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How we create schools which look and operate like black boxes?
This case story has been constructed to draw lessons from and does reflect on any particular school since cases of school negligence and exploitation are coming up frequently and get debated on the electronic media. Here 'the school' means the high fee charging English medium school in a city or big town of India.

'The school' is a well-resourced English medium private school that has high fenced boundary walls and interiors fitted with CCTV cameras, biometric devices for attendance, wrought iron big gates managed by two security guards and a huge reception hall and a few service windows for collection of fees, collection and handing over documents, sale depot of expensive school kits including designer uniforms.  Also, the school has its own buses, vans and a fleet of cars for the school authorities. Inside the school, there is a big canteen that is run like a three-star hotel.

When, I visited such a school for the first time after a tragedy had struck, and everyone from the neighbourhood had rushed to the school. The school looked more like a black box, business house and a factory. The reception hall and the head teacher's (called Principal and Director) room was full of trophies, shields, certificates, awards, newspaper clippings, photographs, paintings, posters, craftwork. On one of the walls, a TV monitor was flashing the images of classrooms, reception hall, corridors and some areas of the four corners of the school.

The tragedy that struck the school was the murder of a seven-year-old child of class II in the school's washroom. He was murdered brutally by his throat slit with a sharp weapon. He was spotted lying in a pool of blood by another child who told the class teacher, who in turn told the head teacher, who in turn informed the manager and owner of school to seek advice. Meanwhile, the child remained lying down in the pool of the blood. The head teacher informed the police which took its own time to reach the spot of crime. The parents were informed saying that their child had taken unwell and they should rush to the school.

The police took possession of the body and rushed the child to the hospital where he was declared brought dead since it had become 'too late'. They meant to say that had the child been rushed to hospital immediately, there would have been chances of saving the child. The panic spread among children and some relatives of the children living near the school rushed to the school and they informed the concerned wards. A good number of panic-struck and worried parents rushed to the school to collect their children and they started blaming the school for negligence since they were earlier harassed by the schools by raising fees irrationally. It seemed that the school had failed to create any emotional bond with the families by making education of children as a common concern.

When the father of the child came, looking at the police and the crowd in the school, he understood the fate of his child and started crying. Some the school staff and police huddled him in the car and took him to the hospital to claim the body the child kept in the mortuary after a post-mortem. The father went distort over losing his smiling bright child he had handed over to the school in the morning. You can imagine what would have happened to the mother of the child when the child's body was brought home. A lively child was sent to the school and he returned lifeless.

Even otherwise, you look at the school structures, school-personnel and classroom mechanisms, everything, looks dehumanized.  Private schools have become places where parents are seen as clients and education as a commodity to be consumed by children.

How to reform schools and personnel working in them who play with lives and future of children? Any answers? 

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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