“Intelligence plus character-that is the goal of true education.”
Martin Luther King Jr.
These golden words of Martin Luther King are truest to their spirit however in today’s world and social standing we need to become conscious of the fact that private educational institutions have become a rapidly increasing business primarily for minting money rather than trying to contribute for improving the educational system.
So we did a survey of the top private mainstream schools for preschooling in Lahore. And we got to a conclusion that TNS(The New School), LGS(Lahore Grammar School) and Lahore learning alliance came to be some of the top three, so we spoke to parents from these respective schools and did further assessment as to see which one is the finest.
Let’s see what the parents of LGS( Lahore Grammar School) have to say:
• The monthly fee of preschool is Rs. 30,000.
•The education and academic curriculum is average to good. Teachers and teaching ideology could be better. Teaching is done in a way where the kids love to learn new stuff. Parents like how they have mantained a balance between IB and regular stream education and the introduction of new subjects.
•Extracurricular is very good(as physical activity is essential for a proper growing mind e.g. swimming and day trips, taekwondo and sports are some of the extra classes they offer which helps create awareness and new learning ground for the kids.)
•Overall view of school is good; the parents are satisfied to some extent mainly because of the parent teacher communication, the teaching ideaology and the fact that the location is good, the reputation of the school is highly esteemed since years and the fact that it is one of the better off all-girls schools in Lahore.
Here’s what the parents of the Learning Alliance Preschool have to say:
•The monthly fee of preschool is Rs. 35,000.
•Education and teaching ideology is very good. They make learning fun, colorful and catchy making it easier for the kids to absorb the concept.
•Extracurricular is excellent as kids aren’t just given the facility of swimming or field trips but they have piano, computer, ballet and yoga classes. Which is great!
•Overall the parents are very happy with the school; they love the teacher student interaction and appreciate the attention given to each child. Some parents thought of putting their kids in TNS but were putoff by the fact that when they went for the admissions there, the lady at the reception kept stating that it’s a school by the Kasuris and they have put their kids in this school too like that’s some kind of barometer for the perfect school. The parents also have a say that it’s become a social status symbol to be putting kids in such schools.
Let’s see what the parents of TNS have to say:
- Very expensive considering it’s for preschool and comparing to the rest of the schools it really is. The montly fee is Rs. 42,000.Even if they are giving lunch most of the kids don’t eat everything that’s cooked and usually end up having very little or none at all.
- Education system is very good, however more attention should be given on how to teach with creative ways. It’s apparently the leading IB school however more is expected by the parents.
- They do have extracurricular but there needs to be more facilities not just music and swimming.
- They should add yoga, cooking, and musical instrument teaching classes too however they do have courses and clubs for the elder kids in the higher classes as other schools do.
- Overall parents are somewhat satisfied but equally disgruntled with the school as most of them feel they are not given the value of services in fees so sky high and the activities are very basic. People opt for this school thinking it’s the best IB school in Lahore and because its location is better off and that they would be offering something more than the rest of the schools. They need to provide more than what they are already because that’s what every other school is offering people are willing to pay so much for their children so that they have better facilities and amenities.
Today, one-fifth of children or one-third of all students go to private schools in Pakistan. Student life is an important part of education. You want your child to be happy, productive, and engaged at school. And you want them to develop and maintain strong friendships and peer relationships.
However all these private schools are teaching more or less the same curriculum and have fee structures according to their own free will just because they have an added facility or two. And a whopping 5% to 10% raise in fees annually. All these schools are earning on an average 30k a month for each student and this is just the tuition fees this does not include the very expensive books, a huge list of stationary, uniform and not to forget the monthly miscellaneous spending for different occasions and projects and whatnot.
We have made going to school a status symbol. Deep down inside we all know and believe it’s expensive but we don’t have the courage to go and tell them or take a stand. The society we are living in today is all about status ranking and unfortunately we all have become a part of it. This national crisis prompted some parents to knock on the door of the court of law for justice. After protests did not bear desired fruit, petitions were filed in courts but that also hasn’t made a difference till now and the government hasn’t taken any notice for the sky rocketing fees. And this actuality is known to these private school owners who take full advantage of the fact that they can fully manipulate the parents for the well being and so called quality education being given to their children. Moreover a teacher’s salary should ideally be equivalent to the school fees of four students, but private schools are blatantly violating this as they know no one will question or challenge them.
Let us tackle this mafia and really see the truth behind this self made status conscious society and not sit idle waiting for an epiphany. Let’s hope for a brighter and happier future for Pakistan.