Solid base for fun learning

YOU do not stop playing because you get old, you get old because you stop playing.

Laughs and smiles are the foundation of the 40-year friendship between the members of the former West Dubbo Primary School Parents and Citizens Association.

The group of women who meet for a luncheon once a month had their last meeting of the year where they continued to generously donate money to the school library.

President Wenda Lees said the group formed when the committee members children attended the same school at West Dubbo Infancy.

Together they continued the journey to high school where they volunteered in the canteen.

Mrs Lees and the other committee members said schools had experienced a world of change in the past few decades.

Evelyn Graham said she saw the advancement in technology as a positive opportunity for students but still believed in the importance of rote learning.

"Schools have brought in computers and iPads and I think computer literacy is important, however, I don't want children to forget the basics," she said.

"Handwriting is a vital skill as it gives children a head start towards computer learning."

The joys of wandering around the library in search of a book was being lost in the technology revolution, Marlene Spittles said.

Students retained more information when they researched using books instead of "I'll just Google that" which unfortunately had become the norm.

The committee unanimously agreed bullying was a greater and more serious problem in schools today.

Faye Rootes said bullying was unheard of in her school and everyone, including Aboriginals and other ethnicities, cared for one another.

"Everyone was treated equally when we were at school," she said.

"Children (now) spend hours in front of the TV and play violent video games which makes it normal for them. They think the real world is like that and I think this is why bullying is happening."

Punishment has changed over time and they were surprised at how restricted discipline had been for both teachers and parents.

Gloria Millgate strongly believed it was harder for a teacher to show their authority in the classroom.

"Back in our day people got the cane," she said.

"People still respected the teachers. It was just the way things were and we had to deal with the consequences."

Even though several aspects of schooling life were completely new and challenging, there were many opportunities which were readily available for students.

Committee members joked the only excursion they went to was the playground at school.

Excursions were great as they were "hands-on learning" for students and they wished to have experienced the same fun of learning outside the four walls.

The committee would be back after Christmas to continue to make a real difference in the lives of Dubbo students.

For almost half a century they have tirelessly worked for the betterment of others, with no plans to stop anytime soon.

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