We did not have too many choices. Our priority list looked like this
1. Chirec – Close by. Recommended by most. Has goot student – teacher ratio for small kids. Focus on acadamics for big kids. Starts taking exams from class 6
2. DPS – One of the traditional schools. Focuses a lot on academics. Starts taking exams from class 1
3. Oakridge International – Hi funda school. Focuses on “all round development.” Doesn’t have too much data on academics. Mostly good for small kids due to high teacher/child ratio. Good for kids who want to do higher studies abroad. For higher studies in India – not sure. Fees almost twice as much as the previous two schools.
Chirec was the first to give out admission forms and call for “observation.” We were more nervous than we had been during our own 10th board exams. Once there, we met 4 other couples from the same office that Vibhu and I work in. All applying for nursary. Given that school had clearly said that they were looking for “diversity” – we were among the least diverse of the lot. Venky made himself comfortable but he refused to make any conversation with the teachers there and simply ignored all their questions. Our interview did not go very well too. They only asked “So, both of you work. Who takes care of him.?”
I find that question so irritating that the irritation must’ve shown on my face. Well, you know, I obviously do not leave him on streets and go to work. I just can’t stand people who like to question parent’s commitment to their kids. “Oh poor child, how does his stay without parents!”. Excuse Me!!!! How dare you judge my parenting skills. I obviously have an arrangement that I and my child is satisfied with. How dare you suggest that I don’t love and care for my child enough!
So that was the interview with Chirec.
And then we got to know that DPS planned to close its nursary and PP sections and begin schooling only from class 1 as they don’t have enough infrastructure. There goes our 2nd backup!
Next was Oakridge’s “observation” day. Venky was in a good mood since morning. The waterfall outside the school’s campus helped. Oakridge’s had put some tri-cycles in their field next to the observation room for the kids to play with till they awaited their turn. So, by the time Venky went into the observation room he was in a great mood. He talked to the teacher. Identified all colors, animals and vegetables she asked him to. Put the beads in a string and had a discussion about “bournvita” health drink (which he has never tasted BTW). All in all, the observation routine went very well. The headmistress offered to take him in PP1 due to his rock-star performance and he was just within their age bar of 3 yrs for PP1 (for Chirec it is 3.5).
So, while we are still waiting for Chirec to respond back (interview happened more than a month ago), Oakridge’s deadline came and we shelled out more money for Venky’s PP1 admissions than what was required for our (mine and Vibhu’s) entire education put together.
Venky is going to Oakridge starting this June. The bright side – he gained an year. Not so bright side – we are not sure about their focus on academics for older kids. We do want him to go to a good college in India and not abroad. Hmm.. so for now, we’ll let him be there and take a call on changing the school when he gets older.
Thus begins Venky’s 15 years of schooling.