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School Hunting

Discussion in 'Schoolgoers & Teens' started by Shanvy, Jan 7, 2008.

  1. Shanvy

    Shanvy IL Hall of Fame

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    Ok. The big decision of returning back to india is over…now comes the next stages and on…and the most important of all this is the school hunt, if you have a 3 year old, you are not so worried as when you are returning with a teenage or a middle/high school kids….the transitions, be it syllabus, peer environment or the whole environment in general..the amount of tension, the emotional stress and the validation of the decision everything the parents go through cannot be compared…shall I say hell....

    This weekend I had a email from my friend,” shanthi, what shall I do, my son goes to the state of art school here in the US, with only 10 kids in his class, how will he cope up with a 40 student class”….and have been getting lots of queries in the same trend from aspiring return to India parents also..

    So what do you think is education, is it studying physics,chemistry,maths or English….no…to quote..vivekandanda.. Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man.

    I abhor the system which aims at educating our children in the same manner as that of the man who battered his ass, being advised that it could thereby be turned into a horse.(ofcourse let me not get deviated..)..but that is how the school, the parents are ..

    A piece of suggestion, from a been there parent:

    First, you have to understand, Indian education system is different, than the counterparts…and our conditioning about schools is different.. …It’s the public schools however that have in fact become the torchbearers of quality education in India. Public schools here are synonymous with private schools. This is in sharp contrast to the West where state-run schools are considered to be the best. you cannot expect a vast change from when you left school to now..there has been a change in the outlook of education, the competitive spirit, the teachers approach, students approach and also the syllabus…..

    Usually, the criteria to pick a good school…in my opinion….

    Quality of faculty: Based on the teachers’ educational background, their experience and teaching effectiveness. Today the government is bringing in stringent rules that a teacher has to compulsorily have a B.Ed, M.Ed.along with the graduation or post graduation. In some instances, though the teacher does have a high qualification, the drive, the thirst to keep themselves updated is not seen..which reflects on the kids also….

    Infrastructure and facilities: Including the buildings, classrooms, computer labs, libraries and playgrounds…as I said playgrounds are shrinking..hygene, cleanliness should be seen to a extent..you cannot expect the school to be like your home..though it could be at least next best if your kid is going to stay there for more than 8 hours of his time, but that is not the case.

    Attention to students: Assessed on the basis of student-faculty ratio as well as the class size. But today with the urban population bursting the seams, the demand is more than the supply…so don’t expect a 1:10 ratio…there are classes which have 1:70..and sections upto m,n,l…..

    Sports: Facilities for different sports and encouragement given to students to excel in their areas of interest; today parents feel, let my child get a better academic education, I can provide the sports facilities outside the school.

    Co-curricular activities: Importance given to co-curricular activities like debates, quiz, dramatics, etc.. of course this is equally important..there are very few schools that give much importance to this..

    Academic environment: As reflected in the final examination results. Does only final examination count? Then you can narrow your searches to result oriented schools…
    Along with this, I would like to iterate, please think of the distance your child has to travel..very few schools have the distance criteria. There are kids who travel 20/30 km to a school in the city from a suburbs…half the time, is wasted on traveling…and how will the kid perform…

    Though I have given the point for a good school, very very few schools can be called the best, if we scale them rigidly with these pointers…..
    The list could go on…

    So when you are narrowing on a school, think there are like minded parents…and when you aim at the best schools, the school teacher student ratios, or the number of sections for a single class cannot be small owing to the demand.
    Again, whether you are going to put you child in the best, mediocre or an average school you have to give your inputs to your child,which is the common scenario that is seen .(esp.chennai..).
    Second language, the most common problems faced by most parents is this one…
    There are two school of thoughts..one why can’t your kid learn the mother tongue instead of you searching for schools with foreign languages…and another that already the transition is going to be difficult, let the child at least not have too much struggle to learn a new language.. it is your decision about the language and also about the school that has that facility.
    Even before you start, please condition your mind, to the differences in the education system, the atmosphere, and everything…without too much comparisons and expectations…it will be a smooth ride.
    Talk to your neighbours, kids who play around your building, about the schools.
    Talk to the other parents who pick up application in schools, sometimes you would be surprised to hear stories about schools you thought were the best…..(from experience…)

    Happy school hunt ……….:iagree.

