Archive for Education

Schooling Woes

Posted in Education with tags , , , on May 9, 2014 by swatiaiyer

I have been feeling pretty disturbed. ‘I will come late. I have to go pick up my son’s report card”.

A week later – “I need to take him for an entrance exam”?

“Entrance exam? Why do you need to change the school again”?

“No, Akka, his school is only till Std. VII and now he goes to Std. VIII, he has to go to the other branch of the same school, but they take entrance exams”.

A week later. “He failed the test and he has to take a re-test”.

He fails this test too. So he can no longer go to the convent school she had moved him to last year. She tries another school where he needs to know Hindi. He fails that to. She takes him back to the school from where she moved him last year because the fees were nearly double those charged by the convent. They refuse to take him back.

Now she is in a fix and does not know what to do. Other schools in the area are very expensive.

I do not understand this logic. Why should kids going from Std. VII to Std. VIII of the same school have to take an entrance exam?  The Std. VII reports of this child show he has done reasonably well for his circumstances.  So which of the evaluations is false – the annual report card or the entrance test evaluation?  How does a kid who has done well enough to pass (according to his teachers) suddenly fail the entrance test to the next class of the same school? Kids go to school to study and to learn. Is the fact that they are weak reason to throw them out of school? What about all the reservations and talk of bringing up people from the underprivileged classes by giving them equal opportunities? If this is one kid I know about, I am sure there must be millions all over the country. They belong to homes where the parents are labourers and aren’t educated enough to help them at home. This lady spends her hard earned money to send her kids to private tuitions too. What more can she do? The kid is around 11. He is too young to work So what should parents of such kids do? Why can’t opportunities to come up in life be given at this level instead of reserving positions in jobs? Why not give them the fullest opportunity to study (at least till the age of 18) and then take them in jobs they truly merit? What happens if this kid neither goes to school nor goes to work? He already loafs around in undesirable company (according to her) in the holidays. What will he do if he is left rudderless?

Smart kids will get through any which way. Isn’t it the weak ones who need help? What are schools there for if not to pull up the weaker ones? On a suggestion that she needs to find someone with a knowledge of RTE, I try to search the web to find out if there is anyone we can approach.  There is a huge amount of stuff about RTE in Bangalore.  It is a real eye opener.  While I am no expert on this topic – in fact, I am struggling to understand the various aspects that I read about – there seem to be just too many complicated conditions, exceptions and legalese involved.  There are some schools which are supposed to implement the RTE.  There are many who claim to have been granted “minority” status.  What exactly is the definition of “minority” schools?

The Supreme Court put minority schools outside the purview of RTE. The state government, however, through an executive order, imposed conditions on what a linguistic minority school meant, to bring them under RTE.    …….    The Advocate General, appearing for the state, said that many schools were claiming minority status after the SC ruling that kept them outside RTE. The court said it shows mala fide intentions.   ……    The court asked if linguistic minority schools taught the minority language to its students. The advocate said that it was not necessary. It was enough if the management was composed of linguistic minorities.    Source:  HC makes fun of money focus of private schools  By Shyam Prasad S, Bangalore Mirror Bureau


So now we have schools who say they are minority schools, hence not under the purview of RTE and yet don’t teach the minority language to its students.  What is this if not a mockery of the law and any simple logic?

Interestingly enough 25 schools in this very area where we live have claimed they are exempt from RTE and this is the area where there are huge populations of people who are underprivileged in terms of financial status or educational backgrounds.  What do these people do?

What happens to laws regarding compulsory education, law banning child labour and various laws which are made much of?  Where is the much needed implementation?  One can go to court.  How much time is the child going to lose in the process?  Where is the continuity in education which a child who is already not doing well needs?  What should the child do – considering he/she is not legally allowed to work – during this period of no schooling?  How are parents who are labourers to protect these kids from getting into trouble when they are out working most of the day?

I wonder if anyone could suggest a competent authority for this lady to approach.  In the process, I too get educated about “education” in India.


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