The problem with the youth of today

Daniel Phelps, principal, Woodside Primary School


AMIDST the doom and gloom of COVID isolation comes this story rich in hope and promise.

In past months, now interspaced with two periods of isolation and remote learning, I have noticed some rather unusual behaviour by Longford youths.

Boys of various sizes and ages are cycling past my Longford property carefree and looking for adventure.

Left to their own devices, these boys have surprisingly left their devices at home and are enjoying the great outdoors.

And aren’t they thriving on it?

Yes, just a little separate from the prying eyes of authority (who would probably ban it…), these boys are testing themselves and growing into the leaders of tomorrow.

They have turned a formally weed-infested space into a veritable smorgasbord of industry.

Bike tracks, complete with carefully engineered jumps and berms sweep through the earth with different obstacles created to test both bike and rider alike.

These boys always have a friendly wave and cheerful greeting as they race past my boundary.

I am told that they are all completing their remote learning tasks in record time and with an eagerness that must surely surprise their teachers.

For these boys, the learning doesn’t stop with school learning.

In the mid-afternoon, with pumped up tyres a rich learning pit greater than in any traditional classroom awaits them.

Local parents must wonder at the sudden interest these boys are showing in spades, shovels, rakes and other tools as they raid sheds and disappear until dark.

The standard of bush carpentry displayed in the huts (complete with constructed furniture) is first rate.

Homemade signs point the way to various tracks, with one even featuring a narrow (but well-engineered) bridge.

These boys are truly learning the STEM (science technology engineering and maths) subjects one shovelful at a time.

They will be the builders, the engineers and the designers of tomorrow.

Their exemplary cooperation and project management skills would put many large organisations to shame.

Well done boys. I’m proud of you.