Today I am featuring three more former students’ writings about addictions they see in Kazakhstan. These are troubling times for Kazakh educators who have to work with children who have little direction from home because their parents are busy working to make money and the computer is available for those who DO have money. Keep in mind that these problems are showing up in the urban settings of Kazakhstan, the rural areas have their own problems. Addiction to alcohol and high unemployment among the men in the countryside of Kazakhstan would contribute to many social ills. See what these teachers wrote:
Student #2 – “Yesterday we watched two short films about addiction. The first one was about a man who was addicted, and also he had a machine. With the help of it, he was teleported in many places like where women danced around him. Second film was about a man who went upstairs and downstairs. This short movie was not easy to understand. I think that many young people are addicted to computer games, mobile phones and different things. For example, I have a student who changes a mobile phone every month. Once I asked him why he changed his cell phones, and he said me that he didn’t like “Iphone” and he bought Nokia E6. In my opinion, everyone has an addition to new things such as cosmetics, computers, cell phones, and also jewelery.”
Student #2 – “I always wonder about one thing: if you teach people, young or old, good things, habits, it is always hard to learn or memorize or follow; but learn bad things or habits very easily and will never forget. Why? A simple paradox! I’m afraid I would never understand this. The same thing with addiction. Why don’t people get addicted to, for example, reading books or making donations to orphanages or houses for old people. It sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? You will never hear a man saying: “Ahh, I need to give some money to an orphanage, I feel so terrible! I can’t bear it!” or “I feel so sick and awful! I haven’t read a page of a book today, I need a book!” Never!
But you can easily see people “living” before a computer screen, I mean playing computer games, eating before a screen, even sleeping before a screen. You can always see husbands or bachelors, or even some women constantly visiting houses of gambling games putting on stake everything they have. And they will never realize the harm of their actions until they face total bankruptcy, but then it would be too late to change something.”
Student #3 – “Addiction is a very complicated issue. The number of people got addicted to computer games, pornography, drugs and alcohol is increasing among the teens and the students of schools or colleges. Even though the teachers, parents, even the government are working hard on this problem, we can’t see any positive results. This is a global issue. And a single teacher or a single institution can’t solve this problem alone. People from all over the world have to unite against this problem. The government of each country has to take the customs under a great control, otherwise things like drugs will never stop “traveling” from one country to another.
Our parents and grandparents were so happy when they heard our President ordering to close all the houses of gambling games throughout the country. To tell the truth, after that message all such kind of houses disappeared from our city, Aktobe; and I guess they disappeared from other cities as well. But people who run such houses won’t stop before anything, because they make huge amount of money on this business. And I believe that there are lots of illegal playing centers.
I think, in some cases it is the parents’ fault when their children can’t live without computer games or alcohol. Maybe they don’t pay much attention to the children or do not control appropriately. They just get tired of the work and such kinds of marital things. That’s why it is the teacher’s duty to help these parents, and cooperate with them.”
(to be continued)