Ankita Harihar, II BA English, spoke on the topic: "Boarding Schools: Do you think they teach children to live together?"
Excerpts from her speech:
Boarding school is not every child’s dream. It is true that a child learns a lot – to be both independent and social, but it isn’t just these two which mould a person. Even though they are groomed into individuals, their relationship with the outside world, especially with their parents does decline. When denied of parental love and affection it is quite possible to get depressed, feel insecure and grow with less self-confidence – these can even turn a person violent because true love and understanding during tender years of growth have not been showered on them.
Children in boarding schools miss out on a healthy life with their own kith and kin. They may even feel like ‘a fish out of water’ during family get-togethers because they hardly get to mingle with their own people. On the other hand, they may relate very well to each other and teachers in the school. So, unless the family ties are strong, one doesn’t grow into a healthy individual. Restricted holidays keeps them away from celebrations and festivals. This creates a vacuum in their relationship with their families which is a cause for concern but ultimately their experiences of being independent drives them to leave the primary family at a very early age. They tend to fall into bad company and pick up bad habits which are hard to give up – this grows out of insecurity.
On the contrary, for children coming from broken homes and families, boarding schools help them find a place conducive for learning, thus providing security and saving them from mental trauma they would have to undergo if they were to stay at home in an uncongenial atmosphere.
I don’t know how many of you have or have not watched Taare Zameen Par, a part of the movie (where he is sent to boarding school) highlights EXACTLY what a child feels like away from home. The insecurity, cravings for familial love and affection is at its peak. People should wake up to the fact that children will be children only “once” – they have to make full use of it by showering love and affection on them and of course be strict when need be.
I personally know of a person who was sent to boarding school when he was young and went through terrible times as he felt out of place. He was nearly ten and at that age used to send postcards to his parents with a small stick diagram of himself immersed in neck-deep water – meaning to say that he was drowning and didn’t like the atmosphere. This is the effect it has on most children.
I would like to end with two very valid points, which will be approved of by anyone and everyone; these are entirely true – “Life is relationship” and whatever said and done “Blood is thicker than water...”