When The Parent Of A 5 Year Old Thinks, “How Can My Child Make It To IIT?”

It is sad that parents in smaller towns face the pressure to enrol their child in an English medium school, thinking that this is the only way to higher education.

It is sad that parents in smaller towns face the pressure to enrol their child in an English medium school, thinking that this is the only way to higher education.

This is a real conversation that I came across.

Mother A : “My little one is going to get an admission in a convent very soon.”
Mother B : “Oh Good! I am also planning to go for an inquiry at Shamaldas Vidyalaya.”

Mother A : “Oh God! Not a convent?” (Putting both the palms on respective cheeks with eyeballs almost out!)
Mother B : “N…no!” (She replied as if she had admitted a crime)

Mother A : “How would your kid make it to IIT then?”
Mother B : “What?”

Mother A : “You see. Now a days, English medium is a must. It prepares your kids for IIM and IIT. English medium students become so smart.”
Mother B : (Already lost in thoughts…)


Mother B has cancelled her visit to the Shamaldas Vidyalaya, and will convince her husband and other family members to go for some English medium school.

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What type are you? A or B? Well, none of them are wrong. It is a very normal conversation now-a-days. The other one is, “Which board?”

These must be very familiar sentences for you. You might have said or heard them. If I am not wrong, you must be remembering one. Right?

Well, the idea behind this article is a photo. There were a group of school kids in an auto-rikshaw with mixed facial expressions. Some were tired, some were playful, some were looking at the camera with questions. But two things were common: the size of their school bags and an unseen burden.

Kids are doing what they are told to do, Go to school. Go to tuitions. Go to music class. Learn piano. And many more things which we decide on their behalf till they are a certain age. We try to do good for them. We want their future to be glorious. We are not wrong in that.

But along with this all, one bug has entered into our mind so firmly that we are not ready to remove it. That is the teaching MEDIUM. Gujarati medium, English medium, Hindi medium and many more.

This should be decided by the parents and family only. But where is the logic? I mean if you are deciding on the base of a conversation such as one described above, then it is completely illogical. Go and survey. How many IITians and IIM students have done their schooling in their native language? It will score more than you have imagined. It is a simple thing. Why do we complicate it?

How can you say if your 6-year-old kid would ever see IIT or not? You don’t even know about his likes and dislikes. He is just a kid.

I am not saying that English medium or any medium other than the native language is bad. It is not. But to think that mediums other than English are bad should not be acceptable. A kid’s smartness is not dependent on his medium of schooling. It is dependent on the environment he is living in, the people he is living with, the exposure he is getting.

Many cities don’t even have good and decent English medium schools and convents. But still, parents might succumb to peer pressure and put their kids in such schools. Now, the only one who will suffer is the kid. He would neither be able to understand English nor his own native language, as the teaching of English might be poor in such schools, and the child will not stick with his native language, making social circles off limit for him. And that is definitely not healthy for any human being. And this is just a kid, a growing one. The more he meets different people, the more he learns. See, smartness is about these things too. It is not measured by his English vocabulary and fluency only.

There are some English medium schools I know where they give your kids balanced knowledge, where equal importance is given to your native language too, where schooling is not a burden for your kids. If your city has good schools of other than your native language and if you can provide a suitable environment for his healthy growth, and most importantly, if you and your family are confident about it, then go for it. I am repeating myself, it is not BAD.

We are living in an advanced world with so much technology around, but still such core subject is the subject of a question. Why?

Image source: flickr, for representational purposes only.

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