It’s good, it is holistic, and is child-friendly. And yet Montessori is widely seen as experimental, with parents and education policy makers not quite willing to accept it as mainstream school education. A report in The Hindu says the system has been adopted in just 10 schools in Bangalore, Chennai, till the fifth std.
I didn’t know Bangalore has an institute of Montessori studies, which has trained nearly 100 teachers in the past decade. A couple of teachers from the institute spoke to the media about the positives of the Montessori system. Every child works to his/her own time-table. The focus is on hands-on method of learning; on laying the ‘right foundation for blooming to happen’.
That’s fine, but does it get children the kind of grades they do, with the rote-based system? This is what concerns most parents. And this is why they prefer to put their children in conventional schools, where they are encouraged to rely on coaching classes and guidebooks to get through their exams. Does the Montessori Institute have an answer to such parental concerns?
The answer lies with the government. It needs to take a policy decision to have all primary schools in Karnataka adopt the Montessori method. The government school teachers could be suitably retrained.
Meanwhile at the Bangalore institute they are reportedly conducting seminars on ‘Understanding Montessori’ for the benefit of anyone who cares to attend – teachers, parents, social workers, child psychologists. Check out their website. Contact – firstname.lastname@example.org .