By Ashish Singh:
So let’s dig out this story from its inception.
There is a 15/16-year-old kid ,who just passed his 10th grade and has no or only abstract idea of how the world is going to enslave him into a catacomb of things which are not going to matter in the end.
Most of the times, it’s our parents choice and in some cases ours too, to take up engineering. So this kid is dragged either by his own wish his parents’ to the Science stream, and schooling doesn’t matter much after 10th. The genuine diaspora exists in the coaching centres.
There, he learns how to crack competitive engineering examinations such as the JEE. He learns tricks to solve problems which he might never see again, apart from in the JEE paper. How does Hoffman-Bromamide reaction takes place? What is Kepler’s law for elliptical orbiting? What is the closed integration of log(1/x)?
These questions and their answers will be least significant once he joins engineering.
But damn, who is going to tell this kid all these things? Our education system is so corrupt, disruptive and contagious. All we learn is how to read and we increase the ‘hard disk capacity’ of our minds but our RAM storage remains the same. Why do we see the biggest innovations coming from countries like China, Japan and USA? Because they don’t only read things. They learn them too. They innovate and automate what they study and are not forced to write just theories about what they know.
But this kid, this Indian kid, he is helpless. He can’t do an out of prop job. He has to copy what others do and have done in his surroundings. And damn the population of India, that even after two, three or even more years of preparation, he can’t get through. He has watched YouTube videos and heard from many people about the ‘good life’ that is engineering. That he will get to make cars, devices, apps, blah blah blah.
So he writes various other exams, some state level engineering competitions, and gets a seat somewhere to pursue something called as “engineering”. Till now, he has no idea what to do in the college. He comes for counselling to Bangalore. The weather at the time of admission and even later is such that once a newcomer gets in here, he can in no way feel like going anywhere else unless in extremely critical cases.
This is the month of July when he has come for counselling and the classes are going to start from the first Monday of August. He had a strong desire of opting for mechanical engineering but still chose Computer Science when he saw the pathetic placement conditions for non-IT branches. So he joins this college in Bangalore in the July of 2013. And on the first day itself, he gets trolled by one of his faculties.
That faculty was teaching Newtons laws of motion and in the class he said, “Newton gave four laws.” With the 3 laws that he already knew, the faculty added the law of gravitation too. He was stunned. Oh god, Newton had four laws, but why did those goddamn teachers keep saying three? Why did they teach the 4th law, not as a law of motion?
Meanwhile he was staying in the hostel. So ragging was a part and parcel of his everyday life. Tragedies were more to come. His day-to-day routine sounded something like this:
Wake up at 7:50 am. Get into college at 8:00 am. Come back at 2:00 pm and then wait for your seniors to call you for ragging or for playing which sometimes was even worse. Once he had to field for 65 overs in a day, without a single break. But still, ragging was something that had added flavours of ‘enjoyment’ to the miserably tasting avocados of the college. The boy also made a lot of friends. They all were living somewhat the same kind of life.
When he came back from playing then he had to be called by seniors for their ‘enjoyment’ in the form of singing, dancing, abusive competitions, displaying various sex positions and many other things which are not suitable to be discussed here. Then at night, either gaming or some kind of unusually interesting activity would be going on. And then he slept.
Meanwhile he started making some female friends too. Well ‘some’ is not proper, he made a lot of them, with obvious intentions. This was college life and like everyone else, this dude had to enjoy too. So after everything else, a significant time of his routine was contributed or more precisely, dedicated to social media and chat apps.
The exam season appeared early. He started mugging up things, and got handsome marks in his internals and a decent position in the externals too. In the second semester, after some time, ragging became intense and then ended. He was free after that, he could do whatever, whenever he wanted, and nobody was there to block his road.
But still there were voids in his life. He always used to think about his purpose of joining an engineering college. When he compared his knowledge in July 2016 to July 2013, it was still the same. He did not learn a thing. If he was made to write a previous semester paper again, he would have failed explicitly. And today when he is in the 7th semester, just one or two steps away from getting his engineering degree, his academic knowledge is null.
All he learnt was how to manage things:
Today he has gotten placed though he has no idea on the basis of what, because he knows that he doesn’t know a thing. He had no idea what to do after 10th – he had just opted for the Science stream and later for Engineering because of his parents and peers.
Today he urges all the newcomers and their parents: please don’t blindly turn yourself into something that you know that you are not capable of and are just doing because everyone else around you is doing the same. Don’t do this, think out of the box. Join engineering only if you are passionate enough, don’t join for degree and job. You can get better offers if you join the field that suits you the most. Otherwise it is hell. Just like me standing here, you will have no idea and no knowledge of what you learnt in the college and will find your intelligence level diminished significantly.
Please always give a second thought before choosing your career stream. There are many opportunities everywhere. You just need to put that effort, everything is possible. Don’t create one more uneducated, ‘ill-knowledge’ engineer like me.