Friday, June 15, 2012

Pretended interests

Looking up this news item I have been quietly laughing for some time. Now that studying the 'arts' (as they are called in India) is beginning to pay good money - via advertising, journalism, law, management and suchlike - a lot of high scorers in the plus-two level examinations are making a beeline for them at the time of college admissions. One more open secret publicly revealed: in India it has always been about money and comparative ease of landing jobs, period. No question of personal interest in any subject/career. As I have been saying for donkey's years, if suddenly tomorrow millions of parents and their kids heard that studying history or painting was paying much more than engineering and far more jobs were available, the IITs would be emptied, and nobody will go around saying 'I too am deeply interested in science' any more...a lifetime of teaching has taught me very well how many are really interested in science, or any other academic subject for that matter.


ginger candy said...

Dear Sir,

As always, you are absolutely right about this one. Students, and more importantly their parents, will always stick to career choices where the prospects of money and job security are better. So it irritates me to hear that someone wildly passionate about Mechanical Engineering four years ago has now taken up a job in an IT company, or that someone who loved Computer Engineering has immediately applied for an MBA right after his/her B.E. so as to work in an investment bank. If money and job security are the main motivations behind any sort of higher education, then why hide under the false pretense of love or passion for any subject?

One excuse that I am tired of hearing is that teenagers who are on the verge of beginning their University lives can't make up their minds because all textbooks are so boring that they automatically turn off the students from pursuing a lifelong career in those fields. However, having checked out many of these textbooks myself, I have noticed that the current textbooks used in schools are not in the least boring- far from it! I find these books to be very interesting, beautifully illustrated, and in many cases, extremely engaging. The only reason as to why many people find these books and subjects boring is because their parents have successfully driven it into their heads that most subjects, barring those included in 'science', are useless and have to be studied only since the school board demands so. If students (or their parents) were allowed to study only their subjects of interests right from kindergarten, there would be no need for History or Geography teachers in schools anymore.


Arijit said...

I have taken up ICWA as my career option. There have been lot of comments coming from here and there stating that "Tui budo boyeshe kaj pabi, chul dari peke jai,o sob porle." ( You will get a job at a later age when you grow old) so better go for an MBA. I'm literally fed up with them, they dont want to study at all only buying a degree is good for them.

Anand Tiwari said...

Dear Suvro da,

Progeny of Indian Americans routinely take up medicine and pharmacy as their profession only because of the pay scale. Have you ever heard of an Indian American becoming a hospital social worker or a speech therapist or a health coach? There is practically no Indian representation in physically demanding professions like fireman, paramedic, police or first responders of any nature. Of course, we Indians are smart enough to not make such dumb choices.


Suvro Chatterjee said...

Hello, only three comments here, all three agreeing with me! There's a saying in Sanskrit that silence means agreement, you know! Will no one tell me that I am wrong: that most Indians go where their hearts lead them; millions sit for the engineering-school entrance examinations only because this country has decided it loves engineering more than any other calling in the world?