Monday, June 25, 2012

College Admissions

Mumbai is one city where every activity is magnified. Sorry, Delhi, I know you are the Nation s Show offs, but allow me to complete why I write this. The newspapers decide how I shall feel in the morning. They will complain about Mithi river desilting which never gets done for some reason. Then, it is the potholes on the roads which the BMC is trying to fill up. Then for some days, we shall see the Disco pub cleansing unlike the ethnic cleansing happening in other parts of the world. So I decide that bad roads affect me, the Metro rail construction and Mithi river doesn't affect me as my house and area of travel both do not fall into it. I do not frequent the city s watering holes or happening joints and Dhoble protests do not bother me. I had no pending files in Mantralay but I really felt bad about the five people who died in the fire.

The last one month, we are talking about school results. Ads of various tuition classes are there on most empty walls and electrical poles. Just came to know that these are not the good group tuition classes. The Best ones take admission based on students prelim exam results. The exams for tenth got over on 26th March and these classes started on 1st April , the same year. Four days of leave for your child after slogging for one full year. Incredible! I know parents who do not want their child to go for these tuition classes but there is peer pressure. Plus, the parent doesn't want to compromise on the child's future for the sake of his/her beliefs.Even a 5 mark increase in the child's final result, counts. It can be a make or break for the best college the child wants to go to.

Most children have no clue. The college life is so different from their school life. The kids just parrot what they have heard their parents speak about various colleges. Lot of good colleges in Mumbai are owned by Sindhi community. There is a 50% Sindhi quota. The Sindhi child will need a little lesser grade to get into these colleges in a Sindhi quota with the caste certificate, of course. For the balance seats , the percentage required for the child to get in the college, is higher. Its fair I think. If the community has made good educational institutions, they want their children to get the benefit of it. These colleges get good results year after year. They have maintained good staff and good discipline.

Its the 'leftover' children, whose parents' community did not make any educational institutions that I am concerned about. By the way, the community thing is also the entrepreneur nature of the community, which thinks ahead. Money and grants lot of communities can get and do get, but to spend it well for the upliftment of its people, is not done by all of them. Instead of building some funny structures on Shivaji Park, the BMC could have spent the amount on educating atleast 1000 children. If everyone gets educated, we will not vote for the corrupt and that is what the politician fears. The college admission stress when I see my friends go thru,I feel bad. i feel bad for for myself. Not for the fact that I am unable to help them, but that my children have a long way to go. By then, procuring a college seat might be more difficult.

I see parents struggle between science and commerce. Arts stream is easy if your child has not scored well. But if your child has scored well then which stream to choose? From science stream, the child can move to commerce after twelfth standard exams. The vice versa is not possible. All change of fields, after standard twelfth are not particularly easy. If your child does not secure enough marks for medicine or engineering, then what do they study? Parents are dealing with this in every breath they take. No one wants to take a bad chance. You cannot make mistakes with the child's career and all kinds of stuff one gets to hear. End of the day a Gujarati businessman knows his son will join his business.What about the working class? What do those parents do? The child has almost no clue about how competitive the world is, a parent wants to hand hold the child. A Marwari businessman allows his daughter to take any field as he wants to see her married in a rich household. The child dabbles with arts or fashion till the D day. I am generalizing and please excuse me for that.
The difficulty is for a working parent who has no money for donations and no political clout to secure an admission seat. Where does the child, who is good in studies though not the best, go? Where does his career go? The parents are concerned about their child even if he is a topper. The average good child's admission is difficult. The child might want to assist in Make up or movies or edit or sing or dance. As a parent, can we allow him / her to do that. In our minds, these are short term careers. Education will hold stead. So we want the child to study. Taking a one year break to decide what one wants to is equivalent to loosing a year. Would you allow your child to try new jobs and travel for a year before he/she decides on their career path and their education?
Dear Parents,There is no right answer. There is no correct path. There is no best route.

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