homeschooling growing in India

More Parents Opting For Homeschooling - Times Of India:
"In cities like Mumbai and Pune, many parents have stopped sending children to regular schools. Instead, they learn by themselves at home or are taught by parents or tutors. There are over 50 such children in Bangalore and there's even an online forum where their parents interact with each other and seek help. All of them have different reasons for choosing this system.

For agriculturist Vivek Kariappa, it was the realization that conventional schooling is biased against the rural system. His children followed no textbooks, but an agriculture-oriented curriculum. They were urged to read, to search for more information, to face problems and solve them."  
And here's more of why they enjoy homeschooling in India:
"The biggest advantage is that the timetable is flexible. The child can learn what he wants when he feels like it. He can go as in-depth as he wants. He learns it at his pace, the way he wants. He takes ownership of his learning. The stress on the child is zero," said Aditi Mathur, a strong believer of alternative education methods. 
The children are generally happy with what they do. "I get a lot of time in doing what I always wanted to do. I know how to divide time between activities. The only thing is school was much more fun with so many friends around," said Joshua.
It is worth pointing out that many of the advantages of homeschooling, and they are many, could be gained by moving from a system of compulsory attendance and its one-size-fits-all model to a system where parents and families drive the services.

I have written about India's move toward compulsory schooling. They have a complex situation and the initial boost to the economy and communities of compulsory schooling will probably look good, in a quantitative sense. You can get the same effect when you pour chemical fertilizer on plants and get strong initial growth.  The initial provision of community resources and coercion to overcome local resistance has made and will make a lot change happen. That can reinforce and hearten everyone and make them less aware of what the system they are putting in place will mean in the long run. Relying on coercion instead of mving to a more open source model that involved families and children themselves is far less efficient and creates a professional class, like our financial class, that is removed from any limits.

Prolonged mass coerced schooling diminishes the family and community and promotes peer dependence. For poor families without choices, family can seem a trap they cannot escape and resources for learning can lessen stress and provide a high quality of life.  But families can become very fragmented and exploited by many mass institutions.  Increasingly, highly-trained and schooled doctors now cannot deliver many kids of babies that "poorly educated" midwives could at far greater cost.

I hope India will show awareness of the side effects that accompany mass schooling.  A large bureaucracy whose service cannot be modified or criticized by parents and kids is not a good model and means an overgrown and top-heavy sector like our financial industry. We need to structure our institutions in a sustainable way which means moving toward open-source access and input.

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