Blame the parents, but don’t blame the system

Making a solar cooker

Making a solar cooker

The nation was shocked when we read the story that a 9th standard student hacked his teacher to death in Chennai.

My son is also in the 9th standard. His principal wants him out of school. His class teacher tells proudly to other students: “Don’t you know he is abnormal”. He is given a seat far away from others. He sweats a lot and resultantly smells a lot! To hide that, he has started putting on some perfume…

Yes, he is not great in his studies. He often commits mistakes. And he often forgets to do his homework, at least some of it.

I don’t know what my son feels (he read this item in the newspapers), but I feel like “killing” the class teacher.

And schools everywhere (my kids are in Karnataka, I am working in AP) only take students who perform on their own and whose parents can afford private tuitions and bring laurels to their schools. “Weak” students are recommended government schools.

Corporate schools only think of money and fame. Why no one talks about this kolaveri di?

On the school’s recommendations and despite our reservations, we put him up for psychological counseling: the doc says there is nothing wrong with him. He says not only this school, but even other “famous” and “in-demand” schools also ask parents to send their “weak” (as in money) students to their hospital.

My son is no Albert Einstein, and I am not the creator. But the principal and teacher concerned are no saints either. They are also patent liars. I will relate one incident: The principal told us that my son goes to the homes of other students late in the evening after the school gets over at 4:00 pm till their parents throw him out. We see our son at home by 4:30. I asked for one name: Any student/parent. They blurted out one name. Happened to be someone we know. They said: “Forget we talked about this at all.”

I wanted to take my son out from the school that very moment. My wife says let this academic year get over. What is more important? The academic year or my son’s life? He might not kill the teacher, but, humiliated day in and out in school, he may kill himself.

Is this the education we want for our children?

We kept away our children (my daughter is in the fifth, in a different school) from TV; it got conked off two years ago and neither did we repair it nor got our cable subscription renewed. Even when it was working, we set one hour for them to watch.

Next, I kept away the kids from my PC. Now that I am not at home, they use it, under the “watchful” eyes of my wife. My daughter loves to watch cartoons: Tom n Jerry, My Friend Ganesha, Krishna, et al. She never gets tired of watching the same stuff, again and again.

My son now has an e-mail address and a Facebook account – “friends” include teachers from the same school. He has also learnt Powerpoint. And he attempted a hand at making a class newspaper. (Of course, I did not like the usage of fonts and the background colours!).

And he loves to download images and videos of railway trains from all over the world.

He also loves aeroplanes. He runs out of our home in a small but famous Karnataka town whenever he hears the sound of an aeroplane to see it high in the sky, leaving a trail of smoke. Of course, as a small kid, he had flown on these machines many times.

Recently, he did a science project for his school. He made a solar cooker costing less than Rs 100, which could be a help to the rural communities.

The HM said, “I saw from my window; he was doing something”. The teachers ignored him. Many of his classmates laughed.

But my son was proud: Using solar energy, he could cook rice, vegetables and even Maggi noodles!



Filed under Education

5 responses to “Blame the parents, but don’t blame the system

  1. Pingback: Blame the parents, but don’t blame the system | Parkala Observer « vikatakavi

  2. virupaksha

    Not even parents to be blamed here. This shows the great lacunae in training of teachers about child mental health. After all what goes on in a child’s mind when he is blamed in front of the whole class for no fault of his. We elders often take it for granted that whatever we say is right and do not see the other face of the problem. We (teachers) should not be biased about any student so that he is seen always guilty for whatever mistake that happens around the child. They should rather think what will happen if my own child is rejected from the school in the middle of the academic year. The child, although warned, cannot show improvement as he lives in the uncertainty of being removed from the school. So-called corporate schools should appoint child counsellors to handle these problems rather than easily removing child from the school. I can give the huge percentage of child and adolescent problems which are presented as behavioural problems. How many students these schools wants to remove? Schools should be aware that if the parents take the legal approach to help their child, then the whole issue will be in a mess. Let all parents seriously think as this situation may be yours tomorrow.

  3. Veena

    In a country like India where teachers are considered to be a GURU, this is really shameful. Teachers must realize that 100 % of all children in a class cannot be intelligent . Atleast 20 % will be below average .
    Where should these children go if all schools keep kicking them like a football? The system is such that all schools want 100% results and want the best of ranks . So the school just wants an excuse to throw out the weak children.
    Instead Why dont the teachers give extra coaching to boost these weak kids. They will remember you for a lifetime . If I think about my schooling, where have all the students who used to be toppers ,disappear. There is a huge percentage of my classmates who were weak in studies but today are achievers
    So , dear parent , please dont be disappointed. Believe in your child . He ll be an achiever some day . Hope for the best.

    • Unfortunately, no school would want to do that. Does anybody talk about the quality of the teachers? Can they take the little bit of initiative and concentrate on these children, may have extra classes for them? This used to happen decades ago, when teachers were real Gurus. Now, they are people looking for only a job and a salary to get that extra income. And why should they bother? The school managements are only interesting in giving advertisements such as “100 per cent pass” in SSC. And then they have entrance exams and only admit the brightest students and those who parents can afford to pay bribes fashioned as “donations”. Tell me the name of one school today which can claim to have moulded a weak student and made him pass with flying colours. No Sir, no one is interested. Schools and colleges are today only businesses where the bottom line is money, money and more money!

  4. Pingback: Rocking Way to Remember a People’s President | Parkala Observer

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