Thursday, May 30, 2013

Thy Name is Indian Education System

I am writing this blog post based on my observations on students doing engineering and also on those who are in 11th and 12th planning to write the various engineering entrance exams.
A parent to me “Sir, my son got 94% marks in intermediate exam and I am not sure why he is doing so badly in engineering?”
I have heard this so many times in the last three years that such a statement no longer surprises me and I even know the answer to this query from the parent. Most of the students who get into such circle of not doing well in engineering after doing good comes from one of the South Indian state also. If I talk to any of the student who is doing bad typically this is the conversation that happens between the student and me.
Me: Why are you doing so badly in your studies now?
Student: Sir I know I am doing badly; I have failed in so many subjects. I was not like this before in my intermediate.
Me: Then why is this happening now?
Student: I never had life till I joined engineering; all I did was preparing for various entrance exams. My day started at 5:00 AM and ends at 11:00 PM in the hostel attached to the school and in between I was not allowed to do anything I really liked to do. All I could do was study and study with the hope that I will crack IIT-JEE. Even after this hard work I did not get through to IIT and then parents also started verbally abusing me with words like “you are good for nothing”. My condition at that time was like a pressure cooker that is fully pressurized. When I joined this school, for the first time I was able to think and stand on my own and I decided to take it easy the first semester. It took me one year to realize that what I was doing is bad but now all I can say is that I will try my best to improve.
I have interacted with enough students doing intermediate (11th and 12th standards) whose childhood has been denied due to this mad race to get a seat for engineering or medicine. Majority of the times I come out of these interactions with tears in the eyes. Peer and parental pressure is taking a huge toll on these teenagers whose sole purpose of existence at that stage of life is securing a sear in engineering or medicine.
Mr. Kapil Sibal, the then Union Human Resources Minister, tried to change this culture of entrance exam by changing the pattern, but the new pattern has made the life more difficult for the students. Now along with the entrance exam preparation students are forced to prepare for their board exam also.
So what is the solution? I believe no law/rule can alleviate the sufferings and torture being undergone by students. Only solution I can think of – allowing students to choose their own career path, rather than parents making a prestige issue of what career their ward should pursue and forcing them to get into that career. There are a good chunk of students who are doing engineering not because they like it but their parents like to see them as engineers. Unless and until the kids are allowed to select their area of interest devoid of any external influence this torture is going to persist.
Do you think it can be solved in any other way?
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2 Comments:

Blogger Prateek Agrawal said...

Well observed, very true and i would also like to add that most are forced into engineering+plus some may not get the branch of choice and end up thinking that this is not what we really wanted to do. The thrust of ambition combined with reverse thrust of frustration leads to collapse.

June 04, 2013 3:35 PM  
Blogger Prateek Agrawal said...

Well observed sir, very true and i would also like to add that most are forced into engineering+plus some may not get the branch of choice and end up thinking that this is not what we really wanted to do. The thrust of ambition combined with reverse thrust of frustration leads to collapse.

June 04, 2013 3:35 PM  

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