Early morning. I was in deep sleep. Someone woke me up, my wife.
“Get up, its already 4 am.”
“What 4 am? Its only 4 am and I still have time for the office.” I quickly responded and tried to continue my sleep.
She wakes me again, and says “What office? Today you are not going to the office. We have other urgent works. Don’t you remember what day is today?”
I see the calendar and was on legs immediately. “You are right, let me get ready soon.”
I get myself ready, get in my vehicle and in the next one hour, we were in the most important place – Yes. An important place for any parent with a kid of 3 years old. You guessed it right, School admission.
There were too many parents waiting already. I felt like they were laughing at my irresponsibility of coming late. What late, it’s just 5 am. I stretch my neck and try to find the tail of the Anjaneya. I mean the queue. Negative.
We walk following the queue to join ourselves at the fag end.
The school gate opens at 8 am and we were here solid 3 hours in advance. And top of that, my wife was still shouting at me saying I was late. Should I curse myself for sleeping or my wife for the scoldings I got or the other responsible parents who took a tent here before us?
Anyway, hours of waiting and all the efforts were in vain. Reason? Our house was not within the permissible distance from the school. In spite of me promising to relocate to a house within the radius – given the admission, did not help.
Sounds familiar? Exactly. This is the current situation of young parents in our country.
Why? I always got a ready-made answer “Good schools make Good Students”
Result? Happy Parents. Is it true?
Most of us think that putting the kids in a good private convent is like a long-term investment which will give its fruits once the kids get out of the college. Even if a family is not able to afford the private school, they bleed their way out to earn money and put their kids in convents. Have we not seen these in our everyday life?
Have you noticed if all the school take any kids? No. They select, interview including the parents and cherrypick the kids.
But still, why is this craze for selected private schools? Because they show results? Or because of our own greed?
Let us look at a typical private school. What really happens?
- Most schools are money minded, proven.
- Schools target only ranks and not on skills.
- Big time homework and project work for the parents.
- Only good looking, sorry to say, white-skinned kids participation in dance or other catchy events.
- Schools target exams and not knowledge.
How many schools teach morals & discipline as a subject nowadays? Do the students look at the teacher same way they use to in the past, say 10-20 years back? Ask a female teacher in high school, and she will tell you horrifying stories. But yes, those are our own kids.
And most schools steal the Physical education hours and utilize these hours for Science or Maths or other subjects. Still worst, many schools do not even have a decent playground on their premises.
All they have is a classroom-like in apartments and still, parents are happy sending their kids to these so-called schools.
How does a typical school operate?
They have prescribed books. Teachers dictate answers to the questions. Students copy in their notebooks. Moreover, there are home works for the left out exercises in books.
We all know homework is actually for whom.
Then students just swallow these notes and vomit in the exams. The best kid reproducing exactly as dictated by the teacher is said to be outstanding.
Memorizing is a skill. No doubt. We all memorized the tables as kids and it helps us till today. Well, mostly.
But that does not mean the lessons and notes should be memorized too.
How many parents oppose this way of functioning? Poor parents, they do have few choices, it’s like choosing between devil and deep sea.
Our school system does not work closely with the parents. How many schools allow parents to interact frequently with the teachers and agree on their key inputs? Seldom it happens except in the name of the parents-teachers meeting. We all know what’s in there.
Imagine a kid of 3 years. It’s the age to stretch its wings and fly in the vast sky. But what we parents do?
Not just cut their wings but also put them in a cage called the kinder garden. We can be proud of having a kid that talks English and write sooner than other kids. But what we all fail to realize is that no matter what we do, we can never gift back these lost days back to the kids.
Ever wondered how did the admission to school change from 6 years to 3 years? No, not due to schools. It’s US. We parents want to send them to school as early as possible, even if that costs a bomb.
How different is it from sending a 16-year kid to IIT coaching centers or another training courses?
Once back from school, they need to go to tuition centers. Most parents pack their kids for tuition even before the tired kid enters the home.
Imagine, when do kids get their share of life?
At 3 years, he/she gets into the school system. And that is the end of his playful life. Until he completes his graduation, he cannot look back at his wonderful life. After graduation, that is a whole different story.
Even when in summer vacation they are forced to do home works. And then various summer courses because the kids in the neighbor apartment do. And nowadays, its a fashion statement for schools that they cut short the summer vacation for 11th class and start taking classes for 12th, immediately after exams.
One of the main reason for all these adventures is the result of what is been planted in our head for decades. It is the thought that only professional degrees will make our kids capable of earning money to make his life settled. The reason for this is the way we treat or pay the other skilled labors. And schools never worry about imparting any real life-saving skills to the students.
All they do is to manufacture a living-robot that can do what it is told to be doing.
Teachers are the backbone of this society. They are the one who shapes a better tomorrow.
But instead of appreciating the efforts and awarding them, most of the private schools clearly exploit the teachers. Good or bad, the school teachers job has become like a second income for the most family. I mean, with such a low salary from schools no one can run a decent family. Why else you notice most teachers are females?
Yes, they either come to school to earn additional income or put their time into more productive ways.
If we get such teachers, who will put their heart to train the students? No one will. Either they will try to get kids for tuition outside school hours to get their own share of the cake, or ignore them and do their part mechanically.
In essence, what we miss is qualified teachers. Remember, they are not just teachers but creators of the next Gen. They are the one who will create the future scientists, entrepreneurs, leaders etc. If they are not paid a handsome salary, who are we going to pay?
Private schools should keep this in mind and attract real talents.
One kind request to teachers as well.
You are not cheap, please do not compromise. It’s possible that there are always 100s waiting for the same post if you ignore. But, if 100s also stand by you, only then we will see change.
After seeing all the short comes in the private schools, do you think it’s better to send kids to public schools? Think again, Public schools are in an even more worst situation now.
We saw how the private schools have been exploiting the teachers, cherry picking the kids, not encouraging any skill development in student etc in this post.
For those who think a public school sounds better, please do not miss my next post which is discussing more on the pros and cons of the current public school system in India.
You would have noticed that I did not go through the gender-based difficulties or discrimination. I believe that we are improving a lot in this aspect. There has been a lot of awareness among the parent both urban & rural about the education of girl child. But that would be interesting details for a future post.
So, how many of you felt that you have been there and gone through this same dilemma and struggles? How did you score in the interview for your kid’s admission!
Shoot your experience, reviews, and observation in the comments.
Remember, every piece of advice you put in the comments will be of great help to the next young parent waiting in the never-ending Queue of school admission.
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