School-hunting Tuesday, Feb 12 2008 

My son Pranav’s third birthday is on 2 May 2008. We wish to send him to school form this June when the new academic year starts. So we’ve already visited a school.

Although compulsory education begins only at the age of six in India, it’s impossible to get admission at age six into class one in a good school, if a child hasn’t done kindergarten: Lower and upper KG, one year each. And, if the child hasn’t gone to nursery, it’s going to be very hard to find a seat in kindergarten!

So, almost everyone ends up sending their children to school very early: one year nursery and two years kindergarten before joining class one at the age of six. Children start grappling with grade one lessons in kindergarten itself. If they’re not already smart at them, ‘NO’ seat for them in class one. (There’s separate interview for parents and they are expected to be smarter than their kids!)

The school we visited follows alternative education (Waldorf education of Rudolf Steiner) up to class seven and prepares children for CBSE (central syllabus) exam from class eight.

We didn’t like the teacher who dealt with us there because her way with my son was not in accordance with the system of education they claim to follow. She tried to be polite and decent with us but was obviously rude with our child. Philosophy on paper but not in practice.

But you can’t like everyone and everything in a school and then seek admission for your kid.

We’ll be visiting some other schools before choosing one.

Schooling has turned parenting into a nightmare. This BBC story and the comments tell it all.

The Learning Lab Initiative by AMD Thursday, Feb 7 2008 

Chip manufacturing company, AMD, and American India Foundation (AIF) launched a learning lab on the premises of a Government Girls High School in Hyderabad on Wednesday to impart computer education to students.

The lab was launched under AMD’s 50×15 initiative that aims at connecting 50 per cent of the world’s population to the Internet by 2015.

Over 450 students will be taught the basics of using a computer in the lab that consists of 14 computers equipped with AMD Athlon Dual Core processor and a Windows Vista operating system.

Since most of the students of the school come from families that cannot dream of giving their children computer education, the initiative has generated great enthusiasm among the students. (Link)