Schools and parents turning our children into zombies

Schools and parents turning our children into zombies
Published: 11 September 2017 (233 Views)
Have we ever wondered why our children are incapable of strategically planning for their future, or why they seem to always make decisions that ruin their lives?

Why is it that our children appear devoid of the ability to solve problems in their lives - even what seem to be the most basic?

...yet they never learn, as they keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again - just as someone who has experienced the destructive effects of drunkeness, but gets drunk again.

Obviously, there can be a million and one explanations to such apparent 'brainlessness' - and would be foolhardy to attempt to delve into each one of them - but it would be appropriate to touch on the least talked about.

The key phrase is: the frontal lobe, or Lobus Frontalis.

This is located in the front of the brain, and the largest of the four major lobes of the cerebral cortex in the mammalian brain.

This is the part of the brain that involves the ability to project future consequencies resulting from current actions, the choice between good and bad actions (also known as conscience), the override and suppression of socially unacceptable responses, and determination of similarities and differences between things and events.

It is, of course, responsible for other functions, such as voluntary movement, and in integrating longer non-task based memories.

However, what we are more interested in is the primary function of the frontal lobe.

As we have already seen, this part of the brain is the one responsible for most of our day to day decisions - and, thus, it goes without saying if someone's frontal lobe is not properly developed, then that person's life would be one big mess.

In fact, it would not be an exaggeration to say that person would be as good as a zombie.

The frontal lobe does not just develop naturally, as it needs to be exercised.

Just as our bodies and muscles need require regular exercise - and the correct nutrition - so does our frontal lobes - and the brain as a whole.

As the saying goes: if you don't use it, you'll lose it.

Similarly, in order to raise up well-structured individuals in our society, there is need for our school curricula, and home activities to be biased towards extensively developing our children's - and our own - frontal lobes.

The frontal lobe contains most of the dopomine-sensitive neurons in the cerebral cortex, which is associated with reward, attention, short-term memory tasks, planning and motivation.

As such, any activities in our children's daily activities that does not boost this function diminishes their abilities to make correct decisions in life - or even learning from their mistakes.

Our schooling system should move away from a memory-based curriculum to a strategic thinking, independent problem solving one.

Whilst important, memory-based learning appears to work independently of strategic frontal lobe functions.

Memory-based learning - whereby, pupils are mostly required to remember data in order to pass examinations - leads to inert knowledge that the pupils will be unable to convert into independent thinking.

As such, wasting time by making pupils memorise the types of rocks, or clouds, or formulae to work out mathematical questions does not help much.

However, if constantly exposed to independent problem solving, strategic frontal lobes are adept at transforming information to be remembered into bigger, even original, ideas.

In fact, trying to remember too many details counteracts the high efficiency of frontal lobe thinking.

The same applies at home, our children - and ourselves - should be engaged in activities that boost the cognitive command centre ingenious thinking.

It will disappoint - if not anger - many people to note that most television programmes and movies, as well as, video games actually are designed to skip the frontal lobe completely.

Therefore, instead of spending worthless hours watching TV, and movies, or playing video games, or even on social media - parents would be better advised to engage their families in problem solving activities, as puzzles.

We should always avoid leaving our brain on automatic pilot, and always be involved in thoughtful deep and effortful processing achieved by our frontal brain regions, which is an ingredient to brain health.

Most brain degeneration that happens in our old age is a direct result of a brain that was not being stretched to its very limits.

Let us overall both our school and home systems if we ever want to develop a generation of responsible, strategic thinkers.

* Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, and author. He is always available should anyone wish to invite him to talk at any platform. Please call: +263782283975, or email:

- Tendai Ruben Mbofana


You May Like These Videos


There are no comments.

Latest stories

Sleeping Mugabe now a huge liability

by Staff reporter | 24 September 2017 | 172 Views

BREAKING: Armed cops storm church, arrests Mawarire while preaching

by Staff reporter | 24 September 2017 | 199 Views

Bulawayo rejects bond notes

by Staff reporter | 24 September 2017 | 225 Views

Bosso, Dembare booted out of Chibuku Cup

by Staff reporter | 24 September 2017 | 106 Views

What to do now that Tsvangirai is sick?

by Barnabas Thondhlana | 24 September 2017 | 126 Views

WATCH: RBZ trying to calm panicked Zimbabweans

by Ndou Paul | 24 September 2017 | 96 Views

Zimbabwe now back to 2008 doom

by Staff reporter | 24 September 2017 | 103 Views

Zimbabwe prisoners deprived of ARVs

by Staff reporter | 24 September 2017 | 60 Views

Mujuru's death will remain a mystry

by Staf reporter | 24 September 2017 | 70 Views

Mugabe set to appoint a deputy chief justice

by Staff reporter | 24 September 2017 | 60 Views

Koreans to perform Jah Prayzah's 'Mdhara Achauya'

by Staff reporter | 24 September 2017 | 82 Views

Zimbabwe parliament reduced to hall of comedy

by Staff reporter | 24 September 2017 | 60 Views

MDC Alliance continues to face resistance from Matabeleland

by Staff reporter | 24 September 2017 | 29 Views

Might Warriors beaten by Banyana Banyana

by Staff reporter | 24 September 2017 | 64 Views

Tsvangirai get this honest opinion and analysis to protect your legacy

by Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo | 24 September 2017 | 62 Views

NRZ $400 million deal 'dead in the water'

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2017 | 117 Views

Issue IDs for free: Chombo

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2017 | 121 Views

ZESA Holdings training intake

by zesa | 23 September 2017 | 147 Views

Kingship and Nationalism will not solve Matabeleland problems

by Mbonisi Gumbo | 23 September 2017 | 90 Views

Zimbabwe's own Kenneth Kaunda

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2017 | 101 Views

Death row inmates graduate

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2017 | 111 Views

$153 million for RG Mugabe Airport upgrade

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2017 | 75 Views

Nhari-Badza rebellion was always coming

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2017 | 110 Views

Harare - Beitbridge road dualisation starts

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2017 | 97 Views

PDP Coalition status, setting the record straight

by Jacob Mafume, PDP Spokesperson | 23 September 2017 | 85 Views

Mphoko consoles Msika family

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2017 | 71 Views

Violent Grace surprises South African police

by Israel Dube | 23 September 2017 | 219 Views

Is Zimbabwe opposition ready to remove Mugabe regime?

by Sakhile Sibanda | 23 September 2017 | 103 Views

Tsvangirai's greed has turned into madness and now it threatens us all

by Wilbert Mukori | 23 September 2017 | 161 Views

Wishing Tsvangirai a speedy recovery, Cdes

by CZ | 23 September 2017 | 89 Views

Malawi President praises Mugabe

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2017 | 81 Views

Raffle ticket books vanish at police station

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2017 | 78 Views

Mugabe's government owes MDC-T $3 million

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2017 | 75 Views

Ailing Tsvangirai to stay longer in S. Africa

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2017 | 85 Views

Minister assures civil servants on bonuses

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2017 | 77 Views

Man mistakes hawker for wife's lover

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2017 | 96 Views

Mujuru, Biti, Dabengwa form another coalition

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2017 | 83 Views