When my parents had to choose a school for their daughters their main criteria s were ..
1. Easy commute to the school
2. Affordable school fee.
3. The school to have classes from kindergarten to high school – They didn’t want to handle any admission hassles for next 14 years once they enrolled us in to the kindergarten.
And I ask them – “Any expectations you had for the school,that will shape/direct your daughter’s character and future”
They said – “We just wanted you to score well to get in to a good college and a finally a good job,marry and get settled” !!
How naive ,I say ???!!
At school,as per my observation,there were 3 different groups of students in a class.One ,the “elite group” – very bright and intelligent students,toppers in the class.The second group – the bottom level.Teachers attended the “elite” group because, if the students scored well in the state level exams,the school would ultimately get the fame and name.The second group got the attention for all obvious reasons because,they were not performing according to the set standards.This group’s interests were rarely discovered and accepted.
Third group – less attended group,(average)students who were in between the above 2 groups.Realistically,majority of the class would fall to this group.I belonged to this group both in school and in college.And I feel that the students in this 3rd group mostly thrive on their own with little help from the teachers and lack a sense of direction.Lot of potential goes untapped!.
During our school life not even at one single point,there was any kind of evaluation to check,how we as future citizens have evolved to face the life outside the school campus.Throughout,students were judged based only on Physics,Chemistry and Math scores.ART was neither a major part of the curriculum nor encouraged.In India,sadly,this holds true even now…
Finally,when I had to face the world all by myself – it was overwhelming.Honestly,I didn’t have the self-confidence (still don’t,at times!!).I felt that the boundary between student world and “real” world was strong and thick.It took some time to realize that the real world is more confusing,chaotic and has conflicting ideas.
But now,change is coming or rather slowly.Kiran Bir Sethi – founder of Riverside School,Ahmedabad says kids should take charge and that children should play a role in the community.
I am inspired and wish that her good work becomes contagious.
Now,tell me how was your schooling and how it helped you to evolve as a person(who you are now) and what did it(the system) fail to instill in you?Also how did you choose (or planning to choose) the school for you kid(s),What are your main expectations from the school and from the system as such.
Note:1.This post is definitely not to find fault with my parents or with my teachers.I am concerned about the grand-old “system” and its functioning.After all ,my parents and my teachers were themselves the victims of the system!.
2.Anyone from Ahmedabad,your thoughts on the Riverside School (if any).