Is School Necessary

He asked, for the nth time, why he can't stay at home and learn whatever he has to. Why school? - Piyasen


I just sent my son off to school. He wasn’t in a great frame of mind. He asked, for the nth time, why he can’t stay at home and learn whatever he has to. Why school. He’s gone with bent head, miserable.But today, I made him a promise. That he, and I, will be out of this senseless existence in six months time. I did a mental checklist. There are some points that are always brought up – in my mind and by people – when I think of pulling him out of the system.

  1. School is necessary. What did I learn after 12 years of going to school and then college? Nothing much. I am pretty much clueless about physics and mathematical theories. About a lot of history. And geography. And economics. I have learnt more by reading books than from my school. I think it would be nice if I could find people who were really good teachers and could spend time with him sometimes to . I remember I had a cousin who could make physics and maths seem like magical topics. I used to often wish all my teachers were like that. Maybe from my own circle I can get some people like that for Abhimanyu.

  2. Does he need a degree? I don’t know. He may. Like all those other endorements he needs to get around in this world, all those other certificates – vaccination, passport, voter’s ID, driving licenece. He MIGHT also need a degree. I am exploring that. (I haven’t given him most vaccinations. There’s a woman here I know. She works in the health sector and is a well-known nutritionist in Bombay. I met her while I was staying in Goa. My boy was just born. She had her one and a half year old grandson with her. He wasn’t vaccinated. Neither was his mother. Or her sister. This woman must be 70 at least. She took the decision to not vaccinate her kids at that time – must have been in the 40s. After reading up a lot and meeting like-minded poeople ad going on what her instincts told her.) So about that degree, I am still undecided. He can of course give an open univ exam and get his degree that way. Let’s see.

  3. There’s that common, and I feel, rather asinine, point that people bring up when all other points have been answered. “But what about his ‘peer group’?” “He needs to mix with people of his own age.” It makes it sound like all the children are inside schools, none can be found outside. My son has more friends outside the school, in the aptt complex that we stay in, than inside it.

  4. He’ll feel out of sync with the rest. That one’s kind of worrying. He is already the son of a single mom :-) I’ll be adding on to that. I have told him why I decided to not marry. And why I feel it’s as normal to me to have a child outside marriage as it is for two people to ‘tie the knot.’ But I can see that he has some difficulty explaining to his ‘peer group’ this concept. And he can get a bit flustered.

  5. What will he do when he grows up? What will he ‘become’? A sane and happy human being. I hope.