Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Going Back To School

Rahul is a fourteen year old kid and has changed his school thrice in last year. First was too expensive to handle for his father, second boasted of high society kids and last one wasn’t proving to be a satisfactory education provider as per his father. He pays hefty fees for his son’s education along with other donations – mind you, its convent education. Rahul is over burdened with his studies, extra curricular activities, peer pressure, family pressure and the rest.

May be I am not able to explain what I want to. All I want to say is, isn’t it too expensive price for an overly hyped product – the convent education claiming to provide an all round development of the child.

If I look back at my schooling, it’s been all in schools sponsored by RSS. And the education has been cheap and good.

RSS is an organization which has its roots deep in the society. Most claim the roots to be limited to the upper caste but I beg to differ. Its is one of the best, committed to the society and country, cultured and intellectual bunch of students, teachers, businessmen, politicians, policemen, servicemen, unemployed and whatever you can think of. I agree that RSS might have lost some of its good name thanks to its political affiliations but it still stands tall. After all, if an organization after continuous black painting on its name by media which was backed by a family of prime ministers for so long, its has to have its worth in gold.

The schools run by RSS, especially Sharaswati Shishu Mandir, provide quality education which comes at an affordable price for most. The education keeps you informed about your own culture, history and instills pride & values. A critical eye points out their lesser focus on English as a language but that is an operational issue. The real problem is that sometime they get carried away by their religious commitments and over do things.

I am not saying at all that other means of education are any inferior but I am just highlighting and praising a system of education providers built by a very respectable organization RSS. This system is loosing its sheen to the convent education system, at least in the cities I have seen over the last few years. I have interacted some of the products of this convent education system over the last few years and have been stunned by them. Every time you say a number higher than ten in Hindi say chaubees (24), you invariably get the same reply – “How much is chaubees?”. For most of them, Christmas is The Festival when they run around as if they were born in Vatican City and imported to India on a special order from Mother Teresa. I don’t say don’t celebrate a festival because it’s not in your religion but why can’t you remember when does Indian new year start? They would have heard about Premchandra but would know all about Othello andMacbeth. And they speak at the rate of four “F” every sentence.

Common, I am sounding like a preacher out to purify the society. But I see this most of this modern convent education as a tool to misdirect and westernize and RSS schools otherwise. Only if they can modernize a little bit and do away with extreme fundamentalism. One of my friends has actually met a class 12th student speaking in a complete US accent and asking him, “Oh, you are from Jharkhand? Which state is it in?” or I have met a convent educated girl who didn’t have the slightest of clues about Jaliyanwala Bagh. I cannot believe one can forget or miss these things. Only possibility is that you were never taught about them.

Post 1947, RSS sponsored schools were a good base to build a generation which was proud of what it is. It worked quite well for decades but now has started loosing to Macaulay’s dream, at least in that is what my perception is.

Just before I sign off, I switched on “Aaj Tak” and stopped by because they have breaking news. Sherlyn Chopra, some item girl, is banned from her gym because they found her clothes to be too short. Aaj Tak helped the aggrieved lady by giving its ears to her on prime time. As I swapped the channels, “Headlines Today” was also interviewing her and they actually made her stand and turn around to prove that her cloths were actually not very small. Aaah….I love these news channels.


Spiff said...

Two things here
1. Anecdotal evidence is not enough for generalising about the whole education system..

2. what you really seem to be complaining about is- lack of grounded ralities in some specimen..but remember..ppl are dumb irrespective of the fact that they hav an accent or not

Vibhash Prakash Awasthi said...

1. the evidences were too strong to be ignored. Such lack of knowledge cannot be attributed to individual dumbness totally. There has to be something wrong somewhere else in the system as well.
2. What I am complaining about convent education being over hyped and praising RSS.

Spiff said...

Ofcourse...many things are rong in the system..am just saying...to half baked examples will not prove a thing either way..

Vibhash Prakash Awasthi said...

Examples never prove anything....they just hint the existence of a trend.

Anirudh said...

I agree to most of the points you have mentioned..... getting admissions in convent schools looks like the latest trend.

>>Examples never prove anything....they just hint the existence of a trend.

Well said sir!! :D

Spiff said...

u dont seem to get the point...and ll not try further

LoonyTalk said...

I have some friends who went to Saraswati Shishu Mandir and have heard sorry tales about the strict discipline enforced in there. Not that I have any grudge against it...
Nevertheless, I studied in convent schools throughout my school life and my experience is quite in contrast to what you have posted here! They are good schools with an evident emphasis on English and yeah, Santa Claus :) But there is nothing to suggest that they are forcing a Western culture as such... The curriculum is CBSE and the English thing came in handy in my undergrad and later education.
Any reason why you seem biased against the system, except for the sporadic instances you have mentioned? I believe that experiences with such idiotic characters can be had regardless of their school education...

Vibhash Prakash Awasthi said...

@loonytalk....if u look at the matrimonial ads in india...most of thm wud have a line in bold which includes ..."convent educated".
i am not belittling convent education but saying that its overhyped....and prasing the system put in place by RSS, i have very high regard for them.
dont compare urself with the examples i have given...u belong to top 1%. try interacting with the lesser mortals....though i have just Anecdotal evidence but no concrete data