Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Its that time of the year again...

Schools and Admission forms!

This time I managed to put my prejudices aside and am visiting schools to get information.

Although I am not sure I want her to leave a school that is a five minute walk from my house, where the teacher child ratio is 1:10, and where she is happy! To pull her out of a place like this because I have to secure her admission for later years in a school with a reputation? I am missing the logic somewhere. Where the teacher child ratio is 1:40? And the timings are according to shifts and not according to the time that children are alert? (A 'good' school nearby has one shift that begins at 12:45 and ends at 4:00pm) I am truly missing the link somewhere.

School #2:
I am allowed into the gate after an exchange that was unintelligible to both the parties- the watchman and me.

"Kya kaam hai?"
(shall translate now- hindi in any script other than devnagir is tedious)
"I want information about the School. Is there an admission officer I can speak to? "

"Do you want admission?"

(I should have said I am a wee bit old for that but...)

"Maybe, but I would like some information first."

"About admissions? You will get the forms on xyz date."

"But first I would like some information about the school."

"yes, but about information about the admissions? come at ABC time on XYZ date."

At some point this conversation died a natural death. He let me in pointing to the reception.

As I approached the reception manned by another security guard a lady stopped me.

"Yes, what is it?"

"I am looking at schools for my child, is there an Admission officer who can speak to me about your school?"

"Please come on xyz date and collect the forms."

"I want information regarding the school before i get the form."

"Look at the website."

( my curly hair, uncurled, curled again, and were ready to launch into a million darts...or so it felt to my blood vessels...)

"I would rather talk to someone as I would like to know some more. It is afterall a place my child will spend a lot of time in"

"No, we dont do that..."
( now the conversation is a bit of a blur... there was some exchange between the two of us... I am unsure what...i might have uttered the words....ridiculous... this school...clearly no...not an option...ridiculous...)

"Well then, thats your choice Madam, We only give the forms not information." (I have linked Madam to a wonderful post by Dipali, if you read my comment you will know what I feel about being addressed as Madam.)

School #3

The watchman did not understand what I wanted but something about the air of mad-woman-ready-to-spit-fire around me made him hastily point to the Inquiry window.

Ah, they actually had an inquiry window!

"I wanted some information regarding your school, whom can I meet."

"What do you want to know? which class will your child go to? admission forms are available now..."

"I want to know about the school..."

"What do you want to know? Its ICSE...." (aah yes, that explains it all, I know her syllabus now.I can go and buy the text books from Class 1 to class 10 now. Yippee!)

But this conversation actually moved into a space that was understandable for me, and yes, for her too.

About the facilities the schools had, about the kind of field trips, the kind of sports, libraries, labs...

School #1:
I sat across the table from a lady who understood each of my questions, responded, handed Sanah a pencil and paper so she could be busy, went over each and every query of mine, discussed attitudes and philosophies of education and did not frown when I said I am happy with the little neighbourhood school she goes to now and I intend to keep her there until senior KG.

Small problem -I cannot continue being an independent film maker fiercely protective about the independent part.(which means less money making and more labour) A producer with a TV channel maybe, most practical would be to get myself a fancy corporate job and preferably get paid in dollars.

Incase you think my child will never see the inside of a school after senior kg, dont worry, I do have option B. And that is not home schooling. Though its very tempting,a close friend has exercised that option, and is doing wonderfully. The child is not 'anti social' as warned by well wishers!She is bright and curious.


Parul said...


Space Bar said...

admissions are crazy. just crazy. and you guys have this distance thing also, which is so terrible for the kids. what if there are no good schools nearby?

shantamma said, start your own schools if you're that passionate about it. i wish we could. i wish we didn't have to worry about school boards, affiliations and certificates.

good luck and hope sanah finds a school she loves to go to every day of her school life.

Banno said...

those crazy times. good luck!

asaaan said...

Good luck..
I hope you can reach a decision which will make everyone happy.

the mad momma said...

dont go there. we have a school to check out tomorrow and i am already feeling aggressive. they think they're doing us a favour by even letting us in to get forms. let alone tell us anything about the darn place. i commend you on holding your tongue. it would have been damn hard for me.

SUR NOTES said...

parul: thanks!

spacebar: distance is a HUGE issue. the ones close by have bulit up quite a reputation now, but all these are schools that are only focussed on building their reputation further by producing the toppers.

banno: am coming to you for advice and insight. when are you free?

asaan: she is happy now, thats why i am keen she enjoys these first few critical years.

tmm: :( i did not hold my tongue and thats why that part of the conversation is a blur. i only remember saying ridiculous many many times!

anja said...

Good luck with finding the perfect fit for Sanah. I would have muscled my way past that security guy while snarling..

I am finding it hard to find the perfect pre s for Anika too..I am not satisfied very easily when it comes to her. I know she'll be fine, its just about me letting go..

pappu poppins said...

u should find if there are any montessori schools nearby. they're damm good and don't give a hell about building up their reputation.
was in a montessori school till my primary and i can still critically say it was the best school ever..

Rohini said...

The trouble is there is such a paucity of good quality schools in this country that the ones that do pass muster get far more applications than they know what to do with it. So they don't see any point in doing more than giving out forms... really, we need more good schools!