    (These are all my personal views, need not be completely accepted by others…but it is an effort to help those who need pointers….)
     
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  2. sesirekha

    sesirekha New IL'ite

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    hi shanvy

    I joined in this IL community few days back. I read your message and i really agree with you on every point you mentioned. :iagree . It's a very nice way you explained all the points. I also want to tell my opinion here about Indian schools especially in chennai.

    If parents returning with their kids who are very young , there is absolutely no need to worry as you already said. But only if parents returning whose kids are little bit older, then the situation may be entirely different. The kids will undergo anormous pressure for first few years. But later on they may get easily adjusted. And it will be very benefitting for those kids as the standards here in maths and sciences are very high. All countries are now looking forward to learn from our education system. Our Indian kids will perform extraordinarily in all international and national competitions.

    I am not against the education system in other countries ( i don't even know much about other education systems to be frank ). But if we compare academically Indian education is best in my view. But i also agree that most of the schools in India doesn't focus on all round development and that should change. Then it will benefit our indian kids much more.

    I only wanted to tell all the parents who took the bold decision of returning back , that there is absolutely no need to worry as kids will learn our Indian culture and values which are very rich and also they will get nice training in key areas like maths, sciences , english etc.
     
  3. Shanvy

    Shanvy IL Hall of Fame

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    hi sheshirekha,

    thanks for your points...I agree that ours is considered one of the best, but still there are lot of drawbacks in our system, we are more academic oriented in our syllabus...there should be more practical and observation oriented...at least till the 5/6th grade inculcating the urge to try and learn instead of roting in children...

    This thread is to bring in all those parents who have decided to r2i and are thinking about their kids education and worried...

    Kids when very young, learn to adjust very well...it is we as parents transfer our fears and tensions into them...and also a little bit of talking and referring that we will be back to india goes a long way....
     
  4. leelal

    leelal Bronze IL'ite

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    Hi Shanthi and Sasi,

    The points made regd school hunting are very valid. Education system is the very best in India. As Shnathi has mentioned, if practical knowledge and self questioning /analysis techniques are encouraged, we coudl see lots of scientists emerging from India. Now there are pvt people who started selling CDs for courseware with 3 D animations to make the subject easy for children. This is a good move.

    But definitely there exists scarcity of good qualified, empowering teachers [who used to be in our decade.] When School mgmts collect Rs.18-24000 per child in school fr a 2000 odd students and pay only Rs.2000 to 6000 per month to a teacher. Teaching proession doesn't seem to be attractive. School mgmt makes lots of money in this way. What are they doing with it? GOD ONLY KNOWS!!

    Similarly one of my NRI cousin was worried abt returning to India because his children do not like the shopping places as they are very dirty and mushy during rainy days.

    I had told him, the shop owners never expect you. If its ur need, u can buy from there or travel abroad to do the shopping in clean malls. Every day u r not going to buy, only on occasions , travelling by car and getting down near the mall, u do the shopping. There are lots of shopping areas not as pollutted as T.Nagar and pondy bazaar. Only u pay little more which u can afford to. Now he is seriusly considering returning to India with all the adjustments made.

    In India, most of things are like that. Same time, now with industrialization and budding enterpreneurs, there is radical change in the business approach. This seems to be good time for Gen Next to have a stay in India and enjoy its benefits..

    Above are some of my view points noted out of practical experiances. Hope to encourage your own judgement in taking decisions.


    By a patriotic Indian....
     
  5. sharmi28

    sharmi28 New IL'ite

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    Hi shanthi,

    really your thread was useful to me and me to have to think about it. Bcos I have a daughter who is going to celebrate her 4th birthday by this january? Even I am thinking about her shooling whether to put her in US or back to India for her studies.

    If u feel free pls give ur suggestions. Ur valuable suggestions will be more helpful for me.

    Thank u in advance.

    Sharmila.
     
