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The Indian School Norm of 'Keeping It In'

Since the rains, its gotten cold in Bangalore. Which is why Jaden's having a bit of a tough time at his school. The cold means there's more trips he needs to make to the loo. Sadly, such 'unscheduled' trips are a no-no at Jaden's school, and so the poor fellow's finding it difficult to 'keep it in'.

He told me the last time he asked his teacher, she said no.

I know why. Out of experience she knows there are those that use trips to the loo as a pretense to get out of class. Plus, if she allows such trips to one kid, there'll be others joining in. Then there's the principal to deal with, who probably uses the 'seagull technique' to management. Jaden's teacher doesn't want to be on the wrong side of her principal, who may on one of her visits, find kids going to the loo during class hour, and be displeased about it.

The Indian school system does have its positives. At times I wonder if a requirement such as the one to 'keep it in' undoes all that's good about the school system. I know it isn't the schools that are to blame, but the culture. 'Keeping it in' is pretty much is the norm everywhere. 'Letting it out' means stepping outside of the system. That's a risk, both for the one stepping out, and for the one letting it happen.

This may sound simplistic, but its true. Its the 'culture' that keeps India from 'breaking out'. We surely have the best talent here, but its wasted talent. Such talent is forced to focus more on 'keeping it in' than on 'stepping out' and creating value.


Poor J, for his sake I hope its gets warmer. So he doesn't have to expend energy trying to 'keep it in'. Instead he can be the lovely, inquisitive, and expressive kid he is home, at school. 


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