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15th September is Engineer’s Day, so a look at this – many Indian parents try to get their kid to go for Engineering, when the kid would like to do something else.
Like all middle class parents who have kids writing 10th class boards, my friend was also facing the same question – “What next?”
Like all ‘cool parents’ they told their child, “Do what you want to, we are with you. You should enjoy what you study. If you love what you do then you will succeed. Don’t worry about anything else.”
Their child comes up with a lot of offbeat career options. That gets them worried. They start researching about these options. Then they get more worried. They sit with the child and talk him out of those options. It is actually quite easy, they can give him so many reasons and examples.
They succeed. That takes them back to the original dilemma – “What next?”
Then begins the research. They find so many career options. Some they reject because they feel that their child has too much potential. They don’t want him to settle for anything less. Some options they don’t even look at, because “they are not careers for kids from good families” (this has always been there, since we were kids).
After contemplating for at least a couple of months, sometimes more, they come to a conclusion that Engineering is the best option.
Convincing the kid is very easy. That done, start looking for the best institute which coaches the kids to get into IIT (now that they have zeroed in on engineering, appearing for IIT is a must).
After a lot of research they get him admitted into a coaching center which they feel is the best among all available options.
But are coaching centers any different from each other? They are all the same. The kids are made to study for at least 11 hours a day continuously. The infrastructure is pathetic. The classrooms have no sunlight or ventilation.
They are worried about all of this, but then they convince themselves that this is the only way to achieve, to get into a good engineering college.
The kid may be very good in sports, may be very good in extra curricular activities, but it is not a consideration at all.
The kids are treated like a herd in these coaching classes. I am sure, all parents must be in pain to see their kids go through these coaching classes, but they convince themselves that it is for their good, bright future.
Maybe some of them will really get into IIT or NIT. But what about the rest? Won’t they feel that they have gone through hell for nothing? Whose fault would that be? The parents’? The child’s? The institute’s?
So that brings us back to the beginning,
Engineer, to be or not to be.
Image source: Gayatri2388 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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