When I was in middle school, probably fifth or sixth grade, I remember I used to pack my bag as soon as the wall clock struck ten, and go to sleep thereafter. Just a few years later, I used to change the subject I was studying at ten, then again at 12a.m, then again at 2 am and so on…
I think the time we spend as little carefree children is the best time of our lives. As a student enters standard 11 after 10th board exams, the enormous mountain of tension is loaded onto his shoulders. For science students, I remember my father used to say, ‘if matriculation syllabus is a cup of water, +2 syllabus is an ocean’. Lengthy chapters, never ending tests, numerous coaching classes, incomprehensible symbols… alpha beta theta and what not!! Above all, expectations of our parents, relatives, and neighbors create tension strong enough to cause permanent cerebral damage!! Kandhe jhuk jaate hain yaar!
Nowadays, the craze for competitions is so much that students start preparing for them from sixth or seventh standard itself, so that they get an entire 6-year span to complete the vast portion required to sit for those exams, and mug up every single letter, symbol or whatever is contained in the text, and emerge all India toppers!!
But everyone cannot be a topper, right?? Why overexert ourselves for something that is not really worth being counted as a sign of success in life!
I recall how my life used to be in standard 12… tension, portion left to be studied, never occurring term ‘revision’, headache, less TV less movies… I wonder how I am still in a one piece frame. I mean, it’s ridiculous… from 5 in the morning to 2 am next morning, cramming up notes and mugging up formulae isn’t life! And I simply don’t understand why every other parent of a science student wants him/her to get into IIT. With compromise, say NIT!!! Hello? Is cracking JEE their criteria of success in life? Is it the end of the world? People fail to understand that only 7000-8000 students get admitted to IIT every year, where do the rest go??
In cities like Delhi and Mumbai, there is scope in almost every field one aspires to choose, and hence a wide variety of courses are available for students to choose from. But in smaller cities and more backward parts of India, people are more, rather only into ‘engineering’, ‘medical’ or ‘civil services’. Seriously, that’s the end of life for them. I am doing economics honors with actuaries, and presently my some of my relatives want me to crack UPSC. (Earlier, they wanted me to crack JEE!! LOL!!!) I mean, where is the logic? Why doesn’t anyone ask me to go for investment banking? And I am sure there would be many in the same situation. Most people from metropolitan cities wouldn’t have experienced this, but this is the case in most parts of India. Parents, relatives, neighbors, you just name a relation and they expect so much from a child that he is sandwiched between hopes and expectations which ultimately leads to the 5 am to 2 am routine I was talking about.
And not just academics, students are expected to excel in every field that can be thought of. The endless crowd at DID, India’s best dramebaaz, voice of India and so on is a result of the expectations we build on children and it really snatches away the fun factor of life. life is meant to be enjoyed…not straggled through.
As a step in this direction, I am happy to say I am a part of AglaSem EduCon 2013.
Students, education and the future of the country are so closely interlinked that we really need a platform now to actively debate, discuss and finally work upon solutions that education in India needs. In the age of technology, shining entrepreneurs and also being home to such talented minds; the effort of EduCon would be to bring together the most powerful tools and initiate an era in development of education in India. Come, be a part of it!