One of my son's little friends is being sent to Indian boarding school at six years old

(27 Posts)
ReallyTired Mon 28-Apr-08 22:55:30

His parents are disillusioned with British State education. They feel that the national curriculum is unchallenging and British children are ill disciplined. They feel that UK educational standards are awful in state schools.

The mother was helping out in the classroom and was disgusted that a (year 1) child who swore at the teacher was not severely punished. Apparently in India that child would had got the cane.

Their plan is that their son will stay with granparents during the holiday. The parents will return to India as soon as the father has job secured in India. Apparently a good boarding prep school costs about 2K, which is a lot cheaper than the local private school.

It does seem cruel to me though. sad The poor little thing has only ever been to India once.

Smithagain Tue 29-Apr-08 10:04:38

Have his parents had experience of the Indian education system? Just asking because my friend's daughter has just spent a summer holiday teaching in a primary school in South India and reported that they were very good at learning by rote, but could not apply anything they had learned and did not know how to play. She spent part of the summer teaching five year olds to play with lego, because they had never "just played" to see what happened. Made me feel a bit sad

KerryMum Tue 29-Apr-08 10:06:52


why have children?

saadia Tue 29-Apr-08 10:10:57

There is a massive difference. I have lots of friends who have recently come here from India/Sri Lanka and they are absolutely appalled by the lack of discipline and respect in some schools, so I can sort of see their POV, but six is just far far too young and it could really traumatise him for life.

And just BTW a friend who was working as a teacher in India and volunteers here at ds' school said that reading methods and standards are actually better here.

SSSandy2 Tue 29-Apr-08 10:10:58

I know dp here in Germany who are considering sending their 8 year old dd (no family connection to India whatsoever) to boarding school in India because they think she will get a better education there and because it is comparatively cheap

admylin Tue 29-Apr-08 10:17:17

Dh is from India and when we had our dc and lived in the student village family building in Germany alot of PhD students or even postdocs from India would call on us and they would almost always end up in the dc room playing with their toys and being amazed at the amount of choice that our dc had. They couldn't even do jigsaw puzzles for 4 year olds.

When I mentioned it to dh, he just said 'And, what's the problem? They made it to be scientists/engineers/postdocs'

KerryMum Tue 29-Apr-08 10:59:42

[shudder] admylin

QueenMeabhOfConnaught Tue 29-Apr-08 11:38:08

My dh was sent to boarding school in India when he had just turned 10 and he said it was awful. It really damaged his relationship with his parents and siblings. He won't let our children board here never mind abroad!!!

nametaken Tue 29-Apr-08 12:06:08

I firmly believe that, for all it's problems, The British Education System is the best in the world.

You may get better behaved children in countries like India where, lets face it, they beat the children, BUT, in terms of knowledge and learning, NOTHING beats a British Education. Ask any of the Italians on here.

In the USA and Canada do you know why parents are so obsessed with saving for a "College Fund" for their children. It's because when an 18 year old leaves school in North America, they have only been educated to GCSE standard, not A level standard like here, parents then have to pay for an additional 2 years college, plus the 3 or 4 years that we would expect to pay for a higher degree course. That's why they start saving the minute the blue line appears.

Don't knock it, it's better than you think.

Tortington Tue 29-Apr-08 12:10:07

how strange. when i was a kid my nan went to see he nuns tosee if my indian friends could get in. the family were delighted that their children were getting the best education. my nan was delighted becusae if Mr gokaldas' children went to myschool it was indeed a measure that it was the best grin

discipline in many schools is shit though.

Vinegar Tue 29-Apr-08 12:22:05

For me personally the issue is not about sending the child to a school in India, but sending such a young child to boarding school anywhere. There are alot of International schools in India now, these have very good facilities and are cheaper than the eqivalent school in the UK. I very much doubt they would cane a child in that sort of school and they often do the International Bacculearate, so it would be easy for this child to return at a later date. It sounds to me more like they are not happy with their local school and maybe can't afford private schooling in the UK, so are sending their child to a private school in India.
I am anti-boarding school, but other than that can't see how it can be cruel. Maybe once the dad gets a job in India, the child will be a day student. Maybe they also want to be close to their families.

Vinegar Tue 29-Apr-08 12:27:17

My neighbours moved back to India and this is the school their children go to -

There are traditional schools where learning is just by rote and Victorian-type discipline, but things have changed in India these past 5 years and there is a lot more choice. It is expensive by local standards, but not for people who earn their wage in the west or have high-flying careers in IT.

