any things can stress parents out about school admissions in India. The process is often very competitive, and it can be hard to get into the school of your choice. There may also be entrance exams and other requirements that need to be met. All of this can be very overwhelming for parents. I am listing some issues that scare parents and they fear the day their child is ready/born for school.
1) What is the right age for my child to join the school?
Admission age ranges from two years six months to three years 10 months depending on the school. For lower kindergarten (LKG), the range is from three-and-a-half years to four years 10 months. (source The Hindu) But do you know in Finland, Students start school when they are seven years old. They are allowed to enjoy their early years of childhood.
Though early childhood educators warn both management and parents not to enroll children into formal schooling before the age of four, parents take this decision because they are always in the fear of getting a seat in the reputed school of their liking.
2) What is the best school?
No one can answer this, can we?? But generally, these 'BEST" schools have a very scary building, strict principals, and a strict set of rules. On what basis are the top schools ranked in India, it must be based on the results they produce, the capacity of the school, Infrastructure, Strength of Faculty, and several other factors that are related to quality education like how clean is the corridor or how ancient the school building is etc.
3) Should you join a preschool or go directly to formal schools?
Many parents decide to put the kids directly in full-fledged schools because they have a fear that later admission to grade one will be difficult so they prefer reserving the seat earlier. Though the research says that the fine motor coordination and neuro-muscular development of the child do not set in before five years, many schools claim that they will help your child read and write from the age of two.
4) Activity-based schooling or Regular Schooling?
To choose between Montessori, Reggio- Emilia, or Waldorf. Montessori teaches children leadership and independence at a young age, which will help them achieve success later in life.
Waldorf Schools emphasize a play-based approach and provide children with a consistent schedule in which some days of the week are dedicated to hobbies such as baking or gardening. They also use a similar classroom structure to Montessori schools, with mixed-age classes taught by the same instructor for several years.
Project-based learning is common at Reggio Emilia-inspired schools, with classes tailored to the interests of pupils. If kids show an interest in a subject and ask the instructor questions about it, the teacher will engage pupils in self-directed learning rather than just answering inquiries — a child-centered and teacher-framed approach to education.
Now the decision is yours...
5) Should you shift near the school or depend on the transportation provided by the school?
Some schools expect you to shift near the school building and guess what, this is one of the ways to get into schools of your liking. You have the advantage to get admission if your house is within 2- 3 km of the school building. During admission, not only the child's IQ is tested, but also the distance between your house and the school. Start packing..
6) Does the sibling study in the same school or are the parents an alumni of the school?
Several private schools have been shown to have accepted a substantial number of children who applied under the alumni-parent or sibling criterion. So basically schools give you points based on having a sibling in the school or parents being the alumni. God bless the first born.
7) When parents can't speak in English- Not being able to speak in English can be a real challenge, because when parents are interviewed they are expected to know English so that they can help the child. By the way, there are a lot of sources on the internet that help parents prepare for the interviews. All the Best!!
8) But how much do you make?- Some schools also take into account if both parents are earning, how much they are making together. So you are required to have your payslips ready. By the way, some schools also want to know the education of the parents, so keep your certificates ready. Just in case.
9) If both parents are working who will care for the child? During admissions schools also want to make sure if both the parents are working to find out who will be taking care of the child. With the soaring fees in all the private schools, is it a surprise that both parents need to work, and now will one of the parent quit to take care?
10) Single parents can be denied admissions- Some schools deny admission to children of single parents as they fear how single parents will be able to take care/pay of the child. Recently an order was issued by Udit Prakash Rai, Director, DoE saying that “All the heads of schools are hereby directed to not deny admission to the candidates who have filled the details of even one parent in the application form while taking admission,” as published in The Indian Express
11) Queuing up for admissions-
Parents are required to queue to collect the admission forms and many of them collect forms from several schools so that they do not miss the admission entirely also parents generally need to take off from their work to do this drill. Now mom and dad you decide, who is going to pick the school form.
12) Are you a Roman - Catholic? - Mind you sometimes this also matters to get into very reputed schools.
13) To choose between the old school system and the new school system- The new schools use the most up-to-date teaching practices and encourage inquiry-based learning rather than rote learning with the lesser teacher to student ratio, on the other hand, the old schools are the ones with the reputation and history but they are stagnant in terms of innovation and curriculum. But the tie breaker here becomes the fee, anyways choosing is tough.
14) Already conceived but didn't apply for admission yet?-
You are late if you have conceived but have not yet applied to one of the very renowned schools in Chennai. The Father of a six-month-old was sent back as the school said he was late for the batch of 2022 when he went for admission in 2018. (I want to meet that guy)
15) Fee must be the least of your concern ;)-
The battle between the school management and the parents is always on regarding the hike in the fee structure of the schools and this will go on indefinitely. Hope you have saved enough to pay for the admissions.
There are so many schools all over the country so why this race for the established schools or why do parents prefer schools with a track record for academic excellence or why are they so particular about sending their children to the same school they went to? Are schools ageing like wine??
Are you a parent who is in the middle of finding the right school for your child, I am sorry I had no intention to cause any mental distress to you. I was just sharing my opinion on this Kolaveri of schools. I tend to get very aggressive when I hear stories of admissions from parents. It's definitely up to a parent's capability to chase schools of their liking but my suggestion is to take it easy. Anyways, All the best!! If you feel like talking or sharing your story, I am always here.
Please Note: I don't intent to hurt anyone's feeling or mock any organisation as I write this. This is my personal perspective.
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