What have we come to?

30 May

A kid who scores 91% in his exams commits suicide because he thinks his family cannot afford to fund his studies. Another girl commits suicide becuase her marks were not upto the expectation.

Do these incidents point to a failing in the Indian Educational System or is it just that we are driving our kids too hard with expectations that are too high?

Growing up, there was pressure to perform but not to this extent. In our days we were sent for tuitions only if we were weak in a particular subject, today one needs to go to tuition just to combat peer pressure.

I remember reading about the Japanese School system some years ago and the pressure to perform driving kids to take the extreme step. Are we becoming the same?

How can we address this?

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18 Responses to “What have we come to?”

  1. praneshachar May 30, 2007 at 10:23 am #

    Yes Vijay it is true there is tremendous pressure on children/students of today
    There is expectations from so many even if parents are not pressurising the society
    pressures are too much. from school, uncles, aunts (both related and friendly) and it is easy to get admission to a college not for tutions. as you have written tutions were fro weak children and it should be like that but today you are part of the system U can not deprive your child from this and search for good tution starts right from the day results are out (particularly sslc) hefty fees are being charged and they keep them busy with their classes assignments tests what not? so much of pressure including peer pressure.
    It is very pathetic but difficult to stop at this stage. lot of thinking and how to overcome this havoc is to be analyzed. all tutions classes are run full.
    if you have record of ranks and good result from your group then you are in high demand
    part of the game
    If U dont send your ward to tutions in SSLC PUC you will be looked up by astonishment.. another aspect is the colleges are too not teaching according to requirements and st;u;dents have to seek knowledge elsewhere, other side as many are going for tutions whether we do or not does not matter sufferere is poos child who has not joined any tutions.
    god only should save the soceity from this

  2. Veena May 30, 2007 at 11:27 am #

    simple, send them to some normal school… and when they score little less or normal atleast don’t say.. ‘eega nanna collegues friends ella keLidre’ naan en heLali.

    damn uncles and aunties.. who keep pointing the scores one scored and the seats they may or may not get for their next class.

    Pathetic was those medical grads who died because they couldnt get their PG Seats.. something has to happen even there, good atleast govt have increased the pay for doctors teaching in govt colleges, they can atleast peacefully opt this one…!

    Education system as such is undergoing lot of changes offlate, when we studied it was not this bad.. inflation is another factor to blame! lets return back 10 years and things will get alright alva vijay ?

  3. vinay May 30, 2007 at 12:39 pm #

    first of all i am amazed how anyone can get 99% marks !!!! even a cumulative of all my marks cant reach that figure .
    Coming back to the point of disc. somehow we didnt have this sort of news when we were studying ( middle and late 90’s ). Its tragic that we cant educate young adults to bear a result and we talk about imbibing values. MIght be its nature’s way of selecting persons who can survive on this rat race called life.

  4. Vijay May 30, 2007 at 12:45 pm #

    Vinay: As Veena and Pranesh point out, its all peer pressure.. questions like “What did X get, What did Y get?”…. I tend to get the same about my son.. then I remember to ease off.. I am not saying we should discount the studying bit but need to teach children priorities… take it seriously BUT there are other options as well…

  5. Veena May 30, 2007 at 1:32 pm #

    your last line is just amazing, there are other options as well.. and there are lot of examples who has completely quit their main career option and started something totally different.
    naanondu school open maadtheeni, school fees ella normal aagiratte with quality eduction.. may be neevella retire aadmele alli bandu teach maadi – kind of voluntary service .. aaga we can manage the fees part alva? such a great dream!!

  6. decemberstud May 31, 2007 at 1:07 am #

    Vijay,

    We need to realize that there are a lot of external issues involved. Peer pressure cetainly is one of the reasons, and a main one. But, the “IT Boom” has certainly played it’s role and it is gonna play the villian for years to come. A good solution is to “educate” the parents. To tell people that scoring 99% in school is certainly not the measure of intelligence. And, that’s the least scale to emasure success after school. Until the parents realize that reading books, singing, playing, dancing, painting, collecting stamps, hiking, and other extra curricular activities are equally importnat, the problem is going to persist.

    I am not sure about the kid who committed suicide coz the parents couldn’t afford higher education, but for the bulk of the others, parents need to go through a crash course on the “secrets of successful people”.

