Education is the way to a bright future. This is a statement on which we have based our charity school. I am convinced of the truth of it and this is why we provide education to poor children completely for free. Sometimes however I see how this thought has made especially better-off parents push their children for more and more and it makes me wonder. It makes me wonder whether society nowadays sacrifices love, family and the warmth and security of a home in favour of education.
An acquaintance in India recently told me that his children were both learning at a boarding school about 600 kilometers from Vrindavan. Every second weekend, he and his wife would drive ten hours or more by car in order to meet them. Why? Because this school has a good reputation and there is supposedly not any such great education available in our area. Both children have been at that school for the past six years. Their son is 18, their daughter 16.
This man is not the only one. It is quite normal for people who can afford it to send their children already at a young age further away to a good school where they have lots of extra-curricular activities, where their talent is supported and boosted and where they will finish with a certificate that opens them the doors to the best universities of the country. They can then become top managers, engineers or doctors and someday even settle down in another country. That’s the big dream and they want to make it possible for their children.
They think it is the best what they can do for their children. I am not so sure it is.
Actually, I am quite sure it is not. Why do you have to send a ten-year-old girl hundreds of kilometers away from her loving parents? Yes, she may have the chance to play exotic sports or try painting with imported water-colour and yes, she might even have better teachers than in the schools that would be available and reachable in your surroundings. It may give her access to better universities and thus a better job and income later in life. But it definitely robs her of the loving family that she was in. It takes the care of a mother away and replaces it with the care of someone whose job it is to care. Not that this person is not doing it well, it just isn’t the same!
Why have you become parent? For loving, caring and being there for your child? For hugging, playing, joking and also going through all the ‘negative’ emotions together? Or for making a great engineer? For sending your child away?
From the bottom of my heart I feel that parents should give their child as much love and closeness as they can because the day will come anyway when their baby will be old enough to live on his or her own. When you, the parents, won’t be needed anymore. It is okay not to be super-well educated. Your time and practically any activity that you do with your child is in my eyes more valuable than what a better school far away can give.
Because only you can give your child the love of a father or a mother.