What did the parents have to say…

…about the purpose of schooling?

❝The main thing would be to develop a curiosity within the child…if the child is able to develop that curiosity while they are at school then that learning can go on for life.❞

❝Maybe…to get the knowledge but also to keep this knowledge, not to forget it the second they …get it.  And also to know how to build on this knowledge…they have to know how to get more.  If they have curiosity, they will learn.❞

❝…you need the social aspect… A  lot of people do home schooling but I am not sure if that’s great because…you miss out on bonding with your peers and having a chance to learn from them.❞

❝…in my opinion the idea of primary education is to understand where they are, how the surrounding works, how everything works… So that’s primarily self- exploration, understanding around the world…❞

❝…especially in India, there is an educated talent and there is an employable talent and there is a big gap.  In fact, some people say that 80% of the talent in India is not employable and that is partially because of the education system – memory based and [the] curriculum is set by a person who is in [their] 60s and who has faced that challenge 30 years back so…there is a 50-year gap of employing what you learn.❞

…about assessment for learning?

❝I prefer to have something more accurate, you know, that, she can be here, she could be there, as a minimum, you know.  She should know this as a minimum for her grade.  Maybe I am wrong in that but…that’s my concern.❞

❝…what is this ‘good’? Good can be, you know, can be 8 out of 10 or it can be 6 over 10.  Both can be good but where exactly does she stand and how can you know?  Where is this ‘good’, exactly?❞

❝…I think, overall, as long as you see the child developing and their grades getting a little bit better, a little bit better, then you are on the right track.❞

❝It’s good if the world has no grades, [but] after they pass out of DP2 they’ll have to face the world.  Everybody has grades.  So it would be ideal to have no grades, no judgements and to live in that kind of environment, but…unfortunately that is not there.❞

❝I think it’s more [an] economics problem, that there are limited seats and infinite students are vying for those seats and that’s fair: …you want to be competing, you need grades or the university they put you somewhere in the bucket.❞

❝Even my mum used to ask, “When is the exam?” And I would say, “There is no exam”.  “So there are no grades?” And I said “No”.  “Then [how do] you find out whether your child is bright or not bright?”  And I said, “My child is bright, depending on where is the question, because everyone has a talent”.  You need to find your right talent: …I think it’s a self-realisation moral.  It works because you are competing with yourself and you are figuring out…❞

❝On the one side…my daughter gets some very good grades but on the other side she had the flexibility to choose what she wants to do and now she says…, “My success…is because I could choose where I want to be tested”.  …And that’s where they are very passionate about learning, because that’s what they want to learn.❞

❝I think that [the] middle ground…is pretty good because it’s not so grade based that the kids are competing left, right and centre, yet each child is evaluated and placed at a certain level at certain points of time where they can see where to improve, together with a qualitative feedback.  So that middle ground kind of works.❞

❝…if I would go gradeless and not know what was going on, [my son] would just coast.❞

…about democratic education?

❝I think some structure when they are young, I think, really helps them, you know.  Because I think that, as a child, you still need some direction.  So, if you just let them loose and just have them do whatever they want to do, then do they really get what they need out of an education or any kind of education for that matter?❞

❝…I don’t think it’s the best idea to give them…full control.  Also they are [at] an age, I feel they are very young to give them the full decision.  It’s good to have, it’s very important to have their opinion and their feedback about their teacher and this can be discussed if the teacher is very hard.❞

❝…if you had a control free environment, then you should have top notch teachers who could kind of just assess from whatever they are doing… That can be done, but, you know, you have to have that kind of vision from teachers or parents…so then it can be let free.❞

❝So it would be nice for the child to have…some kind of feedback about the teachers…and therefore the school can really understand how that relationship is working both ways.❞