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Is home schooling the way forward

Published : Jun 23, 2016, 10:20 pm IST
Updated : Jun 23, 2016, 10:20 pm IST

Shahen Pardiwala scores a cool 93.6 per cent in SSC after being home schooled; parents insist student-oriented method is the way forward

Shahen Pardiwala
 Shahen Pardiwala

Shahen Pardiwala scores a cool 93.6 per cent in SSC after being home schooled; parents insist student-oriented method is the way forward

In a world obsessed with schools and coaching classes one family decided to stand apart. The Pardiwalas from Kandivali (W) realised that merely sending your child to a school or a coaching class is not the end of their responsibility. They thought they should do more, so they decided to opt for home schooling for Shahen and let him pursue his hobbies. The idea in 2014 was not taken in good spirit by relatives and friends. But today, Shahen has scored 93.6 per cent in his SSC board exam is proving his parent’s decision right. Not only that, Shahen is already wiring a blog, running a website and a YouTube channel and wants to pursue his career in media.

“It was not an easy decision for us to go for home schooling. But we were unsatisfied with the whole schooling system. Each child is unique, so the idea of fifty children sitting in a classroom studying the same thing in the same manner was something we were sceptical about. In home schooling, we could simply sit with our child and teach him the topic in a way that suits his method of learning. We being teachers ourselves were able to do it very easily. We do however know a few doctors and lawyers who are home schooling their children successfully too. In our case, we could spend the whole day with our kids, as we were able to take them to the coaching centre that we run. The SSC board allows private candidates with a minimum schooling certificate of fourth standard to appear for the tenth boards and we opted for that. This way Shahen did not have to appear for any exams except the final board exams,” Nozzer, Shahen’s father said.

Terming routine education system as merely ‘mechanical’, Sonal believes that in home schooling, one gets to approach the same problem in a number of ways and decide which suits the child the most. “This approach was appealing to me as my child will have a unique programme, suitable to his nature,” she said.

Was it easier for Shahen “The biggest change was it gave me a lot of time unlike the school routines. I utilised the time and started a blog, a website and a youtube channel called “BLOGiMLY”. I was able to pursue an anchoring course, a film editing course and a lot more just because I had the time,” Shahen said. Also, when you get home-schooled, you get to learn the subject properly. In normal schools there are half an hour or forty-five minute classes,” he says.

Sonal takes pride today about her children knowing basic life skills. “They can cook for themselves, go out and buy groceries, they think would be the best, they know how to select the best vegetables and how to haggle with the vendors. All this has helped them to understand the basic economics of life and has enhanced their decision making process, helping them prepare for life,” she said.

When asked if this is the latest trend among the parents, Nozzar denies it. “Home schooling is not a fad as many think it is. It is more of a journey that the whole family takes together. We talk a lot about literacy but we never talk about the quality of literacy. In home schooling you get to re-invent the subject so that you can provide to the child what is relevant and necessary,” he said. Taking the thought further Sonal added “the formal education was brought into India by the British and unfortunately we are still stuck with that age old system. The curriculum has hardly changed and has failed to evolve and inculcate some of the most important things we need to know in today’s world. Most importantly I feel that schooling needs to go from curriculum oriented to student oriented and that is the only way we can ensure the quality in literacy.”