Choosing the Right School


Let us discuss a few important factors which may influence your decision of choosing the Right school for your child.



First a word of Caution: Be alert as the schools very strategically announce the start and close dates for the admission process.



Every parent wants the best for his child. And when they first face the trials and tribulations of choosing a school for him, they feel that very first tinge of concern or worry that surrounds around them as initial symptoms of parenthood. I always keep telling my wife that I am very surprised at these stupid parents who just want to let the whole world know that they had admitted their ward in the ‘Best School’. How does it matter? More or less Every School is the same at this stage. Again everything depends on the Child. I do not get surprised when a Girl studying in a Municipal School somewhere in Latur which does not even have a proper roof stands First in the S.S.C Board Exam.


          Further, I strongly believe that parents are child’s teacher since birth & your Home is also a School. Parents play a very important part in teaching their child. Everything we do with our child at home, definitely affect how our child performs at the school. Parents contact with their child ensures that the child become self-reliant and deep rooted in values. Children are very innocent and they learn all the time, not just in the school. Every day offers “teachable moments” when you as a parent can help your child to learn.

          Over generations, man has changed and his requirements & have a very different meaning today. Life has more meaning when one sees the importance of education in life and its overall development. Most of us today feel that the importance of education lies in the resultant ‘Financial benefits’ and hence tend to move in that direction. Nothing’s wrong basically, because financial development is an essential part of progress.

          But, can that be the only objective of progress is the question today. Education on the whole has an impact on one’s personality and outlook in life. This doesn’t mean if one takes to professional education, they can’t be good human beings in this world. The answer to the question of being a good human being lies in the individual’s upbringing. As I understand, making of a good human being does not remain within the parameters of family background and upbringing; the perspective of education also proves its impact factor in the shaping of Human character, viewpoint, outlook, ethics, moral values and social consciousness are the resultant factors of education.

          Many have said this earlier and I say it once again with a little difference.  Almost every school sees the need for excellent results like a centum even in languages or social sciences. But that apart, let’s make an effort to broadly identify the need for a perspective in education. I think this would have an important effect on society and humanity. Again, one should realize that all theories have an important practical side to their philosophies.

Healthy Competition - Growth in all respects should be mutual, whether in a family, at school or in society, Otherwise it tends to lose the very meaning it carries. When one competes with another, it has to be healthy because your growth is evaluated with respect to the other person’s growth. If not, one’s progress would be called a boon from the heavens.

The Value of Ethics and Morals – The more we talk the less it is. Let us analyze the other side of it. If we don’t encourage it at the right age, how does one make an adult realize the importance of it? Why does selfishness breed insecurity? Giving importance to values and ethics does not mean self-sacrifice. One need not totally sacrifice at alter of success for another, but avoid being a party to immoral and unethical practices in life. What does one lose if he or she went the right way? You take time, but then you stay at the peak of success longer as you learn to retain your status. I am sure you would have heard of the famous saying, “It is not important to be successful, but it is important to remain successful for a longer period.”

Social Consciousness - The awareness of probity in public life. Has a lot of importance today, because one person’s growth seems to affect the other. It is very relevant, as individual progress alone does not contribute to society; it is the progress of society at large that makes everyone’s living better. A child should realize the effect of doing wrong and the resultant factors that would affect its life at a later stage. For example, if I were taught to follow the traffic rules scrupulously, then I know if I make a mistake what would affect me or someone else. If I was told that copying was wrong and getting a First Class by copying was wrong, I become conscious of the consequences of getting a job and retaining it. Even if I were to get a job, I cannot retain it for long, because I wouldn’t know how to do it in the First place.

There quite a few I would like to put it on this site, but then it would be too long and too many points for us to discuss. All of us need to discuss on the above as we are responsible citizens of a great nation.

Now coming to the main part of “Choosing the Right School for your child”

Preamble: Please mind my words, here I am saying Choosing the Right School and not Board or University. I want to clarify that no board is either good or bad, all boards generally follow the local State pattern (except few things). It all depends on the School. The pattern of respective boards are same in the respective schools all over, but it depends on the School as to how they execute the given pattern, teach, maintain balance between sports and study, take care of the wards, induce good qualities, discipline, helps child to develop their individual personality, etc.

1)          Pre-Nursery and Play Schools:
Do they help? Well, it is debatable. Many premiere schools are against these play schools. I recollect that I have read somewhere in the Times of India that a principal said that it takes them a good time to make the child unlearn what it learns at these playschools. Well, I would say that there are too many play schools that have opened smelling the need of working parents. Barring such schools, some genuine play schools do help in making your child go through that pseudo environment which takes away the fear factor and helps the child make friends and learn a few basic things and at the same time have fun! But I am surprised at how some schools tend to be judgmental about a child not having the ’potential’. My suggestion is do not take their advice too seriously.

