Saturday, August 2, 2008

Swimming lesson/School issues again

Naya has been taking swimming lessons at the Niti Bag country club. But the other day, she said this:

Are we going to the Lychee Bug Club?

As an aside, I meant to tell you about trying to get our driver's daughters into a government school. If we thought our nursery saga was nightmarish, we got our eyes opened by seeing how much harder it is for lower classes. First he asked me to get a letter from the ministry of human resource development for his daughter. I said that would be a conflict of interest given what I do but that I was happy to go with him to the school and see if I could help in some way. So on a Monday morning, we set out and put ourselves in a live of people at the principal's office. The reality is that the school actually looked clean and impressive (it is a central government school known as a Navodaya, instead of the Municipal Corp of Delhi school his daughter attends now) and the people in line looked well dressed and working class. I could see how this would be a school he and his family aspired to.

When the principal saw me and I said I was there to get the little girl beside me into school, she said: "This must be your maid's daughter."
"Driver's," I responded with a fake smile.
"Does he live in Pushp Vihar," she asked referring to the colony.
He lied and said he did. (Actually it's his uncle.)
She asked why he didn't send his daughter for the admission test held the week previous.
"I didn't know about it," he said.
After about 15 more minutes and my begging, she said there was nothing to do but said the child could appear for another test in a week's time.
Back in the car, I let the driver have it for a bunch of reasons: not taking her for the test, waiting until class 3 to get her schooling together, not considering private school even as his kids qualified to attend for free. "But ma'am, if she does well by class 8, they will give her a scholarship of Rs5,000."
"If she attends private school and does well and then goes to college, she can make that every day," I responded.
Next we drove to the offices of the Delhi BJP rep for that area. Another line and everyone seemed to be there to get a letter for school admissions.
A week later, Shruti appeared for the test.
She failed.
And her father is still being boneheaded and won't even let me pay for private school. If I can get her in on a scholarship somewhere, I think he'd agree... So that's my next course of action. Even though I think there is something to the saying that you value something if you are forced to pay for it...

1 comment:

Pete said...

Which driver is this, and how many have you had since our visit?