Our Obsession With IITs Is Damaging Our Children

Posted by nayana in Education
January 21, 2017

A decade ago, India was obsessed with two things: Bollywood and Cricket. But now, Indians have a bigger obsession. An obsession with three letters. You utter these three letters and you have made the impression. Most of the parents want their kids to dream about these three letters. Teenagers (specifically those good with Math and Science) work day and night to live these three letters. People who already have a stamp of these three letters are idolized by our society. By now you might have guessed these three letters. Yes! These three letters are – IIT. The great – Indian Institute of Technology.

Through this article, I do not intend to demean IITians or belittle their intelligence. This article stems from a conversation I had at home.  My first cousin who is in 8th grade and good with Math and Science is soon going to be a part of the big obsession. As my cousin’s parents are very concerned about my cousin’s future and want him to be an engineer (which he also wants to pursue), they are planning to send him to Kota in his 9th grade for JEE preparations. This has really pissed me off!

How, even in hell, can you expect a 13-14-year-old kid to go through all that stress and torture? My own brother has studied in Kota for two years and is currently studying at IIT Indore. Because of this, I very well know and understand the Kota life. Lakhs of people, long hours of tuition, Sunday tests, bundles of books (and lots more)! Now imagine a 13-14-year-old kid juggling with all this. A child who just enters the teenage life, has lived a sheltered life and witnesses plethora of changes biologically is suddenly exposed to a tough environment at a point of time when he/she is not even mentally prepared to endure it.

Do you think it is right? Are some of us so blinded by the glory of brand names that we forget what we are putting the other person through? Children miss out on playing, making friends, developing  hobbies, learning new activities. What is childhood without these memories? Why do we have to snatch the most beautiful time from the life of our children? Is it that only IITians can make a mark?

I leave it up to you to answer the above mentioned questions. Before putting on the final dot to the article, I would like to clarify that I am not against IIT or IITians but I am against the means some people adopt to live this three letter obsession.