I was recently talking to a friend of mine and he just told me how useless he feels now that he is in his final year of graduation. "The whole degree is useless", he told me. And I replied, "You feel just three years were a waste, I feel the whole education system in India is a waste." Yup, that sums up my feelings towards the education system in India, a system I literally abhor and I really do not subscribe to.
..........and then I read This article in TOI. It really made me think.
MUMBAI: Three-and-a-half year old Annapurni is a bundle of life and energy who prattles away in four languages and loves reciting her favourite folk tale about a farmer who spills ghee on the grass. Her parents, die-hard environmentalists Ganesh Subramanium and Sarita Pungaliya, have not sent her to school.
Like a small but growing number of parents in the city, they have decided to skip the process of formal education, avoiding the paranoia of school admissions, college entrances and the education rat race. Sampat and Vidya Shetty, parents of a bright four-year-old girl, Sanskriti, are also staunch believers in home-schooling.
"The current education system is more about stress, pressure and rote learning, less about knowledge," says Sampat. "Education today is all about mass-producing clones. With the high level of competition children lose their originality altogether."
The Shettys have both been journalists who in the course of their careers discovered how corrupt the institutions of higher education actually are. Yashodhara Kundaji and Kanwarjit Nagi read up extensively on various systems of education before deciding against putting their six-year-old son Anant in uniform.
"I remember how traumatic my initial years at school were because I didn't want to be separated from my parents," says Yashodhara. "I didn't want to put Anant through it." Outside the structured confines of the classroom these parents have much more freedom to explore other means of education, such as travel.
This article talks about how few set of parents in Mumbai who do not believe in the mainstream education system do not send their children to school and prefer schooling them from Home. They echo similar sentiments that I have in mind against the education system in India. They walk their talk, they practise what they preach.
I suddenly began wondering would I be ever as courageous as them. Disgust and contempt towards the current education system not withstanding, is it a right decision to not send your kid to school altogether? Will the child be psychologically affected if s/he doesn't undergo the traditional schooling method? I mean, I am all for alternative schooling and education methods. But is pulling the child out of school totally recommended?
I think whatever said and done, school is one of the most important areas of socialisation for a kid. Howbeneficial it would be for a child? I am just wondering.... There is a quote in the article which talks about how the current education system is a all about massproducing clones and how children loose their originality all together. Well, I believe when you subscribe to a particular system, one does tend to loose the orginality to a certain extent, not completely. It takes lot of guts to do something which goes against the tide but which is something you believe completely. I do not know. I salute these parents coz they are following a path that they believe in despite the obvious opposition. Just makes me glad that ideals still work in this world. However I have my doubts. Can a child be taught about various other things, skills in life while going to a regular school? if not, is taking a child off school completely a right thing to do? I don't know. In future, the child has to survive in this society. Would lack of schooling mean lack of development of social skills? There are just loads of questions inside my mind.
I am all for alternative methods of schooling. But I feel uncomfortable when I think about a child being schooled at home. Coz, the child then misses an important part of his/her socialisation, which is very very important.