Saturday 5 February 2011

Two headaches less

Two major to-dos have been ticked off the relocation list. First, the apartment - check. A nice complex, a stone's throw from a metro station, and just off the main 'mall' road of Gurgaon. I haven't counted, but I think there are atleast 10 malls, all jostling for space next to each other, down that road. Definitely a mall-rat's Mecca, but for a mall-o-phobic like me, a plain disgusting sight. Oh well, atleast Haldiram's is a stone's throw away and visitors to our place can always go shopping if they're too bored. The complex has a tennis court, swimming pool, a (really nice) children's play area, a (tiny) gym, and is on a quiet residential street.
Second, the school - check. We interviewed at only one school, which is a new (international) school, only about 5-6 years old. People who have their kids there are happy and the online reviews that I read were also largely very positive. We took a school tour and it seemed very similar to the one Ads goes to currently, so we were hoping we would get in. And we did. We also toured another international school, which is an IGCSE school based on the Montessori method. While I really liked it, S had his own reservations regarding whether Montessori kids can cope with the mainstream system later in life. I couldn't convince him. Truth be told, I didn't try too hard since it was quite a bit more expensive than the first school, and we weren't willing to pay that much.
So. Coming back to the first school. Ads starts in the 1st week of April, in Grade I. The whole admission process was interesting. After the school tour, we met the 'Public Relations Officer' who gave us some gyan on the school. She asked both of us, individually, to fill out a long questionnaire, in order to understand our 'value systems' and 'parenting philosophy'. I don't remember all of the questions, but they ran something along these lines.
What is your life's motto?
What is your vision for yourself, and for your child?
What do you look for in a school for your child?
How do you enforce discipline in your home?
What are the 2 most important values you want to instill in your child?
How can schools and parents work together to create the best environment and opportunities for the child?
How do you define 'quality'? How do you create 'quality' in your child?
There was a father's questionnaire, and a mother's questionnaire. S and I kept comparing notes to see that we weren't writing in complete opposition to each other! I also told S that I was memorizing my answers so that I would remember what rubbish I wrote, in case the Principal asked me :)
A week later, we had an 'interaction' with the Principal. It was just a nice informal chat. She asked us some questions on our background and tried to see what kind of expectations we have from this school and the education system in general. I also think she was gauging whether we are the kind of parents she wants to have in her school, though she wouldn't admit it if we dragged her over hot coals. I'm pretty certain a lot of these new schools cater to, and actively solicit, a certain kind of student profile. In short, they want parents like us. Well-educated, articulate, in good jobs in the corporate sector. It may be unfair but it's true. It's also true that this is why parents like us prefer going to such schools, because we know we have a very good shot at getting in, unlike the better-known ones like DPS, Amity and Shriram, which have more applicants than they know what to do with. Every day, I see an article in the newspapers about parent's woes in getting admission for their kids in Delhi. Fortunately, Noida and Gurgaon have more supply than demand and the situation here isn't as crazy as in the city. 
I liked the low-pressure admission process in this school, and in other similar schools. At no point did we feel like supplicants begging for a seat. I know that as these schools become better-known, they also become more snooty in their attitude. A few years down the line, it might not be as easy getting a seat in this school. But for now, that's one headache off my list. Cheers.


  1. Yay for you!!
    I know how difficult choosing a good school and getting into it can be even if you're living in the same city, but while planning to relocate - wow must be a whole new ballgame! Great that your main priorities seem to have been taken care of :). Happy relocating!!

  2. Pardon me for a naive question. What differentiates an international school from non-international ones?
    Is it the MNC equivalent of schools?

  3. Intl schools typicalyl don't follow the CBSE pattern. They would either follow the IB or the IGCSE (cambridge)curriculum. of course the fees are also 'international' bacause u get the frills - AC buses, classrooms etc. The one we got admission for Ads doesn't call itself international. They follow CBSE pattern until class 8. After that parents choose - whether they want their child to continue in CBSE or shift to the IGCSE. In general, class sizes are small (no more than 20-22 kids), there's a lot of individual attention.
    Having said that, there are plenty of CBSE schools calling themselves international.


I would love to hear your thoughts :)