Dr. Sulthan Ahmed Ismail,
Director
Ecoscience Research Foundation

Every child, as it grows, starts observing several subjects. Especially to my knowledge, usually the teacher who teaches a subject has a major influence on the child’s future career, because children develop fancy for a subject based on how beautifully the teacher transfers knowledge or information or how the teacher has been moving with the children. So, based on such aspects children would develop a fanciful thought that I will study this or that subject. But, then the parental and peer group pressure starts coming up on them, saying that this is better, that is better. Today, there is a sort of concentration on few courses like medicine, engineering, computers, and commerce that people feel are the only courses that will help their children sustain in the future and they would go all the way to pressurize the child so that the child does very well in NEET or does very well in IITJEE or any of the competitive examinations thereby the child’s future would be very bright and brilliant; it’s not so. What parents see is the financial returns, but parents should see their happiness in future.

Today, most of the engineering students start thinking what they should do in life, after completing their engineering course. The present day engineering students are mostly channelized to do engineering by people who had a say in their career, or who had an influence over these children that engineering was the best course for them. Today, most of the children are seeking opportunities through other courses; most of them would like to do an MBA who would like to go to the management cadre, most of them prefer to do IAS. So, it is not what course you study, it is what you learn that matters. It is not how high your scores are; it is all about what passion you have towards the subject.

There are more than 150 subjects that a student can study after completing +2. Overseas, subjects like Sociology, Psychology, English, and History are much sought after that have a heavy competition in terms of getting admission. Especially sociology; every industry wants a sociologist, every industry wants a counselor. But in our system, when students with low marks wish to opt for a bachelor’s degree in computer science or commerce, they are usually instructed to take Sociology or History with a more discouraging intonation. It is highly advisable that every higher education institution should have a dedicated counseling bay where the students can meet the counselors and get clarity on the various courses available, and then go for admissions.

Moreover, it is important to identify the core strength of a child and encourage it to build on it through education. For instance, parents can observe the child with regard to which book the child frequently reads; usually children pick their favourite ones. Similarly, there is a practice in Russia, where children that are about to complete their primary education are taken to a hall, where there were different cabins that will have books and resources related to various subjects. Students were let free to enter any cabin they felt like entering; any number of times and were observed. Based on the children’s frequenting to a particular cabin that offered a particular subject, the child’s inclination towards the subject was identified. If something similar is attempted in our environment, there will be scope to engage in an interaction with the child to give more information about the why, what, and how of the subject and let them choose the subject with clarity. If such practices are integrated into the system, students can be molded easily with their active participation and contribution.

While we delve into the aspects that parents and students should concentrate upon while choosing the higher education, I would also appreciate if the education department or the education ministry of the Government of India, makes a policy that schools and universities are in par throughout the nation that lets any child, studying under any type of education system in the country be it CBSE, state board etc., to join any school or university pan India. Additionally, when we talk about choosing the universities,there are government aided universities, which are called as state and central universities respectively. We also have deemed to be universities,which are private universities. I would always advise children to make a wise decision with regard to what would be the best for them. It is the duty of a child to get to know whether a particular university that they wish to join is recognized by the UGC; this information is available on the website of association of Indian universities - http://www.aiu.ac.in/ . Further, the case is same when students wish to join universities abroad. To breakthrough this issue with choosing a recognized university abroad, students or parents should affirm the authenticity of the universities through the consular offices of the destination where they wish to put their wards for a course.

Further, Indian students should bear in mind that foreign universities demand a 16-year education when we are to opt for post graduation. For students who complete a 3-year graduation after their school, the entire span of education will be only of 15-year period. Hence, if students wish to pursue a post graduation overseas, it is better to choose a four year program for the under graduation. However, students are still eligible to join post graduation courses abroad, even with a 15-year education; but they would be required to do a one-year short-term course in addition to their main course of study.

In all, when it comes to career building, it is not the degree that lands one into a job; it is the passion that does. It is obvious that today, industry does not select candidates based on marks alone; marks only happen to be a parameter that fetches an interview for an applicant. This is because, after a particular level of education, it is not your marks but your depth of knowledge takes you places in a career. To conclude, it would be apt to say that industry does not want a clay pot, rather it wants such clay that it can mold into a pot. Altogether, education institutions should help in molding the clay, parents facilitate and give a product, which can be molded into clay, and the industry designs it into a pot of its expected dimension.