Monday, June 25, 2007

15 and choosing

Read this interesting article on education and careers.
I’ve always had this funny suspicion that we are a nation of engineers who wanted to be singers, doctors who wanted to be actors, and so on. This is partly because we are a poor country and everybody makes life decisions based on how much he will be able to earn. And partly because nobody ever advised us any better. And that has made us a weird society. A nation which at all times is running on half-steam because a huge percentage of productive citizens are just passing time — because they’re not doing jobs they’d really like to do.

And then found this article, Are you cut out for the Science stream? , which is probably meant to guide students after Std X ...
The very first qualifying criteria would be your academic performance in your Class X board examination. While technically even a 50 per cent would enable you to qualify for admission into science, only 85 per cent or higher would enable you to target your city's top-notch colleges.
Science in top-notch colleges is only for those who have proved their "science-smartness" in Std X!

Science is a course that requires a high level of commitment and focus. So, unless you have a reasonably strong interest in the subjects and are prepared to work hard for the next two years, science might not be for you.
Other streams neither require high-level of commitment and focus, nor strong interest and hard work ... that is news!

and concludes very aptly ...
As you can see, there is a wide range of options available to students who opt for Science. This is probably why most parents of students prefer this stream.

What about what the students would have rather chosen?

The counselors mention interest once, but not in the context of using it as one of the most important criteria. Agreed, bang-for-the-buck is an important criteria and 15 years is not when everyone knows what to do, but should not there be more discussion about what does being an engineer, doctor mean (both mainstream and non-mainstream views) and a contrast of what other conventional streams offer and what people with different backgrounds have done and achieved (again, both the mainstream and non-mainstream types).

As the first article states, this decision taking business at the age of 15 years sucks.

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Arvind Gupta Books and Toys, a great collection of books and toys. Incorporating books, science toys and experiments mentioned on the site as part of school curriculum would definitely make learning fun.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

yes, this is one area where indian schools would do well to mimic the american system of bachelor's education where the students are given at least a couple of years to explore hands-on before they declare their majors.

we copy all things american, but why not such good practices too? :-)

-ramesh