When a baby girl is born to Indian parents her parents have great dreams for her. They dream of her going to a convent school and then to a convent run college and then getting herself a husband due to her "convent educated" status. In fact the craze for convents is so much that we now have anyone and anybody opening "convent schools". I think Mr Rupinder Singh who runs the St Jesus Convent School and Ramesh Kedia who runs St God Convent School are visionaries. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if they have branches called St Convent School , St Sister, St Church and St Cemetry. Anything that sounds remotely Christian is prefixed with the "St" and used as a name for these schools. Recently a school called St Anthony's was in the news for physically punishing a child. Turns out the owners were an ordinary couple who also had a flower nursery.
When people run out of names they become innovative and we have St Lilly, St Rose and St Lotus to name a few. Some people go for an authentic touch and we get schools like St Meera and St Radha. Well they were saints weren’t they? The word ‘saint’ in any other language would still be a saint!
Among the upmarket schools we have names like Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and even Ivy League. I heard there is a school called IIT!!!
With education becoming a lucrative business with millions to be made, schools are mushrooming everywhere. The St God School was a two room tenement. Today it had classes from Nursery to 10th in a span of just 5 years! The owner incidentally is uneducated. That in my humble non MBA opinion is the best example of business acumen!
The other category of schools is the Kindergarten variety. The owners of these schools are more sober though some do go a little overboard with names like 'Little Angels' (guffaw) and 'Dolls'(double guffaw). Excuse the loud unlady like laughter but I was a KG kid too some time back and neither was I an angel nor a doll. Neither were my classmates. We were more like mud encrusted devils with bald patches of scalp from where many an enraged classmate had pulled our hair out. There was more hair flying in our class that in a fur factory. (I dared to grow my hair only after reaching high school!)
Most of these schools are garages or asbestos sheet covered tenements. But the full classrooms do give you hope that education is finally being regarded as an asset by people who rarely sent their kids to school once. On the flip side if this unbridled growth continues then education will become just another commodity, but like a commodity, competition may just keep prices in check.