Thomas Edison’s famous quote “A single piece of sheet can’t decide your future” doesn’t work in India. In our nation, marks, grades, CGPA, percentage eat up a child’s craving for learning and give pathways to the relatives for uncalled gatherings.
Homeschooling refers to informal and unofficial education where home serves as the platform for learning and education. Generally, the parents become the home tutors and tutors or online teachers also contribute towards it. It is informal learning where school or institutional barriers do not prompt the glow and growth of a student. There is no fixed syllabus or curriculum under home schooling. From gardening to cleaning, from stitching to weaving words from imagination everything comes under homeschooling. An extreme sense of competition is not there. A child can learn at his or her own pace. Infact, the education style or learning procedure can be customized or shaped according to the child’s own interests and inclinations.
Merits of Homeschooling:
• Flexibility, Freedom, no time bound criteria
• No prescribed curriculum
• No school fees
• No pressure for exams, assignments, deadlines.
• No competition or rat race.
• Absolutely under the surveillance of guardians.
• Online teaching or online courses from the comfort of Home.
Demerits of Homeschooling:
• No social interaction or socialization
• Extreme flexibility is not good
• Energy or seriousness towards timely and active submission or appearing for exams are eradicated easily.
• Best resources or textbooks are often neglected.
• Definitely criticisms, mockery and frowning faces of relatives and other social beings.
Homeschooling in India:
In India, when a student stands under Humanities umbrella instead of Science or Commerce, it is easily interpreted that the child is weak, not capable of dealing with Science or Commerce. Then how can this motherlands’ products digest Homeschooling? Anyway, India and Indian society are very stereotypical and concerned with things and themes which are not legally approved and socially followed.
Unschooling or Homeschooling will usher more and more trouble, pain, difficulties, denunciation, reproval and censure. In India, homeschooling gives shelter to NIOS and IGCSE when it comes to appearing for board exams. But no crystal-clear foundation has been formed for Homeschooling. Although our government strongly supports the compulsory education for children of 7 – 14 years age group, but no law or legal bill has not been passed yet. If Homeschooling method is applied or practiced via people then there are uncertainties of higher education or admission into colleges and universities. No legally approved method falls under this informal method. Distance Education is UGC approved and students completing or pursuing their higher studies via distance learning method are eligible for higher studies and their education, learning procedure and exams are approved and sanctioned by the government itself.
Distance Education is falling under approved universities after all, its just that the students don’t have to attend regular college. Only study materials, internal assignments and giving exams at study centers will do. But Unschooling has no such facilities therefore, even if learning at a pace, flexibility etc. are followed, full assurance regarding further formal education is a doubtful case. Anyway, still people are giving exams via NIOS methods and they are getting into formal institutions and jobs.
Anything which is out of practice, or new has to receive criticisms but the newcomer has to bear with those, has to endure and has to showcase the capability. People would look down upon the new unschoolers but appreciate the renowned unschoolers like – Charlie Chaplin, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain and several. So, planting a new seed is easy, germination, growth, tenacity require support and stamina.
“Education is not preparation for life, education is life itself.”
Author – Sharmistha Dey