Saturday, May 28, 2011

Engineers v/s IITians


Here’s a piece of conversation I had with a student of 2nd standard.
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(Sound of aeroplane flying above)
Kid: Look (pointing upwards)
Me: Yeah, an airplane. You want to fly one?
Kid: No. I want to be an IITian.
Me (astounded by the promptness with which he replied): Okay. So you want to be an engineer?
Kid: No (this time more vehemently), an IITian.
Me: Yes, but that is what IITians are.
Kid: IITians make a lot of money. We have to study a lot to get there.
Me: Who told you so?
Kid: My mother. She said I should grow up and become an IITian. They are famous people.
………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
To be honest, I wasn’t at all marvelled or impressed by the kind of stuff this child said. This brief conversation with an eight year old stirred a very valid question in my mind- What do people in our country expect from their kids these days? Do they want a fitting profession for their sons and daughters or merely a fancy degree that sums up their abilities?
This particular child didn’t even know that the ones who graduate from IITs become engineers. All he knew was that IITs are great places to be in and one needs to work hard to get there. This type of ignorance pervades throughout our country.
A thought-worthy question again-- Is this right?
At such a tender age, when children are ought to discover themselves and live a carefree childhood, they are fed with facts.  Their minds are allured towards big brand names like IITs, NITs etc. giving them absolutely no time to realise what interests them. This results in a tension-logged and anxious childhood and definitely hampers their mental growth. Mental growth here doesn’t refer to their problem-solving ability in physics, chemistry and mathematics but their social sense, general awareness and emotional quotient. It leaves a dent in their personalities forever.
My plea, let the kids live their childhood. Ease off the pressure which rests on their delicate shoulders. Let their inquisitive and creative minds wander, perceive and analyse.
Before the kids around as well as their parents give me a sobriquet of ‘preachy grandma’ and point out that I myself dropped for an year to prepare for JEE, I would like to clarify that it isn’t the competition that is bad. In fact, it is desired. Aspiring for such big names isn’t bad. One needs to dream big to make it big. But with the result season going on, I am witnessing the blind rat race all around and this is what is bothering me. Everyone desires to be in an institute which gives them a so called ‘superior social stature’ and ‘respect’ amongst their peer group irrespective of their interests, calibre and capabilities.
Something (and I really don’t know what) needs to be done to vent out some pressure from the pressure –cooker condition our country is in today. If this doesn’t happen soon, India will just be churning out a bunch of programmed androids every year who have no thinking cap overhead.

                                                                

3 comments:

  1. It is with every citizen in U.S and Russia as well. They want to go to MIT, Harvard and similar. It is not only in India

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  2. Stuti but the sad part is I have come across a parent, who himself was a passout of IIT KGP around 80's wants his children to be IIT'ians and nothing else.

    Parents should think about value based education, which include the student's interests on the top. They should offer freedom to their kids thoughts, dream and give them wings to fly.

    Let us make better careers. Hope for a better India :)

    Nice Post!!

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  3. Its an obsession...& mostly its with those sort of people who need external attributes to advertise themselves because clearly they are empty inside....basically such IIT-thirsty people start treating themselves like mere products, whose brand value needs a desperate jump...But what is more unfortunate is that the government is not discouraging it....which they could by uplifting the state level universities...

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