Gurgaon has over 300 private schools, many of which are top ranking institutions of the country. Schools with affiliations to common curriculums like CBSE, ICSE or Haryana State Board are plenty. Gurgaon also is known to be a city with one of the largest number of International affiliated schools in the country. With curriculums like Cambridge IGCSE and IB diploma added to the mix, the variety of education options are extensive for everyone.
When it comes to admission time for our little ones, we as parents become very skeptical and anxious to go through the process to make that ‘right choice’ for our child’s future. In recent years, the stories of the grilling admission processes, stressful procedures of forms and interviews may give us sleepless nights even before our kids turn the age of three.
To be honest, each school is good and well managed to best of their capabilities and works in the best interest of their students. Each school has its advantages over others. Which school would bring joy to your child? How do you find which is right choice for your baby?
These are a few simple focus points you may consider when you start looking at your choice of schools around the city
1. Child Friendly
Your child and his/her comfort in the school environment should be your foremost priority. You as a parent know your child and can easily assess how your little one can adapt and settle in an environment. You can look at school which keeps an open friendly environment for kids in the initial years.
2. Distance from home
Traveling to school by school transport or by your own vehicles should be an easy distance that does not tire your child in addition to the long day away from home or give you extra miles to drive twice a day. In the beginning years, the child may feel difficult to adapt to longer travel and seeks comfort with parents for as much time possible.
3. School infrastructure
It is advisable to visit the school and take a tour. Many schools organize guest visits and invite open houses for prospective parents. This gives you a chance to see the working of the school from inside and what you can expect in the years to come.
4. Listen to parents of the school objectively
You may come across some or other critical comments about each school when you start talking to parents. Look at positive responses and and get objective feedback from the students too. Don’t base your decision on hearsay alone. Everyone has their own personal perspective. What works for others may or may not work for you. Only YOU can decide for your child.
5. Safety for your child
Sending your child away from home for many hours is a scary thought for parents. You must ensure that they are in the safest hands possible in your absence.
Every parent must be aware of the School Safety Regulations defined by the State Administration and we must try to find out during our visits and inquiries with other parents if the school is following all the norms as specified.
6. Mix of academics and co-curricular
A balance of academics and activities like sports, music, dance, drama, arts, etc should be available to all kids for the wholesome development of the child. Do check on what kind of indoor and outdoor activities on a regular basis are available in school hours. This can minimize the need for additional activity classes outside the school for your child.
7. Curriculum selection
Curriculum selection could be one of the last points to be considered as what curriculum is most suited for your child depends on how you foresee the future of the child to unfold. This can be changed and re-visited to assess as the child moves to middle or senior school according to the individual’s interests. It is important to see what teaching methodologies could be beneficial for your child and his/her development.
8. Fees and charges
Your pocket! Yes this a crucial aspect of the decision as you alone can decide what fee structure you can afford well on a long term basis for the best overall education of your kid. Also, it is important to analyze if it is the best value for the money you get from the school for your child.
“An investment in knowledge pays the best dividends.”Benjamin Franklin
It still may not be an easy pick and choose, so make a list of your top 5 choices and fill your applications accordingly. Try to make a scorecard for each school you may be considering and grade them on all the above parameters. It is wise to keep your options open as chances of getting a seat may be minimal in a few.
Don’t lose heart if going through the admission process you don’t get a seat for your child in your top choices. It is not the end of the world. Roll down to your next level of options and there will surely be a place for your child there. You can look at the few best options for primary years and look at changing school to move to your topmost options later in the coming years.
“There are obviously two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live.”James Truslow Adams
Schools are the medium for Education but Parents are the support system for a child to grow. What they become growing up is largely dependent on how much you encourage and support them and their interest at every step of the way; how you guide them to lead the way to be confident and independent individuals and how you feel pride and happiness and express your love for each and every smallest possible achievement they make.