Monday, June 24, 2013

School Admissions

Last month, I was returning from Sigra to Durga-kund (locations in Varanasi city) and I got struck in a traffic jam. Why? Because Central Hindu School for boys and girls (CHS) had an entrance exam for admission into the different classes. There was a horrible rush. People from whole Purvanchal (entire eastern U.P.) had come with their kids to seek admission in CHS. This was the scene for admission in government schools. The admission scene in Private schools is scarier. I am now well above this stress. But in the past I had also faced such tension.

In my very primitive memories I recall the scene when my elder brother held my hand tightly and took me to the nearby girls’ school. He did all the formalities and paid the fees which our mother had given to him. Next day I was a part of that school named Kanpur Vidya Mandir, where I spent my next 12 years.

My second experience was my elder son’s admission in Prep level in DPS Haridwar. This was the only Public School having good reputation in 50 km radius. Paku loved motor vehicles and locomotives since the day he was born, and I told him “If you behave like a good boy, you will get admission in this school, and then you can ride the school bus daily.” This was a major incentive for him. So when we reached the school for his admission, he was extremely happy. Other children were not so happy and even a few of them were crying. One of our friends, Mr. Deb was also there for the admission of his son. He noticed our child’s good mood and commented “He simply does not know what is going to happen – his freedom is about to be snatched.” Paku successfully managed to impress the teachers and staff. He got admission easily and spent the next 12 years in that school.

My next experience was with my younger son. We were confident about him because he had learnt alphabets, counting, colours and other things at home from his dada (elder brother) which a child has to answer for admission. On the day of admission, when we were going to school, Piku was very happy because he was going to his dada’s school first time. He was talking too much and asking lots of questions. In the school other children were behaving as our previous experience. Suddenly Piku stopped taking and it looked like as if he was totally unconcerned with the surroundings. A lovely lady took him for is first round interview. I was waiting outside with confidence. Half an hour later, the lady came out and said “He said nothing.” I was shocked. My confidence was shattered. The lady said “Hope that he talks at the next round, otherwise we cannot help.” I asked Piku “Why didn’t you answer them?” He said “They are asking stupid questions.” In the next round with parents Piku did not utter a single word. He was not selected for admission. We were disappointed.

15 days later the school announced for a second round of admissions. We again filled the registration form. This time his father and his Dada tried to convince him to talk in the interview. Piku was enjoying our desperation. The day of interview lady took him for first round. When he came out his father asked him “Did you answer their questions?” He said, “Oh yes! I told them everything. The miss showed me a kite and I told her the colour and even how to fly it.” We didn’t believe him. In second round where he was with us, he again remained silent. There the Head master told us “He did not speak a single word. We have a doubt because we will not take in a challenged child.” We were shocked. He did not get the admission.

Now the new session had started. We had to wait for one year and try again in DPS, or put him in some second grade school. 20 days later, the school again called third time for few students in various classes. This time they had plans to take five more children in prep class. His father again filled the registration form. And this time little fellow showed a kind of kindness towards us and answered to the teachers. He secured admission at last. He spent 5 years there then his father was transferred to Varanasi. Again I faced the admission problem. Paku got admission easily at the new school at Varanasi, but for Piku I had to work hard.

Now both boys have grown up. Paku has his own family. Now I am waiting to see Paku-Neha’s experience for their child’s admission. There are two reasons. First is now a days situation is much more competitive and difficult, and second is that their child shares Piku’s birth date.