In continuation with this post I wrote on monday, lets talk about the business of schools. As fas as I know, until a couple of years back, one had not heard of newspaper and radio advertisements for the schools. Or maybe – I was just a frog in the well – didnt really concern myself with it.But have you seen the 4 page spreads that come along with the newspapers today?
It all starts from November for admissions in June. 4 colorful pages of children in a laboratory,in the grounds playing, at some exhibition, competitions and various extra curricular activities. Every school publisizes the collaboration with an ‘International University’ and call them selves as an ‘International school’. They all claim to have huge sprawling campuses with every facility under the sun – swimming and yoga being the minimum. There are even horse riding and pool lessons given to ‘age appropriate’ classes. And they all have class trips – within the city/within the country and 1 international trip at least for the higher classes. And they have different methods of teaching. Some talk about independent thinking while some talk about ‘Training the Brain’. Some talk about national level exams and some talk about international quizzes…
But how many of them really talk about the parent-teacher collaboration? One-on-one attention for kids in lower classes? As a parent-yes I do read through them all-who knows what I will be missing to ensure my child recieves? And then quietly put them all aside. For me the biggest catch is-they are not close enough. Apart from expenses which Im sure would be noteworthy, I dont think I want to send my kid to a school 25kms from home to a sprawling campus (atleast not right now) while he gets tired travelling and not enjoy the campus and the games. I would rather have him closer home-I dont mind him not learning swimming right now, but I do want easier access to the teacher. I do want my kid to be comfortable enough to stand up and tell his teacher that he wants to pee! Rather than be afraid to walk himself to the toilet in that huge campus! I want him to come home dirty because he played in mud and tell me stories of imagination, of what he built in school rather than coming home and telling me that he’s too tired to even talk to me because he travelled so far. Am I being stupid?
These are my priorities – yes, maybe still very much middle class-the 4 page Advertisement does catch my eye but it does not make me want to even go visit their FB page or their school website – Yes FB Page for a 5 year old!-what do you think? Do those 4 page advertisements really help?