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Educational ramifications for expats in China: Students and families suffer

The Indian expats living in China have shifted to the country at will on getting offers to join the global bandwagon and live better lives as a result. Many would have hardly thought deeply about the ramifications that would surface owing to the decision to leave their motherland for bliss in a distant land. Studies have shown that with time, the greatest sufferers of such steps are none other than the children of the expats themselves. Interestingly it has been seen that the most trouble pertaining to the children is faced owing to their education in China.

Why does education suffer?

The cultural and language barrier that exists between the Chinese and Indian individuals makes the situation worse to the least. While the Chinese prefer to follow Chinese in schools, Indians on the other hand prefer English which is in fact shunned by the Chinese. This ambiguous problem leads the Indians to search for English medium schools which are a rarity in China. The problem worsens when the handful available schools that follow western world curriculum charge astronomical amounts for simple schooling. Such schools are known to charge in excess of Rs 20 lakhs for a single year of schooling which indeed is a tad too costly for any Indian professional living in china. Hence the education dilemma initiates from this point.

Stay and pay or go back home?

The expats are left with no other alternatives but to choose any one among the two available options while keeping their jobs. Either they must put their wards into schools that charge astronomically high sums or opt to leave their children back at home in India tended to and nurtured by relatives. The first option is viable for only highly paid professionals who can afford the costs of education. They must keep on paying whatever the economic consequences are. On the other hand, leaving children back at home is far better economically as it saves lakhs but comes at a heavy price. There is no other pain as great as living without one’s own children and yet they have to do that and stay away from them for long periods of time.

Families torn apart

The decision to keep children thousands of miles away at the care of some relative is not at all satisfactory or pleasing for any individual. The pain and anguish of separation can seldom be felt by outsiders. It often happens that just for the sake of her child’s education, a mother needs to stay away from him for months at a stretch. This is very pathetic and inhumane to say the least but the great divide is forcing them to adapt in such a manner.

The probable solution

The only Indian-run school happens to be situated in Guangzhou that offers affordable international education. Years ago another school used to be there but it was closed down in the 70s owing to the Cultural Revolution. Since then the ever increasing Indian expat community dwelling in China is reeling under the dearth of affordable schools for their kids. The Indian embassy needs to act and think fast in order to end the crisis and save the Indian families from bearing the ordeal and trauma of living separately in lands divided by an international border.

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