Why Education? (A parent’s viewpoint)

Why Education?

Why do I send my kids to school?

Am I blindly following society’s rule?

Do I have my sights set on a high income?

The pride, the prestige of in-campus recruitment…

Comments from friends and the neighbour:

“There goes Aditya and Ishan’s mother;”

“She’s so lucky,”

“How did she do it?”

“Those boys are gems!”

“She really slogged after them!”

“They owe it all to her…”

“Did u hear their income the very first year?”

Are these the ‘worthwhile’ reasons,

That drives me to keep my sons

Slogging at their books?


Yes, I expect my children to gain

A brighter future with a good education

Cementing their foundation.

I know that education does not guarantee

Swollen bank accounts

And a life of luxury.

It takes something quite else

To make a Dhirubhai Ambani

Or a Bill Gates.

What I do hope they will obtain

From all these years of School room pain,

Is a deep empathy for all creatures big and small,

Hearts filled with gratitude for life’s each blessing,

A spirit of generosity and the willingness to help any and all,

Even make a heart-warming difference to the world we live in.


What does Education mean to me?

An avenue to make my children aware

Of a life worth living passionately;

To hone the sensibility to admire

Mother Nature – her beauty always afire;

To encourage them to be curious and eager,

To explore and be a lifelong learner;

To cooperate and be a strong team player,

To lead by example even in grave danger;

To know right from wrong with clear perspective,

To harm no one and easily forgive;

To protect the weak and value the truth,

To work with discipline unmindful of fruit;

Even in the face of peer pressure stand steadfastly,

In every thought and action accept accountability.


Yes, these aren’t just clichéd phrases

I believe good character will take my sons places.

I don’t want them to be carbon copies

Of the highest ‘marks-men’ among their peers.

Manufactured out of school in tightly packed similar boxes;

Processed and packaged and graded

Like quality certified processed food;

The lowly graded, alas, fit only for local consumption;

Export quality tagged – awaiting the highest auction.

No, I don’t need them to score the highest in their classes,

Yet surviving each exam is like scaling peaks

And negotiating treacherous mountain passes.

The subjects they like are easy as you please,

But there are always others that do not tickle the imagination

And getting the passing grade could easily be a miss.


If character building be the aim

Why not consider exams and marks just a game?

When I look at their darling faces

And suffer their ‘projects within due date’ woes;

When I look into their notebooks and find

Question marks, “Late Submission!”

And sundry other comments inked in rose;

I should remember that Life is the journey:

It is enough they love to attend school and enjoy

Listening to their triumphs and travails of the day,

And marvel at all they learnt while at play.

What amazing object he and his partner discovered,

How many ‘bad words’ he learned this day;

How I react to his shocking words

May stay with him longer than his report-cards.


Education, I need not fear

Will start at the end of schooling;

It started when they were babes in arms

And will continue till Journey’s ending;

This period of schooling will however

Lay the foundation of how they perceive learning.