Brangelina Tue 29-Apr-08 12:40:49

"Ask any of the Italians on here"


Italian primary school is excellent (I think one of the best in Europe), it's secondary school upwards that it goes tits up. Children certainly learn to spell properly in Italian schools anyway....

PS. Any education system is better than the US one. We used to get exchange students at our uni who were put back 2 years or more from their US grade (eg. final year student in languages being put back to preliminary year in UK). Hardly surprising when said girl got points for ballet and skiing as well as her language skills...hmm. That was 20 years ago, don't know if things have changed. One exchange student was a sports scholarship. Say no more.....

ReallyTired Tue 29-Apr-08 22:20:36

I think that the people who get the most emotionally damaged are those who sent to boarding school for the sake of being sent away.

There is no doult that my son's little friend is very loved. His parents do truely think they are doing the best for him and its not a cheap option. They still have the flights to pay for and indian boarding schools are not free.

Part of their reasoning is that they want him to improve his Hindi.

snorkle Wed 30-Apr-08 09:17:18

Hope it works out, but I do feel sorry for him. As well as the usual difficulties boarding at that age he may well get bad 'deli belly' as he's not spent much time in India before.

mapleleaf Wed 30-Apr-08 09:36:32

Nametaken - Canadian grade 12 is NOT equivalent to GCSE's. I went to a wonderful Catholic high school in western canada and went straight into very good British university without any need for extra college tuition. As did many friend of mine.

I do remember at the time that pupils from the US needed to complete a college foundation type course, but for Canadians this was not the case.

As for this family, well to each his own. I imagine it was not a decision taken lightly.

SSSandy2 Wed 30-Apr-08 09:50:15

If they want to take him out of the British school system ASAP and have an interim period to get through before the df finds work in India, I don't know why the boy can't live with his grandparents and attend a day school there or be home-schooled in the UK until they move. Well perhaps it isn't feasible under their particular circumstances.

I hope they don't still cane pupils in India. Maybe things have changed a lot since the dp were at school

nametaken Wed 30-Apr-08 13:28:25

Hi mapleleaf - can I ask if your school was a fee-paying one? I was referring to State Schools.

mapleleaf Wed 30-Apr-08 14:15:40

Nametaken - The Catholic schools in Edmonton were all fee free. How lucky for my parents ;-) Although i had the option i chose not to follow the IB prgramme which was also on offer at another nearby Catholic High School for free.

Makes me wonder when we should make a move on back home ??

hana Wed 30-Apr-08 14:20:51

nametaken - you've got your facts wrong about the Canadian school system. Grade 12 is not the equivalent of a GSCE, and no one goes to college before university. This is the state system, private school are few and far between - unlike in the UK. People start saving up for university fees 'cause it's bloody expensive. From what I've seen of the university system over here - I'd be far happier for my children to go to one in Canada.

purpleduck Wed 30-Apr-08 14:33:19

I am Canadian as well, and fee paying schools are rare.

The Canadian educational system is vastly different from the American one.

In Canada, College is not the same as 6th form as it often is here. I went to College after High School on a University Transfer Program to do my first 2 years of university. I could have just gone straight to University.

However, the amount of funding available here is really good

hana Wed 30-Apr-08 14:35:09

oh yes, don't lump the US/Cdn school systems together please

nametaken Wed 30-Apr-08 14:48:31

OK I got that wrong about Canada - I was under the impression that Ontario was the only state that still provides free catholic education and that in all the other states, parents had to pay, or at least make a sizable contribution. Or they could of course use the free non-catholic schools is they wished.

Obviously got that wrong big time.

hellish Wed 30-Apr-08 14:49:22

To Canadians - I am a Brit in Canada - dd1 in Grade 3, dd2 in Senior Kindergarten
Schooling system is different but certainly not worse than in UK (v good experience with primary there too). I am v impressed with the way they foster independance and confidence here.

So far I don't think my dd1 is behind Y3 peers in UK. Full time school starts (up to) two years later here, - my dd2 is bored out of her mind, but in 2009 Kindergarten is changing to full time.

BUT need to start saving for uni or traing dc up for some kind of sports scholarship wink

purpleduck Wed 30-Apr-08 19:29:50

LOL nametaken
America has states
Canada has provinces


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