Published: 08th October 2019
This school wants to educate your child from 9-6 every day so that your schedules sync up
The brains behind Shemford Group of Futuristic Schools tell us why they're sold on a 9-6 full-time schooling system
The clock is ticking away. The mother hastily packs her child’s lunch box while the father is busy buttoning their shirt and combing their hair. The school bus will be there any minute. Finally, after for a couple of hours where nothing but chaos reigns, the child boards the bus. Soon after this, the working parents are again in a hurry to get dressed up and go to the office. Easily, three to four hours get wasted because of these two separate rounds of ‘getting ready.’
This situation is not unheard of. This is the daily morning scene in most Indian households, starring working parents and their children in lead roles. “The 8 am – 2 pm grind that most schools follow results in working parents and their children having different schedules that clash with each other,” says Amol Arora, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Shemford Group of Futuristic Schools.
Drawing from their own personal experiences, Amol and his wife, Meenal Arora, Founder-Director, Shemford Group of Futuristic Schools, who are both educators, came up with the idea of introducing full-day or 9-6 schooling system that is concept-based and designed for the benefit of both children and their working parents.
“I thought to myself – why cannot the school accommodate children after the conventional working hours too? In addition to being convenient for parents, it will be a lot cheaper too for them as most of the money that is paid at daycare centres or coaching centres comprise their advertising and marketing costs, along with rental costs and customer acquisition costs, which the school will not incur,” says Amol, who also suggests that this system allows for parents and children to spend more quality time with each other as they will be able to have good conversations over breakfast and get ready in the morning together, and when they do come back from work and school respectively, they can also go for social events as a family because of their better-coordinated timings.
The future of schooling is here: Amol Arora thinks that the 9-6 system will be a game-changer
The problems with a traditional 8-2 schooling are expansive. He points out, “In my experience, this causes many problems for most working parents and their children. For one, the parents and children get ready at different timings, which means that there is little room for any constructive bonding in the morning – parents are completely focused on making sure that the child does not miss their school bus. Secondly, when the child comes back home, the working parents will have to arrange tutors or babysitters to supervise them – which may not be in their best interests all the time because they are strangers, after all, who may not be able to keep tabs on the child’s allowed ‘screen time’."
He goes on to add vociferously, "Thirdly, even if the children go to a daycare centre or coaching class, the working parent will always be worried about whether these institutions take things like fire safety norms for granted. Most of the working parents end up paying more on extra-curricular and after-school activities than the school fees itself. And finally, when the parents do come home to their child, they are loaded with projects and homework that the child needs help with, leaving no time and energy for ‘family time’, as the child has to wake up early the next day.”
The full-day schooling model, which is currently in force at the Shemford School in Gurugram, does not only look at the convenience of parents but is also devised keeping in mind the individual requirement of each child. “The child’s after-school hours will mainly consist of three sessions – one physical activity, one remedial class if necessary, and one extracurricular activity. Children from LKG to Class 2 will also have an extra nap period as they need the rest,” he avers.