By Gauri G. Prabhu
Mangaluru, Nov 14, 2015: In our to be smart city Mangaluru, many things are great when it comes to choice: but, the wide choice of education is one big nightmare it seems. Hunt for job, hunt for brides/grooms, hunt for houses, hunt for hospitals....and many such ’hunts’ provide high gear action. But, what takes the cake is ’hunt for playschool’ for the first kid in the family - that is a big enigma creating stress unlimited.
As soon as my elder one was two years, well wishers started calling/asking me about ’play school plans’ for my boy. Many suggested big budget play-schools with a whopping fee of Rs. 2 to Rs. 3 lakhs and with fancy chairs, fancy swings, fancy teachers....the whole hog.
Suggestions, advise and such pour in, on my side I start conditioning my son on the idea of school, study, time and so on. School and study were the only things on our minds, even though we cared a lot for the more important things of life.......parents like us need to have answers to our fears without compulsions.
Much before the young ’student’ started school fear of the future grips the parents, yet we realize, sharing, singing , playing, eating and living amicably together are essentials. Valuing all - superiors and inferiors is essential and a good part of human life, with importance of time and time table. To play and learn and value all things big and small, is a must - at school and home too. Finally after much thought and consideration and seeing many a play school we decide on a well known Montessori play school not too far from our home in Mannagudda. In fact it surprised us to note that this very school was in the first place pointed out to us by my father-in-law, who is well versed in school matters with decades of hands-on experience. It met all parameters that can be desired from any stand point.
One interesting incident leaves a deep impression, while on the search for a school, I was flabbergasted to hear from our chatty neigbhourhood 4th std bright student, hardly 10 years old, who said "My school is the best one, but you have to be rich as all are. Most come to school in a big ’Audi’ at least...can you get an ’Audi’ at least?" Today let it be pre-school or college......status, position, and such things have become larger than life. Ego has engulfed even childhood. Competition of the most unhealthy kind must never be allowed to take over the simple things of childhood and the innocence.
Going into our chosen ’play school’ we realise that it has primarily some of the special things we are looking for to make our child a balanced, good, honest and human person as he grows up. It is with a real sense of satisfaction and confidence that we will see our son embark on the not so easy voyage of education in the 21st century. Be sure all work and no play makes one dull for life. Tomorrow is important; But today is more important.