Schools : Then v/s Now

Have you ever asked a parent as to why they put their child in an XYZ school or have you ever asked a student as to why they feel that their school is good? I guess every one of us at some point in time has asked these questions or have been asked such questions. The most common response that we get is because that school has world-class infrastructure/ it has many playgrounds/ it is the biggest school in this region/ it is air-conditioned and the list goes on. Hardly any of the people would have come up with a reply stating that “the learning quality and the curriculum at this school is the best!”.

It’s already been 3 months since this vacation period started but yet no school has come up with a plan that can serve as a perfect substitute for their next session. All schools have put the burden on the government and now are only waiting and waiting for the guidelines. The most hilarious part in this is that the schools aren’t understanding that if they get a nod to reopen even then it is next to impossible to conduct classes like earlier times. The larger problem here is not that school is not only passing on their responsibilities but they are running from away theirs. They are putting up things like teachers aren’t well trained for conducting online classes, parents are not paying fees, etc.

 At this stage, one can come up with millions of reasons to do nothing but only a few can try and fight these reasons. The schools which took a step towards training their teachers and kept the classes going with quality lectures are the ones who are not facing issues right now. Such schools are not at all concerned about the future situations for they have already prepared for the worst and the incentive for these schools also was unique. In a scenario where parents are refusing to pay school fees, the parents associated with these schools are bothered about such things and are paying school fees. So why are they paying it instead of refusing? Because they can see the hardships that the school overcame to make their child’s education possible even during such times. They saw the teachers teaching at par with what they used to teach in physical classes. These parents do not see their children wasting time in front of a television or playing mobile games all day long. Instead, they see their child waking up early and attend classes like any other day. They see their children learning new lessons. They watch their children investing time towards a positive future and they owe it to the arrangements that the school they chose made for their children in this lockdown. 

Now even if the schools will start taking steps there will be many schools that will try the easier way out. There will be only a few schools that will conduct special workshops for a week or two and make their teacher familiar with technologies such as Zoom, Meet or in some best cases learning management systems and become prepared for the tough times ahead. There will be more than a few schools or I must say, a good number of schools that will simply send assignments or YouTube links to the students on WhatsApp and try to prove that they are playing their part. This is the category wherein parents are the most resistant to pay school fees or appreciate the school efforts but why? This is because these worksheets or lectures are something the students sitting at their homes can explore themselves but did not do in the first place. 

After all, they now know that no checking mechanism is there and hence make excuses to not do them which makes parents more agitated and makes them against the functioning of the school. Now even after all the above-mentioned reasons and their solutions, there will be schools which will still wait for the guidelines and will wait for schools to reopen and this will not only ruin the students learning habit but also harm the school’s reputation and its future too. Gone are the days when a swimming pool at your school could attract new admissions. Now is the time when the quality of education is going to matter. When the building blocks of a school (teachers and students) will define its future and not the demography of a school. Finally, it’s the start of the times wherein the skills, efforts, quality, and commitment will be credited over materialistic affairs. Maybe this can be a start to a new era in Indian education or maybe it will not, for it is up to the schools to decide as to what they want!!!

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