Today, education has become a priority for many parents seeking to secure a good future for their children in this rapidly changing world. They believe that if their children apply themselves and work hard at school, then they will increase their opportunities for going to higher education and eventually getting a good job. Of course they are right, and as access to the best education and best jobs is becoming more competitive, then it is true that children have to make the best of their study time when they are young.
However, the parents who do not allow their children sufficient free time for leisure activities outside school hours, are misguided. Such activities are far from being a waste of time for the children simply because they are not academic. It is important to remember that children need to develop skills other than intellectual ones, and the best way to do this is through activities such as sports, games and playing with other kids. If they cannot play make-believe games, how can they develop their imagination? How can they learn physical co-ordination or learn important social lessons about winning and losing if they do not practise any sports? Many children form strong, personal relationships with the friends they play with, and without the opportunity to do this, they could grow up emotionally immature or unformed.
Finally, I think it is also important to remember that children need to relax as well as work. If everything they do must have some educational or academic relevance, then they will soon get tired of studying altogether, which is the last thing parents would want.