Neoschool: The Space Conundrum
The opening of Neoschool has finally arrived, and the Pets of Neopia are breathing a collective sigh of resignation. No more spending days lying in the grass to stare at the clouds above. School supplies are being fetched from the darkest corners of safety deposit boxes after months and years of lying idle. 227,663,858 Pets are planning to... Wait, there are 227,663,858 Pets in the world of Neopia?! At the time of writing, there sure are. While educating all of Neopia is a wonderful and noble plan, a question of how all of these Pets will fit into Neoschool rises into the mind. Plenty of us have experienced overcrowding in one environment or another, but probably none have experienced the overcrowding of more than two hundred MILLION individuals. So, in light of this information, three ideas arise:
Just Deal With It
We cram all of those Neopets into one building, and they deal with the consequences. They're there to learn, not to lounge around with miles of personal space, so any issues are just their problems. Of course, this can cause many problems in terms of lack of both funding and room to actually move in. Classrooms quickly become standing room only, and going from one class to another becomes nothing more than jumping into the hallway and letting the ocean of moving individuals carry you along. Avoiding others that you don't want to run into would be easy, though, because there are plenty of crowds to get lost in. Taking attendance in class would take hours, and students may get distracted by all of the others shoved in around them. Finding a place to build a building so big at all would also be an issue.
Another potential for this situation would be that classes would be offered multiple times a day, so that only part of the population is in Neoschool at any given time. Getting to know others would be a bit easier, since interaction would occur within smaller groups. With two hundred million students, however, classes would probably have to happen twenty four hours a day, and they still would be fairly large. Teachers would get tired and students would have to work their daily schedules around school. Pets might not be able to see friends who have different school schedules than they do. While meeting new people and losing contact with others may be a part of life, it is probably a circumstance that should be avoided if possible.
A building is constructed of any size, and Faerie magic is used to make it huge enough to hold all of the students once they enter. With this method, the amount of land needed for the building is small, and there is enough space for everyone. The matter still stands of how all the needed textbooks can be purchased with a certain limit to funding. While some may answer with "more Faerie magic," I doubt students will appreciate when their book suddenly glimmers away while they were looking for an answer to a question they were just called on for. The same goes for how consistent the magic will be on expanding the school from the inside. Classes will really feel the squeeze when a Faerie architect throws a tantrum and takes the magic to cause a storm instead.
And what happens when the bell signals the end of the school day? Two hundred million students swarming out of a building that is huge on the inside and tiny on the outside. Since the outside of the building would have to stay the same at all times, the doors of the building would stay the same too. I wouldn't want to be one of those Pets crowding into each other just to get out of a couple of doors. Leaving the school would take hours, just as taking attendance in class would still.
Instead of dealing with the hassle and dynamics of one school and one building, why not make many? Each Neopian world could have its own school to house the denizens of that region. Meridell and Brightvale students would automatically have a sports rivalry. Pets in the Lost Desert and on Terror Mountain wouldn't have to fuss over how they're going to dress for two different climates in the same day. There would be plenty of teachers from each area for every school, so Dr. Ballard wouldn't have to be the only math professor in existence.
But with different worlds, different schools, and different teachers, will the schools have to be regulated? Will the Neoschools each have to use the same materials and teach the same things, or could they be specialized for different themes? The Faerieland school might focus more on Faerie magic, and the Altador school might focus a lot more on ancient Neopian history. This might provide more of an imbalance as to where students attend their classes, and some may feel disappointed if they are not allowed to attend a school out of their own region. If schools are standardized, that means our Pets will have to undergo standardized testing also, which many will agree is no fun. And what about Kreludor? Will information about the system get to Kreludor in time for the students to be up to date there? Will the school have a leaning towards control under Sloth?
Silly question. Sloth controls everything.
So the solution?
How will Neoschool handle the sheer number of Neopets in Neopia? The topic is surely something to be considered as lunch boxes are packed and new notebooks are opened. There are upsides and downsides to every option, and it is up to the great leaders of the Neoschools to decide what is best for Neopia and its inhabitants. Some Pet owners and parents may decide to take matters into their own hands and home school their Pets instead. Regardless, no matter what decisions are made during the workings of Neoschool, it will undoubtedly bring a new and valuable experience to everyone.
Unless you upset Sloth, because then you're done for.