Traveling as a part of Education. Education involves not only reading books and doing exercises but also acquiring knowledge through doing something practically in other words, practical experience is a part of education. In this sense, since traveling adds to our experience and knowledge base, it can safely be considered a part of education. In this connection, it must be said that traveling has, roughly speaking, two purposes: acquiring experience and pleasure. But it must be emphasized that in both cases knowledge comes from traveling. As far as the education and traveling nexus is concerned, we can aver that traveling should be made statutory for students. If this is done, then it will be a part of education. It has, however, a number of benefits. These are enumerated hereunder. Firstly, what we learn from our textbooks needs to be verified in light of reality. If this is done, then the knowledge earned from books becomes practicable. And if this is to be achieved, then there must be sufficient opportunities for traveling such as education tour or excursion) Secondly, there are some subjects which can not be taught by or learned from textbooks. Geography, history, and some branches of science fall in this category of subjects. For the sake of perfect knowledge in these subjects, students must be inspired and patronized to go on educational tours.
Thirdly, education without pleasure becomes, in most cases, prosaic and ineffectual. The process of education in which recreational facilities are in-built, therefore, prove to be most effective. The other side of traveling as a part of education should not, in any case, be overlooked. That is, it involves the question- Is it really affordable for the students of this country? The answer, regrettably, will be negative in most cases. If traveling is, for instance, made an essential part of education, then, to be sure, it will be a great burden on the guardians of our students. The consequence will be that only a minority of students will be able to avail themselves of the opportunity of acquiring perfect knowledge on the related subject(s), while a majority of them will be deprived of the opportunity. This poses a great problem for the decision-makers as well as the whole educational system. But it is not that such a problem is totally unsolvable. To make extracurricular activities like traveling more effective, it should be programmed in a limited way within a limited budget. Also, educational institutions, as well as the government, should come forward to help students in this regard with reasonable amounts of financial assistance. Therefore, it is advisable that all educational institutions take sufficient care to include traveling in the overall educational program ensuring the eager involvement of the majority of the students.
A Journey By Boat
It was the month of Pous. Mother told me she would go to her father’s home for a change. She wanted to take my father and me with her. I was beyond myself with pleasure. Because it would be a journey by boat from our village Bhanderkote to Mongla via Chalna. So, without any hesitation, I nodded a prompt yes to my mother’s proposal. A country boat was hired. There were two boatmen, each having a robust physique and jovial temperament. They carried our luggage and boarded them on the boat. We started our journey on a bright sunny morning. The boat was plying through the brown waters of the river Pashur. The current was favorable. So the boat was moving as though a swan had been floating carelessly only for fun. The boatmen did not have to undergo much hardship working with the oars, both the wind and the current being favorable. This put them at ease, and one of them started breathing a well-known “vatiali” song. I was charmed. Onward moved the boat, and so did my imagination. I wanted to advance, to look forward, to think of things that were unseen ahead. But as I happened to look at the banks of the river, I was caught by the natural beauty. The scenery of trees, shrubs, and herbs of motley colors, one seemingly interwoven with another, snatched away my sight and filched away my mind. How beautiful Nature really looks! I never saw such beauty before in my life. The village-edges on either side of the river looked like lively color-pictures painted by a humourist artist-magician. The panorama of trees and crops was, as it were, a vivid snapshot of the garden of Eden. It seemed to me that beauty could not only be seen, but be smelt, felt, and touched with the softest hands of imagination. There were several rainless clouds over the trees nev on the horizon, calm and still. The morning-sun smiled in them with its glazing rays. I was spell-bound with the eternal beauty of the worldly sight. But I was more charmed when I looked at the banks. To my great surprise, I saw some cattle walking along the WAPDA road on the bank of the river, each walking at the same pace like the others, one after another. They not only created a consistent but moving scenario but also added another dimension to the beauty I was enjoying. Soon the river turned into a vivid world of activities, sounds, and sights with countless boats, boatmen, and fishermen at their works and in motion. This all gave me a unique impression of how rhythmic the world we live in is. Indeed, much remains unseen and unenjoyed if we do not see and enjoy things at their right place at the right time. I was astonished. I started at my mother’s call. Our boat anchored at Chalna Bazar, the midway of our journey. The purpose was to breakfast there. Father went into the market to buy something for breakfast and was back in a moment. I enjoyed the breakfast very much since it was the first time that I took my breakfast in an alien place on a floating vessel.It added to my experience as well. The breakfast over, we started our journey again. But now, as the boatmen told us, there was some risk. Since the river, Pashur in that place was often very restless with wild waves, and since we were to ply through that river, we were to be very careful in keeping the balance of the boat. These required that I no longer remain out of the canopy. That is why, in spite of my unwillingness, I had to go in and sit beside my parents in the canopy. Yet I always tried to lookout. When our boat came into the larger and wilder part of the river Pashur, the boatmen controlled its pace so as to remain nearer the bank. But yet, as had been suspected, heavy and strong and wild waves crept towards us, causing the boat to undulate continuously. In the beginning, I was scared. And so were my parents.But as this continued for some time, I became accustomed to it to some extent. After all, could I leave the opportunity of enjoying the journey unavailed, only because the river was mildly agitated? My curiosity encouraged me to take it easy. This phase of the journey was much more interesting. It was, as it were, an adventure. Time and again gun-boats and ships were passing by. The mighty waves that they created hit our boat forcibly. But how could they do any harm to us? The boatmen tackled everything by their competent maneuvering and tricks. Sometimes, however, splashes of water jumped into the boat, but that was no calamity to be afraid of. Rather, the large width of the river, its remorseless and deadening appearance, and the picturesque sights on either bank—all these together gave me a unique impression. It was a partial representation of life, as it were, where beauty is preserved in calamity, and happiness is inseparably entwined with hardship. This was a rare experience indeed. Our journey ended when we reached the Mongla Port at around 3 p.m. Mother said that we would return home by road, and not by boat.I protested but to no effect. Even today I remember that adventurous journey. It reminds me of the troublesome journey of life itself, where gusts of wild winds of misfortune create remorseless waves of suspense, anxiety, and sorrows. And yet, all beautiful gifts of life are to be achieved by fighting against that calamity. Perhaps I will take another journey in the same route, but this time alone, and not with my mother.