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Average Student in a Competitive World

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By Anirudh Rao:

We are in the decade of great transition in India’s history. The rate of urbanization is at its peak. The extreme and ever-growing population of our country has also increased the competition for survival in the urban world to never-before levels. I pity the young kids of today, who have to grow up in a world where anything natural is a rarity.

According to a report in an Indian newspaper, although, India constitutes only 1% of world traffic but not surprisingly India volunteers to take the top spot ,with 15% of the road accidents worldwide taking place in India. It was concluded that Indians, foolishly, drive selfishly disregarding the traffic regulations and the lives of their fellow countrymen. We can blame the system for everything. However, we must try our best to curb our competitive instincts in some situations.

It all starts at school. Firstly, I find it wrong that kids under 4 should be made to attend school or nursery or pre-nursery whatsoever. The competition for admission in some pre-nursery schools is both hilarious and fascinating. How in the world is it going to be of any use to the cute little kid! (Especially when he/she has a mother at home), isn’t it against child rights etc? I may be exaggerating but parents should show more wisdom and broaden their outlook. Mothers of kids, who are in grade-1, please calm down. Just because today your kid isn’t as good as you in math doesn’t mean he won’t do well in the time to come. Subjects like reasoning, values and life skills are evergreen even from an educational point of view. They have the power to decide a country’s future.

Farmers used to be the most hardworking people. It’s the little children with huge school bags who seem to be on top of that list these days. Most parents never complain. In the end if their child becomes a warrior capable of facing the beast of competitive modern world, then the process hardly matters to them. Old habits die hard. If it helps their child to score even one mark more, the parents urge their child to study through the night. They don’t mind paying hefty sums to substandard tuition centers who encourage innovative methods of rote-learning. At the end of the day, it is a competition they say.

The children never have any choice. The parents make their major decisions like choosing career options which may be good at times. I am not sure about how many parents know about the educational strengths and weakness of their teenager, and most importantly their interests are usually ignored. Engineering seems to be the word which replaces school most easily. The pressure of cracking an extremely tough entrance like IIT JEE can be dangerous to a young adolescent. Very few can take that pressure positively to emerge successful. Not many know that the 4 years of engineering education can be a total life of bitterness and hatred towards the very subject they ought to enjoy studying, if they find it uninteresting, which is often the case. The bright yet uninterested students just wait for graduation by using their laptops and mobiles for watching movies, listening to latest hit songs, updating their knowledge on Hollywood, and indulging in many other forms of entertainment. I hope people open their eyes to see the obvious truth. There is education beyond engineering. The competition has only been increased by the extremely unpopular reservation system in education which is one of the worst effects of Politics in today’s India.

The positive result from all this competition is that the kids of today are definitely more talented than even a few years ago. Indian parents love their kids a lot. At times this love clouds their reasoning. With a bit more awareness and improvements in the educational system, I am sure India can use its population and competitive spirit to advance globally.

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  1. reeti singh

    true, true, true!!!
    we have a huge population, diverse culture, diverse ideas, diverse minds and a unified fault- pressurizing poor little kids over this ” competetion” business. i yself have been through this and could relate totally with the article. reminded me of my school days when i used to leave home at 3:45am, for a 4:00am class. which meant waking up by 3:15am every single day, summer or winter. coaching and schools all led me to have very little time with family as i used to get back home around 9:30-10pmish. holidays were unknown, day or night mattered not. the pressure is immense. and the worst phase is when the results are declared and counsellings start simultaneously. all those years of lugging around that horrendous tonne-load-heavy bag in the sun seems so futile when it boils down to a seat in a college,and worse still if you dnt like what you’re doing.
    i hope parents and teachers read this article and gain from it.

    1. Anirudh

      Reeti,thx for commenting….ur experiences r further proof that competetive form of education isn’t so good…innovative methods like reading good books,watching movies from wch u can learn something,sports etc shud b promoted….n wen it comes to innovation ther is no limit…esply for littl kids education shud b as natural (non-bookish)as possibl..The bootom-line is -if the pressure for performance can be replaced with thirst for learning and hunger for self-improvement,then there is no stopping you..!

  2. Ankit Jain

    The competition in the engineering stream is amazing and troubling.
    The solution to the problem lies in proper counselling of the parents, and sufficient information about different career options available.
    The reason for people running for engineering is that it provides a job (most of the times) immediately after graduating. But since most people are not passionate about it, they ruin their careers.
    Alternatively, if the parents take up an extra pain of supporting the child for a couple of extra (incubation) years, and allow him to go for any unconventional stream (hotel management, photography, fashion/interior designing etc.) as per the child’s passion and interest, the present would be less competitive and less hectic, and the future of course would be brighter, and happier. 🙂

    1. Anirudh

      Ankit, what you said is right.talent and passion r 2 imp things.If u r talented in something and passionate abt d same thing…then be thankful to god and start workin hard …then u ll do wonders coz then the world is yours…ppl shud widen their outlook n start to look beyond engg…

  3. krishna

    Well I agree to the stress kids are being put through. But that happened to our
    generation. Now we are 30+ and if we do the same stuff who is to blame ? And should we really blame our parents ? They did what they thought was best for us.
    And Obama just said in one of his speeches look at India and China , They have so much growth because of the tech education they provide their people with. True in US if you are not interested in going thro a grilling education system you can be a plumber and be happy with it. In India if a doctors son becomes a plumber ….well you can imagine …………
    A country’s most important resources is human resources………..
    We need plumbers too ………………But this country has a long way to go

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