Click here for shortcuts to regional language blogs and city-specific events.
“There is a vast difference between knowledge and information, wisdom and intelligence.”
This idea of school again came into my life after my school life, when my two yr old boy started stepping into this structure in the form of a play school. However, in our time we probably just used to play only, there were no such concepts of play schools at that time. Anyways but with his going to school my level of consciousness took a different shape immensely. Each day many questions start rising in my mind. Will I be able to make him understand the essence of life? He is going to assimilate many things, some good and some unacceptable (most of them are unacceptable, in fact). But how will I draw the line between this two, will he be able to perceive what I meant to express. I know, I know he is small, but he is growing too, and his observation is increasing day by day. I am not a paranoid mother, but yes I am very scared of giving the unacceptable.
The first thing apart from rhymes and alphabets my child’s first practical learning was “defence mechanism”! Until then, he never got an opportunity to try that. Thus, how this journey of school starts. Again, I was not a paranoid mother but yes scared, even scared before his birth, scared of those unacceptable. Then my kid grew and promoted to the nursery, and we put him in a very prestigious, and reputed (later realised, a branded school) school in the city which demands the best education. Education does not mean or limit to only reading and writing; it is beyond those pen-papers, some books and heavy school bags, and I feel sad when today’s schools don’t understand this fundamental part. The whole system, as if trying to produce some machines to serve in some companies. Nevertheless, then there came a series of displeasing incidents in that so called reputed school. Frequently I had to visit the school with a kind of concern (which labelled by the authority as complaints) towards those little tots, which was disappointing for me. My poor little boy is now puzzled with “whom to believe feelings”. We parent told him that pizza and burger are junk food, whereas, in school, he learned “P for Pizza” and “B for Burger”. Then one day to my shock of life, my little kid went to the kitchen took a knife and asked me, “Mama can I cut your head and will put a Giraffe head on it and I will put a horse head on Papa”. Hearing such things from him, open-mouthed me was almost lost for words and aghast by the thought. Just standing like a stone for a while, and with a sigh, explained to him in a polite way, “baby you should not talk like this”. He straightway replied, “But God did that! Are they bad people mama? Ma’am told us this story today about Ganesha, you know mama his papa Shiva got angry and cut his head off, will my papa do the same if I make any mistake?” I mean, how on earth you tell a mythological story to a small child without any improvisation! Without any delay, I moved to the school the next day and talked to the teacher, saying “is this the right way of telling these stories to little kids? I think we need to be, a little more creative”. The teacher seemed to be very offended and felt, an ordinary mother has questioned her teacher status (a knowledgeable person with knowledge actually). Even though I never stopped, I kept on going and expressed my opinion to the teachers, by now they become used to it, and I become an annoyed mother indeed. And, one fine day I was completely out of my mental state when my son came home from school and dance in the tune of most disgusting and unacceptable lyrics of the popular Bollywood movie. He was humming “o o chamak challo!!” I was about to faint and came to know, he learned this awful song from the dance teacher in the school. Enough now, we poor parents tried all possible ways, to keep the child away from the most unacceptable in the society (one among them is cheap Bollywood songs). And trying to develop his audio senses by providing him with all good music. And imagine what he is learning at the school!
Finally, after a year I shifted my son to a different school after a long course of disappointment. Hence, I forced my inner feelings to believe, the decision is good. Eventually, I proved wrong again. Here they took all the kids for an educational tour to the biggest mall in the city!!!! Again shocked, broke, irritated and lost me the poor mother rushed to the school to talk to the principal and requesting that instead of taking them to these malls take them to some museum, park or some farm, but please not to a mall at least! I mean what they will learn there, that how to glorify life with branded clothes and make-ups! To my surprise, that looking like knowledgeable women replied: “come on, talk sense, they can learn a lot of things like about all exotic vegetables.” (Till then my son didn’t even know what Bhindi is). And my poor baby will learn now exotic veggies! Wow, great people in a great country! In addition, as a departing note, she did not forget to mention me that she has 102 reasons, why they need to visit malls. And I replied with a smile, “and I have 202 reasons why they need not visit such place” and also mentioned her whenever there will be any such exotic tour my kid will be absent, which we maintained until his last day in that exotic school where they called kitchen area “Bistro”! (Learned from my kid) With that, numb and speechless I came out from the principal room and faced those faces of teacher’s apprehensive look, by the time I understood I again got my honorary title back, “The Annoyed mother”.
I came out of that giant palace-like building called a school and sit in my car thinking, what next. Now practically, it is impossible to move my child to one school after another. Then I forced to believe yes I am a paranoid and annoyed mother in the end. Therefore, now should I stop showing concerns and should I believe what school is doing is perfect and they do not need any voice of concern on their board or should I run again and labelled myself an annoyed mother. Of course, I prefer the later because it has to do with those small children, who are the next generation. I cannot ignore that. And also as a parent, in the future, I might get questioned by my own child for my irresponsible attitude and yes I am scared of that rather labelled as an annoyed mother