Residential schools, a bane or boon?

While every child needs care, affection and presence of parents around them at tender age, the question arising here is whether sending a child to residential school, with or without consent of the child is depriving the child from its right for parental care.

People working for child issues feel that residential schooling has its own advantage and disadvantage but it is better a child is send to the residential school with consent of the child.

Child Rights Activist and former Child Welfare Committee (CWC) Member Renny D’Souza says there are various reasons for the parents to send their children to residential schools. “It is a different experience all together. The child will feeling cut off from all emotional relationships initially. While some cope up, problem creeps up only when they fail to come to terms with separation. In such a case it is better parents realise the same and get the children back. Most of the times the parents dwelling is rural areas are forced to send their children to residential schools due lack of proper schools and infra structure in their locality,” he said There are many residential schools, which include 13 Ashrama schools, four Morarji Desai residential schools and one Muslim residential school, functioning in the district. In addition, 19 pre-metric hostels too are functioning under the Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat Social Welfare Department in the district alone.

However the condition of most of these schools are pathetic. D’Souza says that government should give more emphasis for the development of infrastructure in government run residential schools by sanctioning sufficient funds.”  Eminent pediatrician Dr Shantharama Baliga says that if a child is sent to residential school with his or her consent, then the problem of mental agony may not crop up and the child will accept it.
“Parents should take children into confidence by convincing them about the necessity of sending them to residential schools in the beginning itself. Firstly, they may miss their parents, siblings and their home and will never feel at home if they are send to residential schools without their consent. However, when a child is sent to a residential school with consent, he or she will make up the mind and enjoy the schooling,” Dr Baliga opined. A major disadvantage in residential schooling system is that children are brought up in an environment where there will be no elders to teach family and social values, he added.

The infrastructure, quality of education, level of descipline, standard of food and accommodation in residential schools also are some major aspects to be taken into consideration.

If the school has all the necessary infrastructure, then the child can learn better and lead an independent life in future. Such schools will also boost the confidence level, thinking capacity and the self-esteem in a child, Dr Baliga said.

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