Mostly parents are in a quandary on how to select the best school for their children. The first question that arises is, ‘Should I put my child in a boarding or a day school?’ When they discuss this issue with friends or relatives, the situation becomes more perplexing as both types have their shortcomings as well as advantages. Let’s see which one is good for your child.
Day vs. Boarding
In a day school, usually a co-educational institution, your child normally spends six hours on a particular day where the focus is on academics, spending less time on extracurricular activities or engaging in them on weekends. The major benefit is that your child can have a social life after school hours. Dhriti Malhotra, Principal of Manav Rachna International School, Gurgaon shares “I feel day schools are better than boardings because a child is there for six hours and when he goes back home, he has enough time to be with the family.”
Day school students enjoy emotional security and better family support as well. Besides, these institutions are more economical. Disadvantages would be limited school timing, association with a teacher is bound by academic year and sometimes a child’s after school hours can go non-monitored.
The best thing about a boarding school is that your child grows exceptionally self-confident. “Hostel life gives him abundant opportunities every day to learn something new and to make his own decisions. Self-confidence, which is so important in life, gets inculcated in a student gradually and automatically because of interactions with peers, juniors and seniors for a longer time vis-Ã -vis a day scholar,” says Cdr. VK Banga, Principal of The Mann School, New Delhi. SC Tiwari, Principal, Apeejay School, Noida says, “Boarding child is groomed to be independent, an important trait that one must possess in today’s challenging times.” The biggest disadvantage is that most parents miss the presence of their children and the chance to say good night every day.
What is best for your child?
If you think you are a good parent and can give your best to your child, then opt for a day school. However, if you think that you will not be able to provide good care to your child a boarding school is worth considering.
Head of School
I have ten years’ experience as a Housemaster at Aiglon College, one of the premier boarding schools in Switzerland. This experience showed me that a good boarding school is sometimes a better option for children who suffer from bad parenting, but otherwise good parenting is a much better option than a good boarding school
How do parents look at this?
Sanjai Kumar Sahu, from Uttar Pradesh who sent his son Shikhar Sahu to a boarding school in Delhi says, “I am a businessman and it is not possible for me to give full attention and the right academic balance to my son, that’s why I opted for a boarding school.” “The extra-curricular activities have helped my daughter gain more knowledge and most importantly, she has gained confidence,” says Chetan Barot and Bijal Barot whose daughter Diya Barot is studying in grade 8th at Vibgyor high School, Vadodara. In contrast, Dr. Rajeev Sharma, whose son Gaurang Sharma, is studying in VII standard, at St. Joseph School, Kasganj, prefers day schools.
Dr. Rajeev Sharma
I believe in the philosophy that parents are the only good friends of children. If you treat them as good friends and they share everything with you, I think that is the best way
Right age for boarding schools
Children in the age group of 9-10 years go for admission to class IV, the right age to begin hostel life, as a child generally takes one or two years to settle down. “From class 6th onwards a student really starts gaining things and this process continues gradually to the crucial period of his growth till classAeshwarya Tiwari 8th. It is the 4 years from classes 9th to 12th, a child starts developing his self-reliance, his choices and preferences, his role-models in life and, above all, his character,” says Cdr. VK Banga.
What experts suggest
According to Renu Goyal, Child Psychologist, and the founder of KIDICIOUS a multi-specialty clinic based in Delhi, a child must study in a day school from pre-schooling to seventh or eighth grade because at this age a child is emotionally attached to parents and require emotional bonding with their parents. “I would suggest after class sixth, when a child is about to enter teenage and mental level develops to understand things is the right age to send him to boarding school,” she said. Good boarding schools do provide opportunities for comprehensive development of children but if you are not able to afford it you can go for professional coaching or guidance during weekends.
Student and alumni speak
Day students usually miss the enjoyment boarders experience and vice-versa. Madhwi sharma, a day scholar in The Mann School, a day-cum-boarding school, shares, “I am very attached to my family and love to eat home-cooked food, which boarders miss, and also celebrations at home.” On the other hand, Sarthak Sharma who recently passed out of Scindia School, Gwalior says, “Staying in boarding was a very good time of my life as it made me self-confident and independent.”
As a parent, before choosing a school keep in mind the nature of your child or how your child could emotionally get attached to a particular school. Before sending them to any school, discuss with them and spare time for them and always try to win their confidence.
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