Along with parental guidance, schools play a significant role in an upbringing of a child. Good school communicate academic knowledge and teach civic and moral values to a child.
As a father who has invested much of his personal time (and not just money) upbringing of his children, I can tell that it is extremely painful to even imagine one’s child getting caught on serious charges of wrongdoing. No parent would ever want that to happen. But if it still happens, it is a moment of reckoning for parents.
As a parent, we all wish well for our children. More than their becoming successful, we want our children to lead a decent, happy and wholesome life. This doesn’t happen on its own. Parents have to work towards it and most parents do.
Indeed, my personal and professional life is organised around giving my children a decent start in life. As a professional, it was so easy for me to have continued staying on a single track and keep soaring in my profession. And I liked it that way. But reality warranted something else.
Being a father of two school-going kids, I had to think beyond my narrow self-interest to focus on my childrens’ upbringing. More than money, the children needed my time. I consciously switched gears to maintain a fine balance between personal and professional lives.
In addition to parental guidance, schools play an important role in a child’s upbringing. Good schooling is as much about imparting academic knowledge and skills as about instilling moral and civic values of honesty, truthfulness, discipline, conduct and so forth. Similarly, putting children in sports is as much about their physical fitness as about their learning life skills.
Likewise, cultivating hobbies is as much about making them creative as about turning them into sensitive human beings, having appreciation for other aspects of life such as art and culture.
It is often said that getting your child into a good school is only half the battle won and the other half rests on parenting. I have come to realise that good parenting is mostly about leading by example. There is so much that the kids learn from their parents, subconsciously. I wonder how much the kids who end up going to boarding schools are able to imbue from their parents.
I still have a few more years to go before my children finish their schooling. Some of my friends who are much ahead in this game, inform me that once a child is firmly in a professional groove, the profession itself will catapult them in a career trajectory. Therefore, a good parenting and schooling now, will hold them in good stead later.
While I would like to believe in what my friends say, I gaze into future with some trepidation. More so, when I think of persons hailing from decent families and having graduated from India’s levy league institutions, getting chargesheeted for money laundering or cheating tax authorities or duping the general public of their hard-earned money.
A few of them are even cooling their heels in Tihar jail. When I hear of lack of integrity and ethics among professionals — be it bankers, auditors, accountants, medical doctors and so forth — writ large. I think something went amiss somewhere in the process of their growing up. Could it be the result of their parents own conduct? Or, could it be their schooling that failed to ingrain moral values for life? Probably, both.
(The writer is a development economist, formerly with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Bank)
Writer: Rajeev Ahuja
Courtesy: The Pioneer