School Diary – VI

I am aware that I am yet to update about Pari’s school life in the past 9 months. But there is something major happening right now, that’s why I am leaving the part V to be added later in the School Diary series.

It’s that time of the year when schools issue the admission forms and parents like me, who are planning on making the final shift from a play school to a formal school get on their toes. School admissions have always made me jittery. Firstly cause it’s about careful decision making for my child’s future. Secondly, cause it’s when I need to put my status of being divorcee on the table and wait with restlessly to see how the school management reacts to it.

But today, I am here to record my apprehensions, seeking your valuable opinion as I make the big move.

Pari is currently in a very good public school, but unfortunately, the school is only for junior classes so as she finishes her session in Nursery, it’s time to get her admitted in a new school. The limited choices given in a small town can sometimes make life easier. Hoever, people like yours truly, find reasons to worry about even in the most innocuous looking situations.

Out of the handful schools we had initially considered for seeking admission, I have finally shortlisted two. Both are public schools of good reputation with their scholars doing well in academics, sports and other fronts. After seeking opinions from a number of people we have arrived at a conclusion that school A is bit better than B.

Let’s focus on School A for today.

School A is a posh school with activities at par with the top schools in the country. I have visited the school personally, have taken a look around the school premises, spoken to the staff and management too. Like every parent I too wish to send Pari to the best school to ensure her all round development. Yes, I am one of those parents who hold academics at an important place in life, but for whom being active in sports and extra-curricular activities is equally important for the overall growth of the child.

School A offers everything, I, with my limited experience as a parent can imagine. From regular lessons in swimming, horse-riding, trekking, skating, dancing, music, art and more to centralized air conditioned school premises and school bus, meals and snacks being served in school.

The fees is a bomb, as expected, but one that can be shelled out, so this isn’t my point of worry (at this point). My worries started the minute when after a through look around the school, I was sitting in the waiting area for some formalities. I spotted a few kids (must be around standard 9 or 10) walk with iPads in their hands.

iPads in school is something, old fashioned me found a little too hard to swallow. While I have Pari’s best interest in my mind, I have serious concerns about her seeking admission in a school where kids would own fancy (read expensive) gadgets, toys, dresses and more right from kindergarten.

I might sound too old or old school, but having the most expensive dresses, stationery items and more don’t hold any place in my priority list (they never did even when I was a child). But, how would my child’s impressionable mind react to this situation? Even now, I often hear Pari asking me to get the fancy pencil box like her classmate’s father got for him from Dubai, party shoes to be worn daily to school (she doesn’t have a school uniform currently) and many similar requests.

Turning down all her requests doesn’t make any sense but giving in to her wishes under peer pressure would be a bigger failure. Though my parents strongly advocate her going to school A, I seem to have lost my mind worrying about the impact going to a posh school could have on my child.

We do have ACs in every room at home, but I cannot deny the fact that we do use them judiciously. If you are a regular reader of this blog, I am sure you are well aware of my & my family’s financial status. We aren’t financially unstable but there is definitely no money to splurge. Even in current times, I have no issues with preparing a fresh meal for Pari’s lunch-box every morning so a school that’s offering all meals and snacks is mere luxury to me.

I really don’t know if my babble thus far, made my point clear, but, I am worried as hell whether sending Pari to this school would be a wise move (at all). I wish to pass on the right messages to Pari from this age itself. I want her to understand our circumstances, financial status and that she will be denied things on many occasions (though with a open discussion about my decision) and that her mum will leave no stone un-turned to give her the best in life, but within practical limits.

People around me are of the opinion, being active in the extra-curricular activities that are a regular part of school A is the way of life in modern times. Getting good grades overlooking this important aspect of life isn’t my goal either, but I have my concerns.

School B is a public school that has a very good reputation for academics but they offer regular sports and limited extra-curricular activities just like most schools in the world do. Though I am yet to visit this school to offer a deep insight, but it is a standard school where students bring in their own food, the classrooms aren’t air-conditioned and usual strength of class is 40 as compared to 20 in school A. The fees is approximately half of what school A charges.

I’m looking for suggestions from the readers in making this decision wisely.

Do you think going to a posh school is the way of modern life?

What do you think I should primarily consider in making a choice of school for Pari?

Am I worrying uselessly or do you see some sense in all I have written?

What do you think?

3 thoughts on “School Diary – VI

  1. My thoughts on this are pretty jumbled too. I was pretty stuck on the idea of my kids going to a middle-class school for similar reasons to the ones you described. Unfortunately, I found that my child was not happy there. So after much deliberation I moved him to a more ‘international’ and thus more expensive school. He loves it. Luckily, the school has not asked for any extra expenses apart from the basics so far. His friends tend to be more affluent, and we find ourselves in the funny position of being one of the ‘poor’ ones, but so far it’s fine.

    What I realised is, these posh schools have resources to hire better teachers and also keep the student-teacher ratio down. This was the main thing that jumped out for me in what you wrote, 20 students vs 40 students. I wouldn’t be so concerned about extra-curriculars, you can get those outside school too. But the student-teacher ratio is important. Also, these schools tend to be more communicative with parents, which is a frill-thing but in case of a problem it helps.

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  2. I would go with School B. Not because of the high costs of School A, but because I believe a school is much more than fancy AC class rooms and high end extra curricular activities.

    The niece studies in a normal trust run public school, where in the yearly fees is 15k. The students are disciplined and parents are not even allowed to casually meet the teachers without prior appointment. And it ranks third in the top ten best schools in the city. So my point is, no..a posh school is not the way to go.


  3. My daughter is about to turn 2. I went to a couple of play schools for her. One school has all modern facilities, huge building, fancy toys and play area…and also one room with tablets fixed in a row! Honestly speaking, i was surprised. Why do we need tablets for toddlers??? There is so much to learn from the real world itself that I do not think they need to switch on TV, computers, mobiles, ipads etc to enhance their learning. I am of the opinion, that a school should provide the basic things- good teachers, discipline, good atmosphere, and the basic extra curricular activities. Anything more than that is all fancy and not needed per se. Also, if the child is always in company of kids, who flaunt the latest gadgets, accessories, dresses, all the time, I feel that slowly he may develop some kind of complex….so I would go for school B, if they are at par in the key areas. All the best and do let us know which one you finally choose.

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