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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

EDUCATION REVIEW – SIMON SAYS!

The demographics of all levels of society have changed drastically. When I was in school at Karachi Grammar the life of a student and its parent was very innocent and the primary focus on quality education was something which has stuck with me today. At that time we as students were not scared of what happened if we had to stand outside a classroom rather we were terrified at the respect we would get at home when it came to justifying our mischief.

Today parents have no time and caught between the insecurities of a plastic world and meeting unrealistic goals to cram in the most out of what they can get from any vendor or dealer has changed the element of quality drastically to an insane focus upon a reality based upon quantity. Even if one looks at the trickledown effect one can see that schools have mushroomed that create textbook zombies like a factory mass producing a product that has no ability to reason and the establishment of a brutal clique system is what has occurred.

Many people have started focusing on their intake rather than their grade point average that is achieved and at every level there are hidden costs. A parent spends on an average about ten thousand in monthly fees to the school, add the cost of transport and it comes to about four thousand a month… lunch money and tuck shop amenities will cost about seven thousand as the child cannot eat a sandwich rather must injest soggy bakery pizzas which are loaded with cholesterol and if you add in the books and computer shop visits then the rack on another three thousand rupees, ok now if you child is weak then you have to pay for extra classes which range from four thousand to ten thousand so lets assume six thousand and if your child needs two tuitions then make it twelve thousand to close the deal… But wait this exclusive club membership has hidden costs that you will be hit with for various activities which are in the brochure as free but now you have to pay for them or take your sprog and go elsewhere and this comes to roughly about thre thousand rupees. – Phew you think its over no way just multiply this figure by twelve months so in reality the cost of educating your child to a substandard education will be in the ball park figure of not less than USD 8 to 10,000… do the math and you will realize that all that is promised in the degree is nothing short of a great con job by an industry we used to respect so much…

I am glad to say that that there is a school where SIMON SAYS really works. Simon is a principal at ace international academy which is VERRRRY expensive (not really) wait I correct my words! Simon is an educationist with years of international experience in the educational line of work and one man who is jolly and has earned the respect of his students by defying the norms of a ridiculous system. He is the custodian of several young lives and is supported by Negin Mofatkar (a diplomats wife) who works with him to ensure that Ace International Academy provides quality and does not promote the development of a rude cheeky robot.

I have spoken to these people and their students as I live in the vicinity and am amazed by the fact that what is on the brochure and on the website is actually delivered as a one window solution with no hidden charges for a parent and that the child does not get caught up in social politics… Yes it is expensive on the front because the simple honesty of not giving the parents a lethal injection via hidden charges is what Simon and his team are against.

One day as a resident of Bahria Town I called the school as I had a tiff with one of its bus drivers (oh yes the school has a brilliant set of buses that look like school buses and not milk delivery vans) . Rather than being shrugged off Simon called back not knowing who I was and when our conversation was over I apologized to him for my outburst. I respect the man for his honesty and dedication to what he does. He educated not only students and provides them via his team a full education that one could only find in the hallways of Rugby and Eaton by involving a very strong policy for extracurricular activities. By the time you child comes home they can be a child and enjoy their time with you and not have you take on added stress with tuitions that are ridiculously expensive should the schools have actually done their jobs between 8 to one. All it does is rob a child of the ability to be a child and creates unhealthy competition.

It is very sad that Ace International is only a program for day scholars and not boarders as it has a fantastic international team to create a well-rounded graduate and deliver what a parent expects of their child after the big o levels. If ou look at the website then please decide for yourself if you want a cheeky robot or a normal child and if cost is in question please consider reading the third paragraph - you will see that an ace education is very affordable… all you have to do is plan ahead and get one receipt rather than a file of unexpected add ons that were promised to you in the first place… Thank you Simon it is a very educational experience knowing you… The funny thing is I’m planning to be a parent and your school has cleared a lot for me.

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