My Experience As A Parent Seeking Admission…

  - October 15th, 2008 by Shalini Nambiar | Posted in life   13 Comments »
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‘What did you have for breakfast today, Little child’?’ asked the Principal sitting on the table with 5 other people to my Daughter. Tanya looked here and there, fiddling with her fingers, looked down, then looked at me for a reassuring feeling and just ran out. ‘I am sorry. Mr and Mrs Nambiar, your child lacks confidence’ wow! what an answer… NEXT…

Next School, ‘So you are not well’, can you sing a nursery rhyme for us, ‘ Tanya screamed, No, I wont and ran out. Reached back home with a feeling of failure, a feeling which I never felt when I had not done well in my Hindi Paper in Grade X. Feeling of shame as if I have failed my daughter.

Next school the next day, Principal glared at us from behind his spectacles, ‘So what do you earn?’ ‘Sir, I am looking to admit my daughter for Nursery, How does it make a difference with what I earn,’ ‘Ok, Ok, where do you work?’ ‘I am a housewife and spend the whole time with my daughter’. Actually Mrs. Nambiar we are sorry the school policy is we prefer working mothers.

Next School, ‘What is the colour of the egg yolk’. ‘Tanya, ‘ Its white from outside and sometimes yellow and a chick comes out then we… ‘ Ok fine, The teacher snapped at her as if Tanya had committed a crime by speaking beyond what was asked. I was wondering what must be going on in a three year old’s mind . ‘So which school has your daughter made to?’ asked Neeta .  ‘Well I am waiting for the result’

Today when my daughter is all grown up and working, I still shudder when I recall the admission process and visiting at least 20 schools and registering her. As a routine, In the evening the process of training my daughter would begin…ok Tanya please pay attention say what’s the telephone number of PAPA, what is the colour of apple, Recite a nursery rhyme, What is this shape… ‘Mom, I want to go and play’ Tanya would be pleading totally exhausted by my constant probing. I really felt as if my daughter was asking me if I had to prepare her then why the hell she needs to go to the school.

Visiting different schools to check whether her name had appeared or not was an important exercise and at least at 5 schools I had to tell myself, I have failed…reason of course my daughter did not know what is the colour of egg yolk at three, did not recall the correct telephone number of her dad, did not know what her dad was working as except that he was her dad, did not know what is the shape of a pencil box,… etc etc the list was endless.
Feeling of elation and celebration when she finally made it to one of the prestigious schools… probably the next time I shall experience that feeling will be on her marriage.
It’s admissions time and it brings back nostalgic memories of me as a parent when I was running around the Capital to secure a nursery seat for my little daughter. When I see the look on parents, I can almost relate to them and I recall how as a parent the sense of getting the best school for my child used to haunt me.
When I meet parents now, I can sense their feeling, ‘My child cannot speak in English, as you know we are in a joint family etc etc ..So what !…shouldn’t the parents be feeling worst if their child cannot speak the mother toungue.
It’s really good that a lot of present day schools are moving ahead from this heinous grilling exercise of parents and children… let’s admit it, its admissions to Nursery not MBA and it’s a three year old not a 20 year old… Reflect, Ponder…
Shalini Nambiar
Excelsior American School

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October 15 2008 10:00 pm | life

13 Responses to “My Experience As A Parent Seeking Admission…”

  1. Parul Says:

    Is that what i am looking forward to?

  2. Hema Says:

    I can feel what my parents must have been through and what I will go face in coming years. But if I will be in Gurgaon, I think I will be the lucky one.I hope you understand Ms. Shalini 🙂

  3. Mridul Says:

    Beautifull article and so very true …well Shalini things havnt changed much …..

  4. lvs Says:

    You captured the scenario perfectly. No matter how successful you are in your career, no matter how sweet and intelligent your child is, the system will make you look like a failure. I feel good reading how you empathise with the parents.

  5. Rajat Agarwal Says:

    What a splendid description of the unfortunate admission procedure of Indian schools. I believe that Indian education system has come to a standstill. The system demands mechanical robots for students who would be able to respond in an expected manner to the questions asked by their masters a.k.a. teachers. No wonder the ingenuous manners of our little Tanya were received with skepticism.

  6. kerrylee2004 Says:

    thanks for sharing such an unique expertience

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