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Drawing a line on noise levels

I took my seven-year-old grandson to the Esplora Interactive Science Centre. He and I were absolutely enthralled by the experience and were there for five hours, when we had to reluctantly drag ourselves away. My congratulations to all who were involved in the concept and setting up of this much needed and exciting centre.

I would, however, like to make an observation, based on a remark that I passed to one of the most helpful and patient staff members ever present to explain some of the finer points to us.

The noise levels are much too high. I understand and make allowances for the exuberance of groups of schoolchildren discovering new worlds and enjoying themselves. I chose a weekday when my grandson was off school to avoid the weekend crowds but didn’t anticipate that the exaggerated noise of a number of students from the organised school groups would make it impossible, for instance, to understand oral instructions and information on some of the interactive displays. I hesitantly suggest that large signs are put up all over the place reminding those present what behaviour is expected of them: to keep their voices low, not to tear around, to take their turn without barging in, pushing and shoving, to treat with care and not bash at whatever it is they interact with.

I’m sure that teachers try hard to inculcate good manners and consideration in their students, but a reminder from the Esplora authorities on the need for respect for others would not be inopportune. I would go as far as suggesting that unruly students and those who raise their voices above low speaking volume be excluded there and then.

I’m no old killjoy and feel I have relatively high tolerance levels around children but do drawthe line at egoism, sheer bad manners and lack of consideration.

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