2)         The Price factor:
Educating your child is a costly affair nowadays. Everything comes with a price. The tuition fees itself runs to thousands. There is no dearth of schools with the ‘International’ tag attached to them which provide AC classrooms and library, Swimming pools and huge playgrounds and lots of extracurricular activities and god knows what (well ask the school authorities, they would make you feel as if you would be rejecting doors to heaven if you do not admit your child there). There are too many ‘education shops’ open there which just want to mint money. My personal opinion is that a Child should stay away from luxuries during his entire school life. Let him understand that everything does not come on a platter.
So, my personal Opinion is a “BIG NO” to these Luxurious Schools.

3)         Proximity to your residence:
Many schools prefer Local Residents. In fact, a residence proof is also required at the time of submitting the form. Some actually want to know how many kilometers is your residence from their school. It works both for the school as well as for the parents. Imagine being summoned by the teacher(s) or the Principal or even attending the school functions and travelling miles to reach there. You would be listening to abuses from your boss at work and spouse alike. Leave that, if the child misses the School Bus and looks at you askance, you would have no other option than to escort him to school in whatever way possible. So, why not keep it close, if possible?

4)         Understanding your Child:
Every child is unique & no one understands your child better than you do. The standard age that they look for a nursery admission is 3+ and for Junior Kg it’s 4+. But if at all your child seems to be taking time in being ‘Normal’ and mixing with strangers, just pause and decide for yourself. Prolonging his admission won’t make him a backward student, rather the time you spend with him feel confident and have a good self esteem would be thousand times better than hastily admitting him with the fear that he maybe ‘Left behind’.

5)         It’s not the End of the Road:
If at all, in spite of the best of your sincere efforts, you are not able to get your child admitted in the school of your preference, do not run from pillar to post or make yourself pitiable. Just relax, Let the child spend his initial carefree days playing and learning through fun. Do not make him conscious of your “failure” in not being able to get him admitted to the best of schools. It will paralyze his growth in the long run.

Conclusion: Finding the Right school for your child is one of the most important tasks you as a parent will perform during their formative years. If you make the right choice and use your checklist then you will find your child will be happy, content and flourish in the pursuit of knowledge, which is one of the greatest gifts you as a parent will ever receive.

PS (Post Script): I have used the male gender for the child to make it easy to explain. Needless to say, it applies to both the genders. And, that reminds me that there are still some parents even in the upwardly mobile societies who discriminate between the quality of education provided to a male child and one to the female child. Please, do not even think of that.

“Education is the best gift parents can give a Child”
I wish all Parents, very Best of Luck!


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25 comments:

  1. this site is very helpful

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  2. very nice site helped me alot

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  3. These are truely beautiful words for the parents ! Many thanks for sharing these pricelss advices !!!

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  4. Very Nice Guidance Sir, your words are truly inspiring & encouraging.

    Sir, do you remember me, I am Meghna. Salgaonkar., whom you had counseled by emails, Sincerely Thanks for all your help!
    Looking forward to meet to someday in person.
    Really, Thanks a lot!

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  5. Thanks Meghna & others for liking the column.

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  6. Mr. Rathod! Thanks a million for your advice & humble contribution, this article solves many confusions of parents!

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  7. Mr. Vijay Vilas BhatkarMarch 15, 2012 at 2:55 AM

    This article is very useful for those who want to secure their child's education; thank you for taking a lead here!

    - Vijay Bhatkar.

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  8. Sir, Very nice Article please keep up all the good work.

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  9. When will the school reopen-11th or 15th?

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  10. It was truly enlightening and an eye opener article..

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  11. Thanks a lot... really a very much informative article

    Avinash

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  12. Thanks a lot Sir, This article truly made my thoughts change.

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  13. Thanks a lot sir....I have recently bought a house in VV and the first thing I have heard good is of VV School. Reading the above comments and the phrase "Education is the best gift parents can give a Child" makes me feel good thanking my own parents. And giving the same to my children.

    Thanks

    Sujay Desai

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  14. Sir... Is it really necessary to send my kid to a pre-school? Does it really add any value? Or is it just a solution for working parents who cannot give time to their kid?
    My son has just turned One and my wife has already started thinking of a pre-school even though she is not working. I have seen very young kids aged 2-3 crying while going to these pre-schools. Why burden them at such a young age? And especially when one of the parent is home?
    But my wife feels that everyone else is sending their kids to pre-schools and so should we, else our son will be "left behind" !!
    Can you pleae guide?

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  15. This is very informative article. I want suggestion about which medium is better for eduction english or mother tongue (Marathi).

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    1. Dear Nitin,
      Choosing the Medium of School is a debatable issue.
      As per my views Studying in the mother tongue is advantageous to the child’s development. There is no room for doubts and it also encourages divergent thinking. A child is able to understand concepts and subjects better and they can express themselves more fluently when taught in their mother tongue. Quality education begins with the mother tongue; a foundation in the mother tongue also ensures effective education and high levels of proficiency in many languages. There are over 7000 languages, thus encouraging, promoting & preserving your mother tongue is equally important from that per-se.

