ARE GRAMMAR SCHOOLS BETTER?
A never-ending discussion can continue on Grammar schools and Private/Independent schools. A grammar school is a secondary school of the state that is managed and funded by the government. The selection process is simple. All the children of 11 years old appear for this entrance also termed as 11 plus exam. The primary subjects involved are mathematics and English. Certain scores are set to achieve and, on that basis, the selection process for admissions takes place. No fee is charged from the students at Grammar schools whereas independent schools charge a specific amount from each of the students. Independent schools manage their finances independently, and they receive no funds from the government. They have their own designed entrance test for the admission of the students in secondary classes as per the norms. The infrastructure and the facilities are attractive compared to grammar schools.
History of Grammar Schools
There is no scarcity of excellent schools and knowledge in both Independent and Grammar schools. It is just the preferences of the individuals depending upon their convenience. The history of grammar school is ancient. It started basically to teach Latin during the 12th to 14th Century. Later the syllabuses were expanded, and it incorporated other subjects such as English, mathematics, natural sciences, liberal arts, and other European languages. Earlier the grammar schools were for primary education only. However, post the expansion of the courses, it became a secondary /11 plus course.
Why prefer grammar schools?
Grammar schools provide equality in terms of level in class. The students can only study here if they clear the entrance test that shows it provides opportunities to the most efficient students. It is observed that the pupils selected from Grammar schools are more proactive and successful. Parents and students from the lower-income group can access this highly efficient and knowledgeable source of education without being partial to any specific community. This way it leads to an extraordinary academic result. The individuals from these schools are the high achievers. The politicians and celebrities are often from Grammar schools. This system provides opportunities to every individual who is eager and capable of studying. It helps them in gaining access to high-quality education systems. Some observe that the culture in Grammar schools is so professional and respectable that the students feel less bullied and thrive towards learning more and more.
It requires intensive knowledge and ability. Sometimes it can be a pressurizing situation for the children. To get admission, students put in all their efforts and prepare for the entrance exam from a very early age. They gain extensive knowledge and skills. It is analysed that the students from Grammar schools are more energetic and competitive. They are more vocal and grounded. It grooms the students to deal with difficult situations and work accordingly.
Difference between a grammar school and an independent school
Grammar school follows the concept of free public education whereas, independent/private schools have their fee structures designed. A uniform 11 plus entrance exam is the key to Grammar schools. However, independent/private schools set various entrance tests and criteria for the selection and admission of pupils. The infrastructure and technologies are much advanced at the private schools compared to the grammar schools. The classes organized in private schools have a lesser number of students. Every student is addressed and given proper attention. The classes in a grammar school have a huge number of candidates. Managing so many students at a time is a hectic thing to do. Grammar schools are highly selective and have a major focus on the academic achievements of the students.
Things to know before enrolling in a grammar school:
Even if it has hundreds of advantages, it is always advisable to consider the demerits along. The government funds grammar schools. However; it is reported to be in favor of the wealthier sectors, mostly. This is because the richer section can afford and provide high standard tuitions and guidance to their children which are seen to be lagged in the lower-income families because of their poor financial conditions. Some also say that the 11 plus exam is unfair as it builds fear of failure in students from a very early age and affects them badly. They also say that 11 is not the age to take this test as the students remain in the cognitive and learning stage at that interval. It creates a lot of pressure on the students and the parents as the students keep on preparing for this entrance from a very early age.
Proactive measures to make grammar schools a better place:
Provision to provide free teaching and coaching to students coming from weaker economical sections can be valuable in bringing uniformity and equality among all the sections of the economy. We can do it through free tuition projects. Judging a student on his/her English proficiency and basic mathematics is unfair. The traits of a child can lean more towards art and creativity based on his/her interests. There have been examples where students have been poor in mathematics but have achieved a lot in their lives. Hence, conducting an entrance with no bar to subjects or other abilities is a good initiative. This way pupils can select the best suitable courses and curriculums as per their interest. Many researchers have mentioned that if it can delay the selection process a year or two, then it will help the students. When the entrance exam will be conducted for students over the age of 12 & 13, they will get a little more time to develop their interests, understanding, and strengths.
The above measures can help contribute towards uniformity with a suitable process to bring a better and systematic educational opportunity for the students at grammar schools. Some observe that children develop much faster and become progressive when grouped by ability. Putting a goal in their head to achieve and thrive is a good initiative. However, it has to be systematic and vigilant. Grammar school is an attractive and persuasive approach towards a better education system. If considered with some improvements, it has magnificent potential.