Education … the basics

The hot topic today is education.  It is a subject close to everyone’s heart … especially to those with school going children.  Everyone is talking about it … the fisher folks along the beaches,  the paddy planters,  the vegetable farmers,  the cattle breeders,  the teachers,  the clerks and of course the political persons.

A lot of questions are asked around this topic because there are so many unanswered.

While  going through some materials received from visitors to my blogs/websites,  I came across a few  on the subject of education.   Some of these have been published in my earlier blogs a few years back,  but I feel the contents are still relevant.

Here’s one sent to me around 2009.


remember the time when,  for the first time,   I had to send my  child to school.    I was faced with a very difficult decision.    I had to choose a good school  for him.    I must find  a school with the best performance in terms of academic achievements.    I must find a school where the environment was the most suitable for a growing  child.     I must find a school where the security of my child is guaranteed,   because  I didn’t want to feel worried every time he was in school.     And then I have to find a school not too far from the house where we were staying.   It was a  tough job.

I remember,    my husband and I would spend sleepless nights thinking about this.    We would make a checklist.   We would make a list of the possible schools of our choice.   We would make an in-depth study of each school.   We would look at the teaching community,   the student population  and  of course the management of the school itself.   We would discuss at length  the pros and cons.   We would look at things from all angles.    We have  to be very careful about the choice,    because once we make our decision we must stick by it.    Changing school half way will be bad for the child.

Then on the day we registered the child,    we  kept our fingers crossed.    We were  hoping we would be given the school of our choice.

Of  course,   the authorities normally would suggest the school nearest to our residence.    Yes,  that is nice.    But not every school nearest to the house would fit the criteria of a good and safe school.    But at least my child would get a school and when the new session started ,   he would be going to start his new life of searching for knowledge in school  ….  and he would me making friends.

Nowadays with so many schools around,    it is quite difficult  for us to make our choice.     And with the addition of private schools,   the task is made even more difficult.    Some of these private schools are good or even better than some of the government schools.    But the only thing that makes us parents  stay away from private schools is the exorbitant  sum of money they charge for each child.     In  some cases,  this is quite justified especially  when looking at the performance of the school and the examination results each year.    These schools are equipped with the most modern teaching  paraphernalia,    a  good set of qualified teachers  and with a good library.     But there are some private schools,    which  frankly do not reach the standards required or promised.      These are the schools,  I would suggest we stay away from.     These schools are more interested in making money,   rather than giving education to our children  …. making education more of a commercial venture.

This is where  as parents we should know our roles  and responsibilities in the education of our children.    If we want to take the easy way out,    of course we would not bother very much about all these,   especially when we have the money to throw around.

This brings me to a remark made by an elderly gentleman,   who has retired from the teaching profession.   He was with it for more than 30 years.     He said that the school or the type of school is not that important.    What is important is the child.   If he goes to school to learn  to  be a useful citizen in later life,  than in whatever school we put him in,  he would do just that,  and he would excel.    It is not really necessary that the best school would produce the best students.    And we as parents have a very big role to play.

The writer would like to remain anonymous.


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