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Private school enrolment in rural India is increasing
The Times of India ^ | Jan 21, 2013 | The Times of India

Posted on 01/20/2013 7:26:23 PM PST by James C. Bennett

For a country that is undergoing huge economic , social and demographic changes, education needs a more resolute direction. Nationally, private school enrolment in rural India is increasing at about 10% every year. In the next five years, India may have half of the children attending private schools even in rural areas.

According to the Annual Status of Education Report, ASER 2012, released recently in the Capital, the enrolment level for the 6-14 age group continue to be high in rural areas. In 2012, 96.5% of all the children in this age group in rural areas were enrolled in schools.

However, as per the report , the proportion of children in the 6-14 age group, not enrolled in schools, has gone up from 3.3% in 2011 to 3.5% in 2012. The report also states - based on RTE norms - school facilities show improvement in terms of mid-day meals, toilets, etc; rise of small schools in India and low reading levels , among others.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: education; india; privateschool; publicschool

More Parents Opting For Homeschooling [India]

BANGALORE: Does your child hate going to school? Is she stressed out, pressurized and overloaded? Or, are you sick of the conventional schooling system? Simple, don't send them to school. Try homeschooling -- that's what more and more parents in Bangalore are doing.

In cities like Mumbai and Pune, many parents have stopped sending children to regular schools. Instead, they learn by themselves at home or are taught by parents or tutors. There are over 50 such children in Bangalore and there's even an online forum where their parents interact with each other and seek help. All of them have different reasons for choosing this system.

For agriculturist Vivek Kariappa, it was the realization that conventional schooling is biased against the rural system. His children followed no textbooks, but an agriculture-oriented curriculum. They were urged to read, to search for more information, to face problems and solve them.

When his son, who was interested in sports, complained he wasn't getting time to indulge in his passion, Sunil Ruthnaswamy thought of pulling his child out of school last year. "Now, I have time for both. I study three hours a day, which I feel is equal to a day studying at school. I devote three hours each for cricket and rowing and am quite happy," said Joshua Ruthnaswamy, 14.

However, for many, dislike for the conventional system made them opt for homeschooling. Says Amit Mathur, a software professional: "My wife and I were not satisfied with the education we got. We don't trust the present system of schooling. I don't want to see my child growing up without thinking."

There are also children with learning disorders for whom homeschooling is a better option.


There is no separate syllabus for homeschooling children. Most parents TOI spoke to followed prescribed textbooks. However, some didn't follow textbooks and others designed their own curriculum by referring to syllabi of different boards.

None of them thrust books on their children. "When my child was in first grade, I used to take him to shops and make him understand addition and subtraction. Later, I used textbooks as worksheets. That's how I taught him maths," said a parent, Chetana Keni. Children are encouraged to figure out things by themselves and find pleasure in learning new things.

While most parents help children in the lower classes, they take the help of tutors when they can no longer deal with a subject. "We have a forum. Each parent is good in some subject. For example, I love maths. So, when a child needs assistance in it, I help him out," said Amit Mathur, a software developer.

On reaching Class 10, the child can take the board exam privately by registering with the National Institute of Open Schooling or International General Certificate of Secondary Education. The degree is acceptable across the world.


Most children have a timetable, which is not regimented. They study for a particular number of hours (ranging from 2 to 6 hours), spend time pursuing their area of interest, with friends and then by themselves.

"The biggest advantage is that the timetable is flexible. The child can learn what he wants when he feels like it. He can go as in-depth as he wants. He learns it at his pace, the way he wants. He takes ownership of his learning. The stress on the child is zero," said Aditi Mathur, a strong believer of alternative education methods.

The children are generally happy with what they do. "I get a lot of time in doing what I always wanted to do. I know how to divide time between activities. The only thing is school was much more fun with so many friends around," said Joshua.


Experienced homeschoolers say parents should know how to go about teaching their children in the right way. "All parents are not born teachers. Even they need training on teaching methods, and creating a conducive environment, how to instil discipline and so on," said Chetana Keni, who gives such training to parents.


A child's social networking skills is one area of concern. "I won't recommend homeschooling for any child who lives in a flat without good interaction with neighbours," says Chetana. However, some parents say they have made new social circles -- in the neighbourhood, during extra-curricular activities and at home. "The advantage here is they have friends from all age groups, and not just their peer group," observes a parent.


