interview for kids!

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A reputed public school in Bangalore south…where three and half years’ kid Arjun faced an interview to get the admission for the L.K.G., had a funny play with his performance! After the interview his mother Anjali Ramanna, who is an advocate also, got the answer that, ‘we will inform you later’! Around 20 days passed. No response from the school. But neighbour received a letter from the same school. Tension arised among Arjun’s parents. They were expecting negative response atleast! So that they can try in some other schools for his son’s admission.  Finally Anjali contacted the school and asked about her son’s selection. But there was no satisfactory response. “it may come in second list, it may come in third list…concerned clerck is on long leave…”. These were the answers! Advocate mother met management members. They were already well aquainted with this parent, as her elder son was studying in the same school. They said “we prefer the siblings”!

When Anjali asked about this unnecessary delay, she came to know that, “Arjun is not upto-the-mark”! She just got surprised, as Arjun was already a student of a play school, which is a well-known in pre-nursery course. Finally she got a letter from management to the school, which was supposed to send by a peon,  she was just curious to read the same. She could find a marks list of her child, which shown the details as: “looking smart- 5 out of 5; mingling with peer group- 5 out of 5; apprehension- good; respecting elders- good; Alphabets-3 out of 8; colouring-1 out of 3. This child is very good looking, highly confident, has updated general knowledge. But not able to recognize the alphabets and colours”.   “If my son is able to tell everything, what they would teach in next two years” asks Anjali, who preserves a copy of that letter!

As Delhi High Court has ruled that no private school should conduct interviews of either children or parents during admission to nursery classes recently, a discussion is going on about the same across the Karnataka, among the parents, private schools as well as educationists. Delhi High Court had directed earlier on Dec 9, 2005, to The Association of Unaided Private Schools regarding this. The association had assured in an affidavit that suitable parameters would be evolved to dispense with present practice.

Anyways the counsel of ‘Social Jurist’, an NGO should be thanked for this, who had filed a PIL against the present system.

Is there necessity of interview in nursery schools? Answer stands for both-yes and no. As western educanist James Coleman had said in a paper that-“interview system is very essential in private schools. Because private schools are more successful than government schools, as they have higher levels of ‘social capital’. Social capital includes families’ and schools’ shared expectations and goals, which are reinforced through interactions between children and adults.”  Parental Involvement Model at the University of Houston also supports this system, which increases the parents’ responsibility in the all round development of a child.

“But in the Indian context, interview has become a way of financial discussion. Managements would keep observing financial condition of parents”  opines  Prof. Mahesh Tippashetty, who admitted his grand daughter in a reputed school in Bangalore. He also adds that we can not blame all schools in this regard. As some of them have really good intension to know the educational qualification and cultural background of parents.

As for as concern about child psychology, “it is a very bad idea” explains child psychologist Dr. Ajith Bide. But he also finds that interview helps to identify the children who may be suffering from behavioral problem.

Mahendra Singhi who runs three schools in Hubli asks that “if we get 200-300 applications for 30 seats, what criteria should be followed for the selection?.” He requests the educationists as well as concerned authorities to suggest comparative way than interview. Dr. P.S.Khona, vice-president of Sri C.D.O.Jain Education Society in Gadag, opposes the interview system strongly, but his school conducts interviews since many years! As he says it is collective opinion of the committee. According to Dr. Khona interview creates severe psychological pressure on kids. But on contrary Rumila Kolhar who is assistant head mistress in the same school, opines that interview is must to know the basic knowledge of child and parents. She does not agree with psychological pressure among the children. “Now a days most of the children are very intelligent, confident. Their I.Q. level is also good. So they answer with courage and boldness” she explains. Then what about the children, those who are not bold in viva test, but bold in writing? Rumila says “as we go through the written test, we will give much time for such students”.  But Veena Shashidhar a resident of Rajajinagar Bangalore, who is a B.E. graduate opposes this statement and says “such system should be banned in Karnataka also. Because 90% children can not open their mouth in front of strangers though they are intelligent enough.”
Sudha Narasimharaju cine-small screen artist-who has been to a noted school for the admission of her cousin’s child-finds a new way of informal interview. “In this way there is no question of tension among the children and parents. Because we can find homely atmosphere in such interviews. Children would be kept in a garden or hall for a hour or  two. No restrictions for their  activities. They will move with other children of same age. In between this session, teachers or other concerned persons of the school will come to them with smiling face and ask questions lively. A child who is already full of confidence, will answer easily!”

“Formal or informal does not make any difference” orgues Hemalatha M.N., a nursery teacher in Kengeri satellite town. According to her, schools should consider the children of uneducated parents also. Then if the no. of applicants is more than available seats? Hemalatha  propounds the method of ‘first come-first serve’. S.R.Rohidekar a noted educanist  also supports this method and he suggests that children should get admitted in their surrounding schools itself. He says education has to be controlled by the government, not by the private institutions. But today it is reverse. Money is acting in a major role in the present system. As he observes, this interview system is being followed in pre-nursery level also, to which he protests strongly. “Oh god! Interview for two and half years’ child!” he expresses his surprise.

It is not that only schools’ managements have promoted this interview system, where parents are also equal responsible for this. As Premalatha-sociology lecturer-defines “If a school does not conduct interview, parents express a doubt about the education quality of that school!”  Yes, some parents wish to have an interview with school managements. Bharathi S., who resides at Agrahara Dasarahalli affirms in this way- “if they give admission to all, wise and dull students without interview then wise students may follow the dull fellows. So I expect interview to bifurcate  students according to their IQ level.” “But most of the institutions do not preserve the common sense of what to ask and what to not” Shrilaxmi, who is an casual announcer in AIR Bangalore, interrogates strongly. She was asked about her caste, what she did not want to tell about. When she said ‘casteless’ management was not ready accept. When she got clear idea from her advocate friend, then it was entered as ‘casteless’. Veena Shashidhar was asked about her degree and house work. As being an engineering graduate, she is a full time house-wife, she was asked- “ being a engineering graduate why are you not working any where?” Her answer was very serious- “it’s  my personal matter!”

One can find that interview system has become a great problem for the parents, those who use to shift their residence because of their transferable jobs and other reasons, from one place to other. As Dinesh Shiny-a hotel businessman of Manipal-defines if a child has got good marks in  his previous standard of one school, though he has to face another interview in new school, which puts the child in much tension.

-Sangamesh Menasinakai

(note: unedited version, it was published in Education supplement of VIJAY TIMES dtd 08-09-2006)

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2 Responses to “interview for kids!”

  1. sunanda Says:

    provocative article.

  2. Nursing Pro Says:

    Nursing Pro…

    […]interview for kids! « chilly’s home[…]…

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