  7. Vijay May 31, 2007 at 2:38 am #

    @Veena: Definitely…doable.. I hope you are successful in your dream

    @DS: All those extra-curriculars seem so historic don’t they? Even the ones who do these extra curriculars like singing etc arent doing it for fun anymore…

  8. praneshachar May 31, 2007 at 2:51 am #

    VEENA
    wonderful dream and we all wholeheartedly wish your dream turns into reality and we all get some opportunity to serve in this cause.
    DS
    IT BOOM has increased the peoples’s aspirations resulting in pressures. but even before this there was pressure and earlier you had less no. colleges and now as the demand have gone high the availability to study also has got increased. Educating parents true it is needed but irony is so many so called educated & highly educated
    people are putting pressures on thier children. this is the irony. (ofcourse what u meant
    educating is different I know) Now Engineering is considered as a easy option to get fat salaries and within shortest span of time and as demand for IT & IT related fields are on the raise right now it if fine.
    I remember the days when for Enginerring there were no takers any how if parent of each child changes the pressures will come down.
    once getting a I class was a dream but now even if score 95% you keep your fingers crossed ? whether you will get seat in your preferred college and branch
    let us hope things will improve atleast in the next decade

  9. gmohanprakash May 31, 2007 at 4:10 am #

    Vijay,
    You have hit one of the common problems

    a) Its mainly the comparitive methodology of parents which puts unnecessary pressure on children minds
    b) Secondarily the parents try to live their dreams through children puttin unnecessary pressure
    c) Councelling is to be done mandatorily for even adults at medical PG level so that they understand -failure is the corner stone of success
    d) Lastly i would blame the resrvation policies of the govenment at large – but this should NOT have been the cause. Any so called forward bloc kid has to manage beyond 95% for a decent seat and with limited choices and monetory pressures – as prescribed in latest media and movies – they sccumb to pressure. Its easy to jump the gun and say “think positively” but when that person is driven up the wall, frustration clouds thinking and forces the person.

  10. Vijay May 31, 2007 at 4:11 am #

    DS: Come to think of it, the IT boom has increased opportunities to such an extent that even non-engineering graduates can hope for a slice of the “IT” pie… its wasnt like that in the old days where it was “Engineering/Medicine OR Perish”…
    Mohan: Agree 100%.. its us parents who are setting expectations

  11. Mohan May 31, 2007 at 7:53 am #

    Like most other social problems, economic progress is the only solution. Create more jobs, create more wealth and kids will no longer be under pressure to perform in one particular exam. As you said, IT boom has already created opportunities for non-engg graduates and it is no longer “Engg/Medicine or Perish”. Expand that boom to other sectors and the “Get into IT or Perish” mentality will also vanish. Once there are opportunities in multiple sectors, parents will let the kids choose the area they are interested in – singer, journalist, photographer, interior designer, do whatever takes your fancy. Then there will be no question of parents putting pressure on kids to score 99% etc.

    But ofcourse, once we develop to that extent, we will have a new set of problems – like the US society has. And then we can have one more round of “What have we come to?”.

  12. shark May 31, 2007 at 10:06 am #

    Thanks to veena, I realised we think alike 🙂 Why? I have blogged about the same
    here!

    To answer “How do we address this” : The onus is entirely on the parents. Set the right expectations which are acheivable. Also tell the relatives to stop comparing!
    Each child is unique…. not everybody can be an engineer or doctor… 😦

  13. shark May 31, 2007 at 10:07 am #

    Veena: Please count me in for your school…

  14. decemberstud June 2, 2007 at 1:34 am #

    LOL…”Engineering/Medical OR Perish”…that IS funny !!!

    Well, I certainly can see the good side of IT (well, for one, it helps me to measure ‘my’ success level). But man, it has created such a divide in the society and the competitive environment is going from bad to worse. Competition is good when it is healthy, not otherwise.

  15. some body June 2, 2007 at 1:16 pm #

    d.s.:

    in real life, when is competition healthy (to the competitors)?

    – s.b.

  16. Vijay June 3, 2007 at 2:14 am #

    Oh great… another DS, SB “side” debate brewing here? 😉

  17. Srivathsa June 8, 2007 at 3:50 am #

    I love what Mark Twain said – “I never let me schooling interfere with my education” 🙂 Wonderful statement.

    I think as parents we ought to keep in mind the following

    a. Children have the right to a tension free childhood. These are their carefree years and we should keep it that way.

    b. They are not there to fulfill our unfulfilled dreams.

    c. Each child is unique and is good at different things. We need to spend time and effort to help them find out what they are good at.

    d. Getting good marks does not mean they will succeed in life or the other way. half of success lies in truly figuring out one’s interests and long term goals. Our generation did not have or chose not to have that approach. Just run the rat race and something will click as we did is not necessary,

    e. Education does not end with the classroom. Take them around. Show them children who have less than they have. make them sensitive to the world around them. That will make them better human beings and not just good future corporate material.

    f. School mirrors society. It helps them develop social skills. At home they are special. In school they are one among many. I learnt a lot of humility at IIM Cal.

    Srivathsa

  18. Vijay June 8, 2007 at 4:11 am #

    Srivathsa: Well and truly spoken…

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