We dont need no education

“School asks parents to stay away from media”

What does this headline tell us about our values?

Last weeks addition of a daily newspaper, the Mail Today carried an interesting article on a Delhi School’s response to a parents’ resistance to a hike in school fees. As per the article, the school had asked both parents and students to sign undertakings restricting them from speaking about the matter to third parties.

The article also stated that such strong-arm tactics forcing or coercing anyone to enter into an agreement of this nature is illegal and the Directorate of Education is contemplating action against the school. Common sense – is it not??

But the larger question that we need to answer is – What ails our educational institutions and education system? A school is a place where we send our children – our future generation – to get an “education”. In my books – some of the essential components of education are developing a moral character (i.e. being able to distinguish between right and wrong, respect for the law, honesty, etal) in addition to learning the normal subjects. However, if our educational institutions themselves display lack these essential charecteristics (as seems to be the case with the educational institution mentioned in this article) – how do we expect them to develop the moral fibre in our children.

Then why would we want to send our children to a school like this? I surely would not classify this school as a good school! Then the answer must be either (1) there are shortage of schooling options available in the area, or (2) we as parents and as a society, have become immune and consider such indiscretions minor and not worth our action – both scenarios being a sad reflection of who we have become.

In some respects, India is not shining at all!!

In this context, I would like to tell you about an inspiring story of a family of modest means – who had the courage of their convictions to stand up for their principles. Believing that their two daughters deserved the best education their money could buy, the family put them in a respected private school. However, when one day, the school in its infinite wisdom, and for reasons best known to them, decided to force every parent to buy a dictionary for each child that studied in the school – the parents of the two girls (despite being counselled to the contrary by friends and family) decided to withdraw both their children from the school rather than be coerced into buying multiple copies of a book they did not require.

Both girls have grown up to be excellent human beings and great contributors to society (both are teachers / educationalists who try and instil progressive and positive qualities in the children they teach / interact with). Kudos to the parents, who have led and continue to lead their children by way of example!

I wonder why we do not hear of more instances like this,
to inspire the rest of us to do the same.

Why are most of us not willing to take a stand against excesses and injustice being done against our person?  What role does our education institution play in us becoming or not becoming the contributing citizens of the world? What role do our parents play in our growing up with good moral character and a sense of humanity?