The cost of homeschooling varies on what and how the child learns. "At times, it can be more expensive than sending the child to regular schools. It depends on the child's learning needs. Apart from routine requirements like books, CDs, painting kits, one also needs to pay for extra classes which these days cost not less than Rs 500," said Chetana.


Considering the system our schools are following, homeschooling is a good option. A school is crammed -- be it in curricular or extra-curricular activities. In a family, it's a more relaxed environment and therefore more conducive for learning. Some say the pressure the child faces in school is good. But, in 90% of cases, the pressure doesn't do any good. Homeschooling is good as long as the child doesn't take it easy.

-- M S Thimmappa, clinical psychologist, and former vice-chancellor, Bangalore University

1 posted on 01/20/2013 7:26:34 PM PST by James C. Bennett
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To: James C. Bennett
India's schools are a mess. There is a tremendous about of intimidation and stress associated with schools in India, that it represses the qualities to be successful in the West, e.g., creativity and entrepreneurialism.

No so long ago I did adult IT education. I was paid based on grades from students. What a concept! I quickly learned how to deal with all of the Indian IT people ... abuse the hell out of them and focus on the fact that they had no ability to think on their own. This intimidation was a guaranteed 4.0. It got me good grades and made me money. It didn't improve anything in their ability to think critically or creatively since they were programed to memorize and not think.

2 posted on 01/20/2013 7:40:44 PM PST by ConservativeInPA (Molon Labe)
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To: James C. Bennett
Thank you. I find it interesting that similar educational issues are playing out in India. I love this line:

"My wife and I were not satisfied with the education we got. We don't trust the present system of schooling. I don't want to see my child growing up without thinking."

3 posted on 01/20/2013 7:48:38 PM PST by AZLiberty (No tag today.)
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To: ConservativeInPA
Having studied in India I have to agreed with what ConservativeInPA says. This is something very common in Indian schools. Everything is only focused on getting high marks, anything beside this goal is completely ignored. Very few schools encourage creativity and entrepreneurial development.

The only ones I can think of that do encourage are the Mahaveer Jain chain of institutions and the St. Joseph's Schools/Colleges. The latter is changing now though and is getting to be more like the others unfortunately.

I still remember after being in a school that only expected you to get high marks (forget anything else), I got into St Joseph's and during the intro sessions, the first thing told to us was "Our Colleges/schools don't exist to pump out rank holders and high scorers, but to pump out good citizens!" If only more schools were like this.

4 posted on 01/20/2013 7:54:01 PM PST by coldphoenix
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To: James C. Bennett
There are more private schools for the children of poor parents than even the government would like to admit. A good book on the subject of private schools for the children of poor families is The Beautiful Tree: A Personal Journey Into How the World's Poorest People Are Educating Themselves, by James Tooley.

"Everyone from Bono to the United Nations is looking for a miracle to bring schooling within reach of the poorest children on Earth. James Tooley found one hiding in plain sight. While researching private schools in India for the World Bank, and worried he was doing little to help the poor, Tooley wandered into the slums of Hyderabad's Old City. Shocked to find it overflowing with tiny, parent funded schools filled with energized students, he set out to discover if schools like these could help achieve universal education. Named after Mahatma Gandhi's phrase for the schools of pre-colonial India, The Beautiful Tree recounts Tooley's journey from the largest shanty town in Africa to the hinterlands of Gansu, China. It introduces readers to the families and teachers who taught him that the poor are not waiting for educational handouts. They are building their own schools and educating themselves."

5 posted on 01/21/2013 3:23:19 PM PST by Excellence (9/11 was an act of faith.)
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To: ConservativeInPA

Schools in US not all that better. Most average schools in US are little more then regular day care where all the teachers ever do is just babysit students. Student do nothing other then waste their time.

Yes students in India are under tremendous stress, and it’s understandable. India has a gigantic young population who are in cut throat competition to succeed if they are to get a chance to get out of poverty and be able to afford a decent lifestyle. Their purpose here is not to be inventors or creative thinker. Those will come later.

You take the average population in country, even the US. Most people are not cut out to be critical or creative thinkers. Only a certain tiny percentage fall in that category and no credit to the education system for that. Regardless of the education most average people are cut out to take instructions and perform the tasks. Same is true here in the US.

India also has plenty of people who have the ability to think critically the only difference is, here in the US there is ample opportunity to apply those creative thinking and make something out of it, while in Indian their talents get wasted because of lack of economic opportunity and they get lost among the masses.

6 posted on 01/21/2013 4:22:29 PM PST by ravager (I)
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