Tax-Free Education – Understanding the Impact of Time Tax on Your Child’s Development


In a world full of distractions, minimising the time tax on students’ journey is critical for all-round development. Time tax refers to the additional effort and time students must invest in managing their responsibilities effectively.

Guided by the ideology of “A Different School of Thought”, GSIS lays emphasis on minimising time tax by offering a structured approach, resulting in comprehensive development of its students.

Unpacking the Time Tax

Minimising time tax can positively influence child development outcomes through more meaningful parental engagement.

Definition and Importance

In the context of child development, “time tax” refers to the extra time and effort parents must assign to manage childcare responsibilities, often at the expense of quality time spent with their children.

Parents and educators must understand that time tax can obliterate family dynamics and child development. A better understanding of the concept can equip parents and educators to streamline their efforts in creating supportive environments that prioritise optimal child development.

Common Sources of Time Tax for Children: Time tax can significantly impact child development by restricting the opportunities for rest, recreation, and academic engagement. Some common sources of time tax are:

  • Commuting: On average, children in the US spend about 18 minutes commuting to school, with some students spending close to an hour. Long commutes waste valuable hours that can otherwise be used for homework, extracurricular activities, or family bonding. Additionally, long commutes contribute to fatigue and stress, impacting children’s ability to concentrate and engage in learning activities.
  • Digital Distractions and Screen Time: Excessive screen time and digital distractions can reduce the time available for outdoor play, reading, and face-to-face interactions that promote cognitive and social-emotional growth. As per a report, in India 42% of children below 12 years of age spend nearly four hours a day glued to screens. This prolonged exposure to screen hinders concentration, disrupts sleep patterns, and contributes to issues like attention deficits and reduced academic performance.
  • Unstructured Time: Lack of structure in a child’s day can cause difficulties in time management, inconsistent routines, and a lack of clear goals, resulting in wasted time, decreased productivity, and obstructing development of essential life skills such as organisation, responsibility, and self-discipline.
  • Over-scheduling: In an attempt to provide a well-rounded education, parents may over-schedule their children’s lives with back-to-back activities, classes, and tutoring sessions. While well-intentioned, this leaves little room for free play, exploration, and rest, which are crucial for healthy development.
  • Transportation and Logistics for Extracurricular Activities: In addition to school commute, children often spend extra time travelling for extracurricular activities, sports, and tuition. The logistics of managing multiple schedules can significantly impact the child’s and family’s time.
  • Lack of Sleep: All the aforementioned activities and related stress can deplete the essential rest time, resulting in lack of adequate sleep, health disorders, mood swings, and inability to concentrate during the day.

The Residential School Advantage

Reducing time tax requires a structured environment where childcare responsibilities and academic pursuits are integrated seamlessly.

  • Brief introduction to the concept and structure of residential schools: Residential schools offer an all-encompassing environment where academic instruction, extracurricular activities, and personal development initiatives are seamlessly integrated within the same campus. This immersive approach facilitates academic achievement, promotes social-emotional growth and character development, while providing comprehensive support for students’ overall well-being and success.
  • Mitigating Time Tax Through Structure: Mitigating time tax through structure requires clear schedules, routines, and systems for optimised time usage and reduced stress.
  • Streamlined Daily Schedules: With fixed daily routines, residential schools provide a predictable schedule, enabling students to seamlessly transition between academic, extracurricular, and personal activities, while minimising disruptions, reducing wasted time, and maximising efficiency.
  • Integrated Learning Environments: Having academic and extracurricular facilities in close proximity reduces travel time between activities, enabling students to engage in a diverse range of activities without disruptions.
  • Community Living: In residential schools, students live in a community with peers and mentors. This provides them with constant opportunities for interaction, collaboration, and mentorship, which hastens personal development, social skills and appreciation for diverse perspectives. Students also develop empathy, communication skills, and emotional intelligence, essential for meaningful relationships and thriving in various personal and professional settings.
  • Balancing Academic and Personal Development: Residential schools adopt an all-encompassing approach to education that integrates academic excellence with personal growth initiatives. By cultivating critical thinking skills, emotional intelligence, and ethical values alongside academic achievement, residential schools provide students with a balanced environment of intellectual rigour and character development.

In residential schools, students engage in a diverse array of activities such as sports, arts, community service, and leadership programmes, which they might not have time for in a traditional schooling system due to long commutes or limited extracurricular offerings. Residential schools provide students with opportunities for exploration, self-discovery, and skill-building beyond the confines of the classroom.

  • Access to Resources and Opportunities: Residential schools provide centralised resources like libraries, sports facilities, and arts programmes on campus, which eliminate the need for students to spend time commuting to access these amenities. This enables students to reduce time tax and dedicate more time to academic pursuits, extracurricular activities, and personal development initiatives within a supportive and enriching environment.

With unique programmes such as international exchange programmes, outdoor educational experiences, and mentorship initiatives, residential schools provide students with valuable opportunities for cultural enrichment, leadership development, and real-world learning beyond traditional classroom settings.

The GSIS Way

Through efficient utilisation of time and resources, comprehensive academic programmes, extensive extracurricular offerings, and personalised support systems, students at GSIS not only excel academically, but also gain the opportunity to explore diverse interests and hone essential life skills. 

With centralised facilities and a structured daily routine, students at GSIS have more time to engage in meaningful learning experiences, participate in enrichment activities, and build strong relationships within a supportive community for success in their future endeavours.


By constraining parental engagement, limiting opportunities for rest, and decreasing academic performance, time tax can impede overall child development. Residential schools mitigate time tax to facilitate all-round growth and academic success. They provide a structured environment that optimises time usage, integrates academic and personal development activities, and offers convenient access to resources and support systems.

Parents and educators should consider the long-term benefits of residential schooling, which offers a time-tax-free education environment and enables students to focus on their academic pursuits, personal growth, and extracurricular interests within a structured and supportive community, ultimately preparing them for personal and professional success.


Sara Jacob | Sr. Vice President of Student & Staff Welfare

Sara Jacob joined Good Shepherd International School in 2020 as the Sr. Vice President of Student & Staff Welfare. With over 17 years of experience in various fields of law, Sara brings her legal and communication expertise to her role at GSIS. As a member of the Senior Management Team, Sara’s primary focus is the overall welfare of the students and staff at GSIS – from their social, emotional, physical, and academic well-being to their safety, happiness, and nurturing when they are here at GSIS and beyond.