In order for a child to be able to master school tasks successfully, to be able to follow classes carefully and to mobilize all its intellectual capacity, it needs to have enough energy to learn. If it gets tired of other activities, there is a danger that it will come to school tired or will be too tired to do its homework at home. Then it can be expected that it will show poor success in school, especially if it has more modest mental abilities, and that it will lose interest in learning. In addition, it is likely to become irritable, hypersensitive, depressed, or aggressive.
Children that live far from school are often exhausted because they have to walk a few kilometres, or ride a train or bus, wait at train stations, etc. Such children can be helped by opening in the rural areas the so-called regional departments of primary schools to bring the school closer to the child. In cities, especially in addition to secondary schools, it is recommended to establish reception stations for student travelers. There, children can wait for a means of transportation in heated, comfortable rooms where they can study, relax and receive a hot meal.
Children are overworked, especially in the countryside, by over-employment in the peasant economy. As much as it is necessary for a child to be active in the house, to be entrusted with various tasks in the household, it must not go to the detriment of its schooling. But it happens that the child has to perform various physical tasks that sometimes exceed its physiological capabilities and overwhelm it. Then the child is chronically tired, so even with the best will, it cannot follow the lessons carefully nor can it concentrate while learning. It is logical that in such conditions it cannot learn anything, and at the same time it loses motivation to learn.
A father brought us his 15-year-old daughter, who had not moved beyond the 5th grade of primary school, with a request that we give her a certificate of unfitness to attend school so that he could sign her out. The girl repeated each class and was finally “too old” for school. The examination showed that the child has normal intellectual abilities and that there are no deficiencies that would make it difficult for her to cope at school. But at home, she had to do all the housework, along with her disabled father and her very old grandmother. She almost always takes a nap at school, and when she tries to focus on her studies at home, it is a regular evening, so she is so tired that she falls asleep over a book in a few moments.
A child sometimes lives in such a bad apartment that it does not have its own corner for peaceful learning. Such children can be helped by opening a larger number of libraries where they could stay during the part of the day when they are not in school. At the libraries, they can also get professional help in mastering the teaching materials. This is especially necessary for those children who have parents with relatively low education. Such parents cannot help with their studies, and today’s school system is such that it requires abundant parental cooperation in a child’s education. In addition, primitive and uncultured parents often underestimate intellectual work, they see learning as a more necessary evil than a real value in life, and thus do not act stimulating at all .
Due to the poor economic situation of parents, school children are often chronically malnourished. Such a child does not have enough endurance to study, gets tired quickly, becomes careless, its motivation to work is low, it is still poorly resistant to diseases, gets sick more often than a well-fed child, misses school a lot, and thus its situation becomes even more difficult. In some of our rural areas, parents make up for the lack of food with alcohol, then their children bring wine and even brandy to school instead of breakfast. It is not necessary to prove that a drunken child cannot successfully attend classes.
School canteens are successfully fighting against the malnutrition of students and their addiction to alcohol with an additional meal. It should contain those food ingredients that are most often missing in the diet of people, especially in the countryside, such as proteins and vitamins. That is why meals in the canteens consist of milk, cheese, some bread and possibly fresh fruit or vegetables (peppers, tomatoes, carrots). School canteens raise the physical resilience of children and their ability to work, reduce illness and absenteeism, promote growth and mental development, and improve their success in school.