These days, anytime I visit any of the malls in Ibadan, I help but notice that many schools are bringing their students to the malls on excursion trips. While it sounds somehow unappealing to me, I can’t ignore the fact that the children are loving it.
Some weeks back, I was at the Palms Mall at Ring Road. When I got to the revolving door that seems not to be working anymore, I noticed a small group of primary school students stood at the entrance while their teachers went inside the mall to talk to officials in order to allow the kids to look around.
The situation is similar at Shoprite, especially the one at Cocoa Mall. If you happen to visit the store anytime before 1pm, you could find yourself competing for legrooms with the kids.
After several run-ins with primary school students at malls in Ibadan, I began to ponder on whether this is another obnoxious action that was restricted to Ibadan as popularly taunted on social media. But some weeks ago, I visited Silverbird Galleria at Victoria Island in Lagos. While waiting to see my movie, I caught a glimpse of several students in their uniforms thronging the mall.
I smiled, realizing this is actually a national phenomenon.
But let’s ask ourselves this important question – what lessons are students going to learn at Shoprite or at any mall for that matter? Isn’t such trip going to make them become materialistic at tender ages and begin to make outrageous demands from their parents?
On the other hand, I realized that if you look closely at the faces of the kids, you would see most of them don’t covet what they are seeing at the malls. Furthermore, they read about the malls and big stores in novels and rhymes. Since we have some of that around, it is a great idea to let them visualize what new age shopping looks (and feels) like.
And who says everything must be academic, what happened to taking a break to have fun? They are kids, let’s give them a break. Allow them to appreciate those things that don’t matter to the rest of us. Maybe they do and we are just too pompous to admit.