Justaroundme's Blog

How was yours… ?

Posted in Enthused, Society by justaroundme on April 14, 2010

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.

(Reasonable,I think)

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).

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5 Responses

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  1. iniyaal said, on April 25, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    The school I studied in was run by nuns of a christian monastry. It was a girls only school and we were encouraged to be independent, confident and also to excel in sports.

    But there was also so much insistence on girly behaviour. We were constantly getting advices on how to behave like good girls (mostly of the kind “do not raise your voice, homely girls do not run around, do not admire other men – esp cricketers and film stars etc, sewing skills are necessity for being a good home maker”). And, of course as you say, there was no scope for art/humanities in school education. I

    would have loved a more practical approach to subjects and equal importance to arts/humanities. There is one school in Nilgiris which I am very much impressed with. Here is it’s link – http://www.bluemountains.org.in

    • justaroundme said, on April 27, 2010 at 9:17 am

      Iniyaal rightly said “humanities” never given much importance ,need of the hour right now is a practical approach that will make the students as better citizens for tomorrow.I feel right now it is more of a rat race.99.999% !!!is what colleges look for !!.I don’t know if you had a chance to watch the video..in that video Kiran Bir sethi says her students understood “child labor” better when they were made to roll incense sticks for hours..after that they went out and campaigned against child labor vigorously…ideally it is about bridging the gap between the school and real world.

      I am dreaming about this world (not sure if it is ever possible) where no human being will hurt another human being,everyone will be so compassionate to other.
      If schools can make students to learn ABCD and algebra..the same schools can draft a syllabus to teach compassion,kindness and conscious way of living (these should simply get ingrained in the soul same as ABCD)l …so in future we don’t have to deal with war and corruption..and this life will be one happy journey… am i sounding very quixotic?…i am neither an educationist nor some powerful minister..but i dream!!…

      I visited bluemountains link,yes their philosophy is very inspiring…do you know anyone who did (doing) their schooling there ?

  2. iniyaal said, on April 27, 2010 at 10:01 am

    A cousin of mine studied in a school that followed similar ideaologies as the Blu Mountain school. He was happy during his school days and very satisfied and pround of his school. But he started disliking it afterwards – because his XII th score was lower than his neighbours and relatives and he could not get into good colleges.

    What to say… I feel bad about this fad (esp in India) for Engg & medicine courses and high marks. I feel universities in India should start patterning their entrance tests and eligibility criteria around student’s passion for a particular course. But sadly, in the current scenario, universities nmostly depend on common entrance exam scores, school marks etc.

  3. G said, on May 12, 2010 at 3:59 am

    Knock knock…Where art thou madam? almost a month gone by and no updates.

    • justaroundme said, on May 13, 2010 at 8:58 am

      Hey G,Thank you for checking on me…was bit tied up with work,will be back soon….


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