It’s that time of the year again. The hard training that the children had to go through, over the past six months is going to avail the promised benefits, but in all this getting-‘recruited’-in-elite-schools process, the drilling and the grilling was done on the wrong ward, or maybe by the wrong parent here.
Every school in Kashmir has opened ‘admission for all’ falling under the age group of 3+ but the criteria for submitting the admission form states something which doesn’t sound a whole lot like it is for all. Parents, who are interested in sending their trained wards into the ‘elite’ schools of Kashmir, complain of school authorities being biased, preferring only the literate parents, who come from influential backgrounds.
Amin Mattoo, who earns ‘more than enough’ to afford his son’s school and tuition fee in any of the elite schools of Kashmir, lacks the qualification these schools are asking for, for the admission of his three year old son.
Mattoo wanted to send his kid to a missionary school known as the ‘Burn Hall’, but after seeing the criteria, with a heavy heart, he dropped this idea. The criteria demanded a qualification certificate of both the parents, for the admission form submission. He dropped his ‘missionary school’ idea and moved on to compromise with another school for his kid’s future.
“My son is so active and witty that I was sure of his selection, but the school’s criteria didn’t even allow him to reach to a stage where he would’ve shown his capabilities,” Mattoo says in a very low voice.
Lack of awareness back in Mattoo’s childhood kept him from getting good quality education and now because of his childhood negligence, his little kid is suffering.
“It is sad to know that if I couldn’t get the education I deserved, my son also won’t be able to get it because of a reason I still can’t understand,” he adds.
There are many other parents who ask the same question about the purpose of these elite schools.
“We are not educated ourselves. Why does a kid need a doctorate parent while he can be admitted in a quality school that will serve the purpose? Isn’t that the reason we send our kids to these elite schools?” says Mattoo’s wife.
Most of the people who are from the business class in Kashmir are under-educated and with each passing day, the criteria for school admissions keeps on getting difficult for these otherwise financially secure, academically insecure, people.
Not from the same working background, but an educated father who works as a medical representative is nervous for his child to get admitted in a school he wanted his only son to go to. Tanzeem Sofi (name changed) and his wife are both educated and working but yet they feel uncertain for their child’s form to get accepted.
“My wife being educated, has been spending her day and night in preparing our child for the interview and now something new has popped up: submission of our residence proof.”
“I am a resident of Sopore and my house here is still under construction,” explains Tanzeem.
Both these parents are also worried about their other personal documents that have been hard to find since those documents are temporally irrelevant.
Tanzeem’s wife points out that the submission of her discharge certificate from the hospital after delivering her baby and most categorically the submission of their income certificate.
“Shouldn’t it be enough to just afford the tuition fee? Why does anyone have to be royalty to get education in such schools?” she poses this question.
Necessary (or unnecessary) documents to be submitted by the parents are listed below:
- Qualification certificate of parents
- Electricity bill as residence proof
- Income certificate of the family
- Immunization card
- Discharge certificate of the mother after delivery
- Identification proof of both of the parents
- Date of Birth certificate of the child
A 2002 Tyndale Biscoe pass-out states how simple and easy it was back then to get admission in such schools. Amir, who belongs to a middle class family and whose parents aren’t that qualified either, has been an alumni of the most renowned school.
“When I had gone for an interview, it was me who was questioned and screened, not my parents. My parents didn’t get a chance to get quality education but I did and then so did my other siblings,” he says.
Unlike today’s parents Amir’s mother and father were fortunate enough to get him admitted in an elite school despite the fact that they lacked few of the criteria that has now been made mandatory.
Some parents fall behind in one category and some in other, while the criteria for admission keep getting added every other year.