For the last couple of years, in Mumbai and now in Pune, we have been going through the motion of putting our daughter at school. However one significant thing I have noticed is that given a certain level of education being offered at shortlisted schools, convenience and style of education over rides everything else. This may be something specific to me, but I believe there would be more who would vouch for the same. No longer is the burning ambition of a parent to send their kid, for a 40 minute drive to the school which is seemingly the best and has all the relevant history associated with it. I am not for a minute saying that admissions are easily available, but so was the case 33 years ago when my parents wanted me to be enrolled in the “best” school available at Trivandrum.
What could be the reasons for this change in desire of parents? I believe that each group of people (meaning a family) goes through a generational change wherein their needs and desires undergo transitions. For example, for my father coming from a family of nine siblings, working in a prestigious government organization was a considerable leap in faith. This was especially satisfying after having struggled all the way to educate himself despite considerable lack of resources in the family. And for him, getting his sons educated and doing well in life was a burning desire. So much so that many a time, all that mattered was to give first priority to the education of his children keeping everything else in abeyance. Hence in a way we grew up oblivious to the factors which made him think in a particular way.
Today, having seen more of the world, the opportunities which have increased multifold, we are much more confident of what our kids can do. If not science, there is always an arts which can make your kid successful. Hence probably the imperative of enrolling your children in the best school in town does not exist. In the last 10 years, there are more schools around (thanks to commercialization too!) which means that going to a nearby school and having a decent education is very much possible. Finally there is a view which has been with me for some years now; Life is in fact a journey which is not in the least influenced by the rank you got in first standard. Nor is it about the first job you got. I have come across people who have been considered mediocre and their tryst with a perceptibly superior performance happened say in their 40s. If one were to consider life as a journey and success measurable over a period of time, say 50 years, then your child’s admission for the 1st standard probably fades into triviality…though some may not agree!