am delighted to have picked some words during my mandatory National Youth Service Corps some years ago. Well, that’s another story for another day.

It is the holiday season for pupils and students. Some of us who had the opportunity of going for holidays with our grandparents now appreciate those visits. We have come to an age when children are permanently left at the mercies of their teachers. From normal academic session to summer classes and to another academic year; let’s think together on school holiday versus parental leave.

School holiday is a season when children are on at least 6 weeks break from the normal academic session which usually last from September to July annually with midterm holidays of about 2 fortnight breaks and public holidays. Based on the age and the mental capacity of these children, they are expected to rest at this point in time. However, the economic situation of the country wherein parents are all engaged in the struggle for survival, children are also engaged in summer classes which inversely means that there is no ‘rest’ for the whole of the year. For some lucky few like me who had been released to our grandparents’ care during holidays; that was the high-point of every holiday.

Parental leave is a time taken off work annually to ‘rest’ as well. This helps the body to recuperate from all the accumulated stress over time. Parents plan their personal and international trips around this time; spiritual retreats; visits to their aged ones amongst others. For many reasons, vacations come at different times of the year. There is rarely an organization that totally closes down for her members of staff to go on vacation expect during some religious holidays and at the close of the year.

What is the crux of the discussion today? Parents should find a way of building their relationship with their immediate and extended families. Husbands and wives have become co-habitats under the same roof while their children are their guests. They do not have time for one another. Holiday seasons when they should all bond as one; they do not and some salient cultural knowledge that these children can learn from their grandparents is not offered. Everyone is now alien to their families, cultures and even environment as we do not explore it anymore. Holidays are expensive though but the gains outweigh the cost.

This holiday season might have gone; what is your plan for the next holiday? Where will you be going during the holiday? How will you maximize every holiday season? What would your children remember for their holidays? What are they looking forward to for the next holiday?

There is always the opportunity to be in school but time and opportunity would not be there forever with your children as they grow and your aged ones won’t be here for ere. Grandparents Day is on 13th September; how would you appreciate them this year?

Have a nice week as we transit into September.


(c)Olutayo IRAN-TIOLA, Lagos, Nigeria
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