International Schools with Rural Standards!

Confused? You won’t know what I’m talking about unless you take a virtual tour with me.

Ready? Go!

You are excited one morning. You have shortlisted some very ‘good’ schools in the city and this is the day you have scheduled to check them out. It feels like a one day picnic to multiple resorts! As you reach the towering gates of the first school, your heart jumps with excitement but you squirm in your seat as a stern looking security guard in a crisp uniform glances at you, then at your car (it pays to own a sedan nowadays but you still can possess a hatchback at your own risk!) and walks up to you with an entry register. You turn down the music, haggle with a few details. And lo! You are finally granted entry in to the premises of a grand international school!  Do you sense a feeling of achievement already? You should. It’s natural. But do hang around for what follows next as the story is not over yet. You are made to park your car deliberately at some far forsaken corner of the campus so that you can marvel at the exceptional work, time and energy put into the landscaping of the area before you finally make it to the office. Wow! You softly exclaim and give one of those glances to your husband where you seek his approval after having made up your mind strongly! The principal greets you personally and has almost the whole office staff hover around you for your preference in tea/coffee/ or juice.(You say wow again and this time your husband joins you too as he swoons over his hot cup of tea). They portray themselves to be the friendliest people and set you thinking that if you could feel so good being there, your kid would be the happiest. And they don’t stop till they have completely enchanted you with their ideologies of treating each kid as an individual, giving them personal attention as well as their space to bloom and providing a very congenial ambience for their creativity& potential to come gushing out. You are starry eyed now.

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Then comes the classroom walk through. And does it make you go weak in your knees? Bright, colourful classrooms with state of the art equipment. That’s it. You are now ready to hear the fees. A few lacs that’s all!  But that’s hardly any amount for the benefits they are endowing on your kid! And do you know that you are the lucky 49th no the 37th   er wait the 26th parent who has been chosen for a special discount and an introductory offer which only the most idiotic part of you can let go of? Your husband needs to do some breathing exercises to settle down his raised blood pressure but you want to let that pleasant staffer know that ‘’We have the money dude and we can decide right now you see’’ Damage done!

Now let’s fast forward you to the first day of school. You want to put on that designer dress do you? Ok go on .I know where that’s coming from. You three walk to the designated classroom and you are probably rehearsing how you are going to strike up a conversation with that American teacher you hope to find there. She has her back to you as you enter the class. You clear your throat, walk up to her and when you in your finest of voices say, ‘excuse me ma’am’. When she turns you feel the ground shifting beneath your feet! She is not the American or for that matter any foreign teacher but a simple local graduate who is there on probation. You want to ask her ‘where’s mommy’ but you gather yourself and justify that maybe it’s too early to judge.  You wait patiently for 6 months as you have dealt with 6 different teachers the school has changed and are seriously wondering about the international element in the school.

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To your horror it is the same CBSE or ISCE syllabus being taught slightly differently (Yes dears the IGCSE comes only after the 9th grade) the same style of assessment in tests are that just scheduled a little differently, the 15 students per class has now jumped to 30 and you are being promised another division that doesn’t seem to be anywhere around the corner. A colourful resource room that has no resource person and whatever happened to the in house counsellor you want to ask but get no definitive answer. You have already fought with the school van driver and attendant at least 5 times as the points of drop and pick up forever keep changing, and your kid is always losing his stuff in the van that never gets returned.  Your endless meetings with teachers or the suddenly busy principal is yielding no results and one fine day you wake up to the realisation that you have enrolled your kid in another regular school that is actually 2 notches behind the other experienced rigid schools(Or call them whatever you like) but you are unfortunately  paying the fees of Harvard! So wake up parents, this ends our virtual tour of the international schools (yes all of them). Wait don’t look so distressed.

Refresh your selves as there’s still time to take a sounder, more informed decision.

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