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Posted By : geetha ravichandran
11/22/2011 2:19 PM


Off late, one sees a mushrooming of new-age schools around the country. International schools, IB curriculum and ultra-modrn teaching methods are often advertised, along with promises to turn your child into the next Einstein, Mozart or Tendulkar. those who can afford such schools, enroll their kids there. Other parents face anxiety whether their child in a traditional school will ever make it in life. After school coaching and extracurricular activity classes are another rage, promising to give your child the exta edge or bringing out his or her creative side.


The flawed and outdated Indian education system doesnt help. The pressure to score marks to secure a decent college seat is immense. It takes away the focus from true education and turns school into a goal-oriented factory for children. This leads to students who may have good grades, but often lack essential personality traits that will make them do well in life. In such a scenario, one wonders, what can a s chool do? If th esystem is flawed, or if commercialization is overpowering eveything else, how can a school with moderate resources still turn the Indian student into someone worthwhile? It is possible . Fortunately, it does not need teachers trained in Geneva or classes held on iPad apps for the same.

The key qualities a school must endeavour to impart in its students include-an ability to think, a natural curiosity, reasonable imagination, communication and mathematical skills. Also vital are a sense of thics, humility and being a team player. People with such qualities generally do well in life. The course materials need to be taught in a manner that brings out as many of the above qualities as possible. For example, to make students learn how to think, we should not just make them memorize dates of wars in history lessons. Perhaps we should discuss "Why do wars happen?" and let the child give his or her view.

Open-ended assignments, where children discover things on their own, develop curiosity better than pre-made spoon-fed videos. Imagination comes from reading books-not watching Tv or playing video games. In fact, any schol that can wer kids off the screen- TV, phone, computer or otherwise-is doing the child a huge favour. "Communication skills come, not only from teaching the language, but makeing the child express himself, rather than follow rules all the time. Ethics, humility and being a team player-these are soft skills that are hard to test on exams, but ultimately distinguish future leaders. Sport is excellent in developing such skills. So are certain extra-curricular activities that make people work in groups such as theatre or volunteer work. One doesnt need an expensive school to learn the basics in life. Your child's education is not a designer accessory for you to flaunt to the world. Nor does it need to be a source of anxiety. Just follow your intution on what feels right, and the answers will come. Books or video games-is it really that hard to figure out? Don't be taken in by the marketing . The most prominent people in this world were not taught in posh schools. They just learnt how to think for themselves.

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