Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The struggle to educate...

I know several of my cousins, friends, relatives, who register with
Montessori's and kindergarden schools, as soon as they get married,
many even after their engagement. They don't have kids for over 5
years after, but they need to do this to ensure a seat for their their
3 year old child who will be born five years later. Seats for
elementary and middle school kids are at a premium as well,
"donations" for these seats are very high and recommendations to even
be able to pay these donations need to come from very high level
officials, or someone with a lot of clout. It is very hard for a
middle class person to afford and make happen.

As I had said on one of my earlier blogs, education in India is so
tightly tied to class, caste, money and not sufficiently associated
with merit. Here is an excerpt of and article about this in the New
York Times today --
" The anxiety over school admissions is a parable of desire and
frustration in a country with the largest concentration of young
people in the world. About 40 percent of India's 1.1 billion citizens
are younger than 18; many others are parents in their 20s and 30s,
with young school-age children.

Today, for all but the very poor, government schools are not an option
because they are considered weak, and the competition for choice
private schools is fierce.

The scramble is part of the great Indian education rush, playing out
across the country and across the socioeconomic spectrum. The striving
classes are spending hefty amounts or taking loans to send their
children to private schools. In some cases, children from small towns
are commuting more than 40 miles every day to good, or at least
sought-after, schools. New private schools are sprouting, as
industrialists, real estate developers and even a handful of foreign
companies eye the Indian education market.

That market is a lot like other things in India. Supply lags far
behind demand as cities grow, pocketbooks swell and parents who
themselves may have struggled in their childhoods want something
better for their offspring."

Read the full article at --

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