      From the Legal Hat "Education in the mother tongue is also guaranteed in our constitution and recommended in the National Curricular Framework, 2005 and The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009."

      Still there is a misconception among middle class and upper middle class families about vernacular education. These parents look down on vernacular education because going to an English-medium school has become a status symbol. They assume that a child who studies in English will automatically have a good career.

      But having said that, it is equally important that parents should be well versed with their mother tongue & should be capable of teaching their child at Home in that particular language. Unfortunately over the period of time, we all have developed a mixed language Hindi-English-Marathi. Further in Cities there are very few schools, which teach in vernacular medium, also there are very few guidance centers left for further vernacular higher studies, fortunately or unfortunately we all are becoming part of the ongoing system.

      Thus all I can conclude is that language is not a barrier, just a medium of Education. So it all depends upon your personal choice on selecting the medium of school for your child. Wish you a very Best of Luck.

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  16. Dear Mr. Rathod, Thanks for the nice read. It really is a useful guidance for the parents.
    You have mentioned about prolonging the child's admission, if needed. Me and my husband completely agree with this. But the question is does any school accept this? My daughter was born on 22nd Dec 2010. As per her age and the criterion set by all the school she should be admitted to Jr. KG. However, me and my husband both feel that being just 8 days older that a child born on 1st Jan 2011, does not make her eligible to enter into Jr. KG. We would like her to get admitted to Nursery. But all schools follow the age criteria quiet seriously. Is there any solution to this problem? Please guide.

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    1. Dear Sarika,
      Firstly don't look at your Childs age in terms of number, look at her maturity & her ability to grasp things.

      If you feel she needs more time, take a pause as suggested. Yes most schools follow the age criteria laid by the Local Municipal Corporation. But if you need to take a pause, better visit the principal of the School, where you are desirous to take an admission & discuss out the underlying issues at the back of your mind. A sensible Principal should be definitely more accommodative in offering a solution.
      Wishing you a very Best of Luck

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  17. Sir, this is a wonderful forum and very informative. I stay in Kasheli (near Thane) and I have heard that Goenka and associates are planning to open a new school somewhere in Kalher or Kasheli. Can you please share info on that?

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  18. Sir,
    A very Good Afternoon.
    Based on how good i know my children, I wish to admit my children (Daughter for 1st Std. & Son for Nursery) to your school.

    Since, I have just jumped from Talegaon Dabhade (Pune) to Airoli as change in my job, I wish to shift entire family to Thane.

    Humble request to you -- Please guide me on following:
    1. Whether I can get these two admissions?.
    2. I f yes, When can i meet the School officials & what will be the timmings.
    3. What will be the min. criteria for admission. Documents reqd. & Fee structure, etc.
    Thank you,

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  19. Thank you so much for your advice through this article it has given me a start to search for the best school for my child.

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  20. Hello Mr. Rathod,

    Currently, I am in middle of sea for my Child, not able to decide my further step for him.

    Actually at the age of 1.5 years I dropped him into playgroup just coz we both are working and we do not have childrens in our society to play with him, thinking that ,he might get group of childrens to play with and we will be able to manage office timings accordingly. Now he learned everything he knew most of the things that teacher had taught him in play group.

    Now, I would like to put him in nursery but due to age factor, (he is now completed 2 years), I am not able to decide a path for him and need your help in forming his future.

    As, every school is having criteria of 3 years for taking admission in nursery, I am unable to admit him in school, and more thing is that I do not want to change his school eventually so looking for a long run admission in any institution.

    If I admit him in any preschool(having nursery and jr& sr KG only ) then it will be hard for him to get admission in good school, that I came to know after a lot of discussions and net surfing. or I need him to repeat either playgroup or nursery.

    what should I do, please suggest ?

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  21. Hello Mr. Rathod,

    Currently, I am in middle of sea for my Child, not able to decide my further step for him.

    Actually at the age of 1.5 years I dropped him into playgroup just coz we both are working and we do not have childrens in our society to play with him, thinking that, he might get group of childrens to play with and we will be able to manage office timings accordingly. Now he learned everything he knew most of the things that teacher had taught him in play group.

    Now, I would like to put him in nursery but due to age factor, he is now completed 2 years, I am not able to decide a path for him and need your help in forming his future.

    As, every school is having criteria of 3 years for taking admission in nursery, I am unable to admit him in school, and more thing is that I do not want to change his school eventually so looking for a long run admission in any institution.

    If I admit him in any preschool having Playgroup, Jr. & Sr. KG only then it will be hard for him to get admission in good school, that I came to know after a lot of discussions and net surfing. or I need him to repeat either playgroup or nursery.

    what should I do, please suggest ?

    ReplyDelete

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