  6. Shanvy

    Shanvy IL Hall of Fame

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    leelal,

    Thanks for stepping in with your views...I would definitely agree with what you say about teachers. I think if the schools do pay them well, they will not be forced to take tutions outside schools and would concentrate better at school....

    let us keep discussing....:coffee
     
  7. Shanvy

    Shanvy IL Hall of Fame

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    Sharmila,

    Beg to differ. At 4 your daughter needs you more than her Grandparents. Grandparents can be part of her life but cannot be parents. If you are planning to Return to India in the immediate future say in between the present academic year, you can definitely look at options of putting her in school in india otherwise it would be better you keep her with you.

    (This is my personal view.)
     
  8. Aabhi

    Aabhi Gold IL'ite

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    Oh Shanthi........ thank you so much for this wonderful thread.

    Right timing for me. Actually we are in the middle of the same confusion right now. My son is in KG2 (IGCSE syllabus) here in Dubai. We plan to return back to India in another 4 to 5 years. Let's say, when my son starts his high school or even earlier. We compared the IGCSE syllabus with our Matriculation syllabus (Tamil Nadu) and it seems the same for us. Since we do not have many CBSE schools in our home town, we plan to put him in any of the Matric schools. This was the complete plan earlier.

    But lately, some of friends are saying not to continue him in IGCSE and that he will struggle when he goes back. It would be a real pressure for the kid to move to our Matric syllabus ( to be successful academically). We are confused now. Sometimes, I feel he would adjust and sometimes no he can't. On other time, we feel let him enjoy the pleasure of 'O' level schools here (by the way..... he loves his current school.....it's perfect for him) till the 4th to 5th grade and when he continues in Matric syllabus back home he should be fine.

    How big is the difference between Matric & CBSE syllabus?. Is Matric syllabus is somehow same as the IGCSE syllabus? Is CBSE syllabus is the best Or Matric is good as well. Which one would benefit the kid more. The reason Iam asking this question is, if CBSE is going to benefit him more than the Matric, then we can move him to a CBSE schools right from the 1st grade onwards (here itself). So that he would not strain later to co-op with CBSE.

    Iam asking this question now, because the CBSE schools admission are going on now and we need to decide quickly if we wanted to start his 1st grade on CBSE. To change his school.


    Please Please..... let me have your valuable suggestions. Since you have both gulf & chennai experience (with kids), your reply would be very helpful.

    Thanks a lot.:thankyou2:
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2008
  9. Shanvy

    Shanvy IL Hall of Fame

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    Abhi,

    I am happy that this post was useful for you.

    Though you would know..again let us sum up....

    GCSE/IGCSE/GCE are part of the british system.

    GCSE stands for general certificate of secondary education. IGCSE is just new the international version. they replaced the 'O' Level (Ordinary Level) GCE (general certificate of education), and are awarded after the student finishes year 11 (what we used to refer to as the 5th form in the same british form).

    the 2 years before college (years 12 and 13, what we called the 6th form: lower 6 and upper 6) end with the GCE A Level (Advanced Level) exams.


    CBSE is would look a better option if you are returning back to india. and he will definitely have an greater advantage over students who are in matric when he comes into the matric system. even gcse he will not feel it difficult to cope in the matric system. as long you take care of the second language part.

    But again, if you have an option of putting him in cbse school in india, I would prefer cbse for the child, as the transition is very smooth. My kids have really adjusted well...

    I think you are confused, and all of us go through this phase when you start thinking about planning to r2i.

    if you have any doubts..you are welcome to discuss...

    all the best to you and your family.. and you still have 4 years...
     
  10. Aabhi

    Aabhi Gold IL'ite

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    Thank you for your quick reply shanthi,

    You've explained it very well. Helping to make the decision. We are definitely going to come back and why to have the GCSE system dragged inbetween. I too feel it would be good for my son to have CBSE as one minded without any changes to go through.

    Now my concern is after we change him here to CBSE and when we get back to India, we do not have any good CBSE shcools in Madurai and hence we need to choose any of the Matric school. What would you like to say more about this part.

    Regarding the 2nd language part, he has got Hindi. And therefore hindi would be the 2nd lang. Correct me If I am wrong, but I've heard recently that Tamil is (or going to be) compulsory for all the schools and hindi & french are going to be 3rd lang. Is that true? have you heard any news about this. Please advice.
     

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