A Shop called ‘School’!

Interesting? Controversial? Worth a read…I am sure that is what must have been on your mind when you clicked on the option ‘read more’!

I happened to visit a new school recently for a niece’s admission. I was at Mumbai for my nieces’s birthday and my cousin wanted me to accompany her to see the school for her child.

The moment I entered the school building we were welcomed by a uniformed guard like it happens generally. I entered the reception area and guess what I saw… a large corridor which could be easily mistaken for the lobby of a 5 star hotel. I must say, I was impressed with the decor!!!

Further we were taken for a school tour since the regular classes were over. I was in awe. I wished I was a child again. Large air conditioned classrooms, smart boards, lockers in every room, attached washroom, CCTV, a personal desk for every child. The furniture was laid height wise  in such a way that even the last student could see the board clearly. I looked at everything like a hungry child sees a  pack of chocolates!

We proceeded towards the canteen. It was not less than a chic coffee shop. There was a large digital menu of a mix of junk & healthy food options,the list had cuisines from almost all over the world. Cola vending machines.

I recalled my school in Kolkata, simple classrooms with  blackboards, a shelf to keep the chalk and duster, a table to keep the copies & books,long bench and corresponding seats. In the end of the walkway were separate washrooms for boys and girls. There weren’t any air conditioners but the rooms were airy. The school worked in shift due to space crunch. A morning shift for the pre & primary students, an afternoon shift for Middle & Senior students. I loved the stalls that sold aloo poori in the corridor. It was an ICSE board school with excellent teachers & it has a strong role in making me what I am today!

My cousin Meena poked me with her elbow as I looked dumbstruck at the canteen. We moved towards the remaining part of the school, it was beautiful, a place where we would all want our children to be. I got to see few staff members, smartly dressed, walking with a lot of confidence and a smile on their face. All in all I was super impressed!!!

After touring the school we were asked to sit in the waiting area to have a word with the principal. While we were waiting a couple came rushing to the reception area.

“Call the principal… Is this how you treat young kids? Look at my child, he is so upset, just because the child did not do his homework for 2 days how can the teacher scold him in front of the entire class. That was so humiliating for him Is this why we are paying a whooping fee of Rs 12k every month!” The lady kept on speaking or rather screaming. By then a lady class in a black business suit walked out of a cabin. Her room read ‘ Vice Principal’.

She had heard everything. She kept her hand on the head of the victim, who appeared to be roughly 10 year old boy. She spoke to him softly and called out to send Mrs Dikshit to her cabin. The parents were not in for a discussion. They wanted to probably confront the teacher. A phone call was made by the receptionist and the teacher was called.

A smart lady in her late 20s walked to the scene, she looked smart in the linen palazzo and kurta that she wore. She seemed to be confused, she greeted the Vice Principal & the parents and said ‘Good afternoon Varun” to the boy. The Vice Principal said in a regulated tone “Mrs Dikshit, what is this? You scolded Varun in front of the whole class over not doing his homework! Can you see how upset Varun is? I think we should apologize to Mrs & Mr Verma!”

After a minute the teacher , Mrs Dikshit looked at the Vice Principal and said “Ma’am Varun has not been doing his homework for the past few days. I had even mentioned it in his diary. I scolded him when he was disturbing Aditya who was sitting on the adjacent table. Still if Varun is upset, I am extremely sorry!” The teacher along with the Vice Principal, parents & Varun went inside the Vice Principal’s cabin.

A couple of miutes later the teacher walked out wiping her tears followed by the couple who were now relaxed.

I could not believe what I just saw. I almost had tears in my eyes looking at the state of the one who was imparting knowledge in that school. A teacher! Who was meant to educate, discipline and shape the child. She was made to apologize to a family for trying to discipline their child. That moment Meena and I looked at each other and walked out of that school without speaking a word.

I was too upset to speak to Meena, being from the same fraternity I could feel the pain of the teacher. I was equally worried for the child. What kind of children are we raising? Those who cannot take punishment for doing wrong? I was upset, for the teacher and the child, who was supported for being wrong. He knew his parents were there if he did not complete the work assigned to him. I had heard such stories but witnessed the first one closely.

I wish parents look at the long term repercussions this kind of a behavior will have on their child’s behavior. Had I been in their place I would have counseled my child to complete his work on time.Or worst if I had an issue with the teacher I would have spoken to the authorities in the absence of the child. Varun knew, he could get away from anything with his parents support. This same child would never respect his teacher again!

I was upset but at the same time happy to be out of that shop called school!

-Priyam Sharma

I hope you like this blog, please share your view about the same.

Are we not making our children excessively sensitive? Yes, with the present scenario we parents need to be aware but not at the cost of making our children overtly sensitive. Isn’t it our responsibility to be vigilant towards the changes we see in our child’s behavior or the suicidal tendency in children? What should be a parents role in sensitizing a child towards taking both success and failure. Wouldn’t teachers became overly cautious while dealing with a child or worst ignore indiscipline with the fear of being confronted for the same? Weren’t we raised the other way round and have done fine! Please share your views on the same.

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