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.
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 not...no 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.)
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...
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.