Let’s state the realities prevailing around us , instead of being preachy. Most of the schools, in spite of repeated ultimatums and directives from the state government have become profit maximization centers. When I say this, I mean not only the exorbitant fees but several other aspects of achieving their objective to mass money. The simplest example is the availability of the school uniform, which varies as per the season, and one has to consider this as one of the mandatory requirement of his ward. The tricky part of this story is that this exclusive dress cannot be procured from any other store of the world, except the school counter. When you purchase this item, you get an average jersey or trousers in your hands but its cost is more than the best of the international brands available in the market. The reason is very simple; the school authorities have collusion with respective dealers so that the school gains a huge margin out of it, which without any resistance is a windfall for the school account. This formula is applied to the books, notebooks, stationaries, the school bag and other miscellaneous items required by the child. A part from the cost issues our school education is facing the other two challenges are also there. One is how to improve quality of education in schools and other is the importance of quality education that the educationalists are not paying attention as they are busy with filling their own pockets. This way the future of our coming generations is at stake.
As a parent, I would emphasize upon the fact that there should be an optimum balance between the academic part and the co curricular activities, and there shouldn’t be excess of any one, which rather happens in most of the cases. Even the cultural activities which are organized , are a source of hole in the pockets of the parents, and even in this case the formula mentioned above is applied. Many times the academic calendar is highly disrupted because of these activities, which are not scheduled properly. Our children should acquire a homogeneous and consolidated learning of all the subjects, and it shouldn’t be an interspersed one, but unfortunately it happens in most of the cases. Forget about the government schools; even the sharpest of the public school students fail to answer the fundamental and basic questions pertaining to their grade. This is because of several reasons; but the important ones being the absence of a well planned curriculum, and also lack of effective and skilled teachers who have the passion and zeal to deliver knowledge to the young learners.
The holiday homework, you would agree is a kind of speed breaker for the parents. Not only the components are highly incomprehensible for the children, but they become a pain in the ass for the parents , who are often found looking for items in stationery shops, or are seen queuing inside cyber cafes for the colored printouts, and the café owners charge money with saliva of greed spilling from their tongues. What is the purpose of such a holiday homework which is an exercise for the parents, rather than the children! Parents , without any thought seem to be satisfied with the kind of things their children are exposed to; but then what is the overall coefficient of productivity on the part of the child!
The list goes endless, but unfortunately I have to hold the reins here due to the limited scope in terms of the size of this article. However, I would like to conclude by adding one more point. True, the schools do run by the money which comes from the children, and this is their primary and perhaps only source of income.( pun intended) But why don’t the schools do something from their own which is a kind of ‘return back’ to the parents . This may include prizes and awards for the children excelling in academics, cultural activities and sports. Why don’t they declare scholarships for the meritorious children, which would be a motivation for them? Why don’t they organize parent meetings , which may be in the form of lectures by child psychologists, experts and counselors? Why don’t the schools have special units such as career counseling, or music experts, yoga classes, art workshops, coaching for games like tennis or badminton, theatre and musical units? And why can’t the schools organize special classes for children interested in Mathematics, Science, Communication Skills, or for that matter preparation of the students for national level examinations like various Olympiads, NTSE, and even the various entrance examinations at the secondary level?