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373. Best School

A school is rated by the results it produces. The best results come more out of a paying school than a free school. Exceptions are always there. It was a great moment in the educational history of Tamilnadu when Kamaraj made education free upto SSLC. It is a truism of life that nothing valuable can be given free. Service minded people whose lifeblood is self-giving do not like to hear such truths. The truth behind is subtle and spiritual. And yet all spiritual treasures are to be given free and not to be charged. That is why, Sri Aurobindo says, every truth has its opposite truth.

The cost of education continues to rise. Better results, best results usually are found among schools when the fees are high. Academic results are the least a school can produce. Character is the highest a school can give the pupil. Without producing 100% academic results, a school cannot hope to give the pupils anything higher, much less character. A good school teaches good manners. Most of them teach good manners by punishment. What is learnt by punishment is of no value and soon forgotten. Only what is learnt in freedom lasts. No school attempts to give freedom. Freedom at once leads to indiscipline. In the Guru-sishya tradition, the guru is not a loved member of his community. Usually the guru is a nightmare. Sometimes he is a disciplinarian. One can instruct the value of love. It is not easy to love.

Schools that have attained 100% pass sometimes attempt 100% first class. If such schools come forward to examine their fundamental beliefs and are desirous of exploring the basic spiritual values as a vehicle of higher and finer education, India will launch herself on the path of glory. It is rare to produce excellent teachers, rarer to create an excellent administrator. Still, in many institutions we find them. It is impossible to produce a fine human being in a teacher. To raise one to the level of a fine administrator without losing his fine human qualities is a sine qua non for such a goal. We see pockets of prosperity in the country and parents are willing to pay high fees for good education. And therefore such a possibility is there on the horizon. It is a venturesome task few will be willing to undertake. Whatever they do or do not do, they cannot hope for great success if they wish to imitate the West. It is an area where the West should find inspiration from India.

story | by Dr. Radut