Should devotees put their children in English Medium or in vernacular medium schools? Should they avoid convent schools?
From: Kulasekhara Prabhu
Edited By: HG Murlidhar Prabhu
Question: Should devotees put their children in English Medium or in Vernacular Medium? Should they avoid convent schools?
Answer: This is a practical decision which will have to be taken based on time, place, and circumstance. In general, as devotees, we are not so much concerned with material specifics as with spiritual principles. So we can practice devotional service in whichever language we are educated in.
For whatever reasons, historically, socially, and culturally, English is the predominant language in the world today for most people. Srila Prabhupada wrote his books in English. Most intellectuals, of course not all learn English and it’s a very broad statement. In general, devotees do not have any agenda against English. English is a language through which Srila Prabhupada shared Krishna Consciousness with us and it is the primary language for communication today.
Having basic skills over English is desirable, if not essential in today’s culture if one wants to just not live materially but especially thrive. However, if the vernacular medium is what one feels personally and culturally attracted to,and one would like to have one’s children educated in that medium, that is a personal decision. Since English is quite favourable for understanding and sharing Krishna consciousness, devotees have nothing against it per se.
As for, should one avoid convent schools? That depends. In general most convent schools do not convey the cultural values of Hinduism since they perceive it as a pagan religion. But if they are not overtly or covertly, imposing Christian values in the students and if the overall quality of education is good, then again there is no axe to grind against convent schools.Certainly convent schools will create positive impressions about Christianity because that is how the convents are constituted which is also one of the intentions of the convent schools. Overall, if the focus is primarily on theistic values, which are in many ways common to Christianity and Vedic culture, if there is no propaganda against Vedic values in the schools, and if the overall culture and education is good, then there is nothing wrong in enrolling devotee children in these schools.
Ideally speaking, as the devotee communities grow in various parts of the country and the world, devotees will come up with their own schools. It has already happened in Mumbai, Pune and several other parts of the world, and it’s happening gradually. So when devotees come up with their own schools, then that will be the best way for devotee children to be educated. Till that happens, we need to provide our children the best possible education, that is going to equip them to be competent responsible citizens as wells as skilled devotees who have the necessary abilities for living and sharing Krishna consciousness. Based on all of the above we can decide what kind of schools we should enrol our children.