Why do people send their kids to school? (Part 1)

Why do people send their kids to school? That might sound like a stupid question to you. Or you might think that I am not serious when I am posing this question. I am one hundred percent serious about this question. When I look back at my own experience of my school-going days (oops… sorry Professor Daniel Kahneman. Wrong usage). When I recollect memories of my school-going days as well as think about that of millions of other people, the question ‘Why do people send their kids to school?’ keeps popping up in my head again and again. Why do people send their kids to school?

Let’s list down the most important reasons:

  1. To get the kids educated
  2. To teach them discipline
  3. To ensure that the kids go to good universities/ colleges. No, that’s not correct… To ensure that the kids go to one of the best universities/colleges
  4. Parents need someone to take care of their kids in their absence
  5. Parents don’t have the expertise in bringing up their kids. They need help from experts. Schools provide these experts.
  6. Parents don’t have the time or patience to watch their kids the entire day (and day after day)
  7. To ensure that the kids grow up as well rounded individuals

Let’s take a closer look at the above responses.

The first three look pretty straight forward. These three are the ones that every parent would agree in public too. People want their kids to get educated. After all education is the best bet to ensure in social progression. Discipline might sound a little harsh, the better one would be social etiquette. People want schools to teach social etiquette to their kids, at least parents that are not good at social etiquette themselves or parents who are not able to impart them in their kids in their family set-up. To ensure that the kids go the best universities/ colleges…. This too is obvious. The skills that the kids learn at school as a part of their curricular and co-curricular activities would help the kids to clear the screening tests conducted by the best universities and colleges and gain entry into these prestigious institutions.

The next three might not be the ones that parents might agree in public and not even in a one to one confidential conversation. But we can’t brush these aside. With the increase in the number of nuclear families, increasing proportion of families in which both the parents work and families living in cities where they do not have any of their close relatives living, parents definitely need a safe place to leave their kids when they are not in a position to take care of them. Lacking expertise in all matters related to bringing up kids could also be an issue, especially with people who have had their first kid. The emotional tantrums by kids might test the patience of the parents from time to time. Lack of time to take care of the kids could also be a problem in households where both the parents have jobs that themselves demand a lot of their time. The education that kids receive at school, the process of receiving the education and experiences associated with school days definitely help in ensuring that the kids grow up into well rounded individuals.

But according to me the most important reason why people send their kids to school is not given in the list. Chances are that most parents do not think about it when they send their kids to school. I am not sure if the professionals who work in these schools and the authorities who design the curriculum and govern these schools realize the importance of this factor in the life of kids at school. So what is this most important reason for which people send their kids to school? Before getting to it lets revisit the seven reasons once again and deliberate a little bit.

  1. To get the kids educated.

Most people can self-tutor their kids at least till the kids are in 8th/9th standard (if the parents themselves are educated). Beyond these classes, it might be difficult for the parents to teach some of subjects especially mathematics and science. Let’s assume for a moment that you have required background and you can teach your kids yourselves without sending them to schools. Will you still send your kids to a school?

  1. To teach them discipline

The family is the biggest influence on a kid and if they are not able to impart social etiquette in their kids, schools will have a tough time too. In any case whatever the school teaches, if the kids don’t get an environment at home to put them into practice, it’s as good as the kids not learning them at all. Assume that your family is better equipped to teach social etiquette to your kids than any school. Will you still send your kids to a school?

  1. To ensure that the kids go to good universities/ colleges. No. That’s not correct… To ensure that the kids go to one of the best universities/colleges.

This is slightly a dicey one. Well, the parents might be able to teach all the subjects taught in school better than schools themselves. But without help from university regulations, home-schooled students might not be able to get into the best universities. Assume that in your country home-schooled kids can take a reputed examination and if they clear this exam, they can apply for the best universities. Will you still send your kids to a school?

  1. Parents need someone to take care of their kids in their absence.

Assume that you live in a joint family or your parents live close by and are willing to take care your kids in your absence. Will you still send your kids to a school?

  1. Parents don’t have the expertise in bringing up their kids. They need help from experts. Schools provide these experts.

Same as ‘point one’ as above. Assume that you do have the expertise. Will you still send your kids to a school?

  1. Parents don’t have the time or patience to watch their kids the entire day (and day after day)

Assume that you have the time and the patience and/or your kids are very well behaved and obedient. Will you still send your kids to a school?

  1. To ensure that the kids grow up as well rounded individuals

Assume that you figure out that sending your kids to school is not the most cost-effective way in ensuring on this one. There are better ways. Will you still send your kids to a school?

The answer to all these question is an emphatic yes as schools provide the one factor that is very essential for a growing kid which you or I cannot provide in our family setting. And that will be the subject for my next blog post.

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3 thoughts on “Why do people send their kids to school? (Part 1)

  1. yogeshramgopal says:

    I definitely support. My point of this article is that most people don’t recognize the most important reason for which they send their kids to school. I will explain in detail in my follow-up post.

    Like

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