Final examinations are approaching. Homes are turning into a battleground between parents and their kids who are about to write examination. My home is no exception. My daughter who in ninth standard, refuses to study as per her mother’s guideline. No amount of persuasion could bring daughter and mother on the same plane. Mother would not give up her right, despite entreaty to give more space to daughter. Daughter, all of fourteen, will not cede her ground. She would say, ” more mother pushes me, more I shall not study.” To add insult to injury, she adds, “I shall end my life, and blame you for my fate.”
We did not take her up on her challenge. Question obviously arises, are we becoming a sissy parents, who cannot control their fourteen year old? Or are we becoming a monster parent, who drive their kids to suicide? The answer is not that simple.
It is true Indian parents are still trapped into a mindset that takes pride if kids become a doctor or an engineer. May be it will raise our social status. May be our kids will earn a lot of money. May be his / her degree will fetch a good life partner and hopefully a lot of dowry.
It is also possible that our own unfulfilled desires of not been able to reach the high pedestals of academic excellence, we push our kids to achieve them on our behalf.
From a parents perspective, one also has to understand the socio-economic reality of India. Unless a kid studies, and studies really hard, how would he/she get into a good college with a good course? Consider this,
- In this day and age, students are scoring as high as 99.7% in CBSE examinations. In top colleges, even after third round, merit list does not come below 90%. Admission to engineering and medical schools is equally cut throat.
- For appoximately 28000 seats in engineering colleges, IIT and NIT included, nearly 10 lac students write exams. Odds are 30 : 1 for a student. IIT students have to write an additional advanced JEE. Nearly, two lac students compete for 10,000 IIT seats, of which one lac are from general category.
- Similarly, nearly 10 lac students write NEET exam for admission into medical colleges, which have 56000 seats.
- There are many private engineering and medical colleges. Their fee is at least 5 to 10 times that of fee charged by a government college. Besides, quality of education in all private colleges is not as great. Many private colleges also demand a capitation fee or donation.
Keeping this in mind, it is important to understand that parents need a change of mindset. Other than breaking our heads against terrible odds, of getting admission into a medical and engineering school, we should explore other options. Believe me there are many potentially lucrative academic opportunities exist in India.
Take for example a course in Hotel Management. When I had suggested this for my daughter, there was a collective sigh of ridicule in family. Many relatives suggested that I wanted my daughter to be a waitress. Hotel Management is much more than waiting tables. One can be chef, one can be administrator, one can be house keeper, one can be at front desk, one can be a bartender, among others. A big hotel is a like big city on its own. It has so many possibilities. If this does not satisfy a person, he/she can even start his/her own joint.
Indian government has plan to create many smart cities. So hospitality industry is bound to grow. There is a shortage of good affordable hotels, there is shortage of good eateries that highlight great culinary varieties of India at an affordable price.
Most of us want a salaried job. With increasing population, with increasing job reservation for different categories, salaried jobs are going to be few and far between. In this scenario, opening one’s own operation is a good idea. Any day, own operation is much more fulfilling than working for someone else. We need a different mindset and be ready to accept new challenges.
There are many such job oriented courses being offered by different universities. Those who are not academically oriented, should opt for such courses and try to stand on their own feet. At the same time, it is important to be aware that no carreer, be it a salaried job or self employment, can take off without dedication and discipline. Students need not study always, but they must cultivate a discipline in life and know what they want.