Fake Celebrations in the Name of Education

May 22, 2015

Have you ever noticed what happens to the rank students in later years? And why? How many of the rank students get rank repeatedly? May be just 5% of them. Why those 95% of the rank student fail to get repeated rank in the later stages of their studies if they are above the rest? Do you know that most of our students may not be in a position to identify an object kept in front of them of which they scored 100% in theory! Have you ever tried to find out what happens at tuition centres? Have you surveyed the demand / supply ratio at the job market before selecting the options for further studies? If not we will discuss in this article.

We are experts in doing things blindly. Mass blind followers. Particularly so in the field of education. Every parent wants their children to become a doctor an engineer as if only these two professions can give us money and recognition. Look at your surroundings. The answer you may find is a big NO. It was the situation two decades back, not anymore. Then why this blind craze in us?

The competition from kindergarten level itself is huge. Every other parent sends their children for tuition. So we need to follow them too. Have you ever noticed who teaches them? How differently they teach than at the school? Many promise individual attention beside so many other things. Have you ever thought how can they do it? They too put as many as students to earn more money. Visit those tuition classes once and you may find that the same repetition of process is going on as it was in the class room. And they just teach only one hour per day. It is very clear that individual attention is highly not possible in that short span. Many of the parents do not want their children at home, so they drive them out in the name of coaching. Many of the famous tuition institutions now don’t admit low scoring students. Because they don’t have time to focus on low scoring students and spoil their market value. So best thing is to admit good students and canvass about how many students from their institute got admitted to engineering and medical colleges.

I know from my native place an IIT (Mumbai) student; a MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA) and an IIT (Kanpur) student; they never received any rank in their student life, were relatively unknown till they finish 12th and entered IIT. From where they came all of a suddenly, overtook everyone and entered the top colleges?

Where is the problem then? The reason is we press on only numbers. No one is interested in developing reasoning ability in children. Memorise, vomit on the paper in 3 hours time and celebrate. Post big photos of those students at the road side hoardings to market and attract more students. Have we ever thought about these students whose photos now displayed on big screens at the roadside? Can they handle it positively? Is it not a false claim of having super brain? If not why these students fail to progress as they advance further and remain as an ordinary engineer or a doctor? How many of them actually becomes doctors? How many get merit seat! Have we ever analysed why do they fade away? Most shockingly almost every high school level institutions also started displaying this type of advertising.

Aren’t we putting these students under pressure? When a few institutions were doing it, it was a unique selling point. Now every corner of the village also we can find these displays. Is this necessary?

I do quiz competitions and have participated in many in the past. I observe generally the quiz master as well as guests praise the winners beyond limits about their intelligence during prize distribution ceremony. Many times I cautioned them not to do so. It is because there is no IQ involved in these types of competitions; the winners are generally avid readers. Thats all. We should learn to reward in a suitable manner considering many things particularly age since they may not be in a position to handle such praise positively.

One of my known person (home tutor) told me recently that on one of such advertising board he could find one of his students photo and he was shocked. The reason is, this particular student was not a member of that tuition centre at all. Since the students got good marks, one of the teachers from that coaching institute known to the student gave him 10grams gold and using the students name to market his coaching centre!!

Have we ever thought what these students do once they finish graduation? The job opportunities and the pay scale they are getting? Even today after all these inputs about career choices, majority of these parents/students opt for medical and engineering categories, just for title sake! And they are not hiding it also! An engineer is easily available in the market but not a Bsc (PCM) graduate!! You can get a software engineer easily but not a civil engineer! Now there is a demand for civil engineers in the market because during the burst of software industry two decades back, everyone went after computer engineering. As a result in many engineering colleges there was a lack of students for civil engineering studies and many colleges shut down civil department altogether . In one of my friend’s office in Dubai (MNC,senior accountant) a software engineer from India is also working with same pay scale (as accountants!). A science graduate today is earning more than the MBBS/BDS title holder! We are blindly following a two decade old market demand even now. We have not understood the changed scenario nationally and internationally.

One of my Malayalee colleagues wanted his son to be a doctor. His son did not have a merit seat either in MBBS or BDS. So just for title sake they purchased a BDS (Dental) seat and now struck badly. Because supply is more than demand, every corner there is a dental surgeon and further study (MDS) is very expensive, without merit and they can’t afford! The boy is cursing parents because it is their force he opted for it. Recently when I was in India while doing an evening walk I saw a dental surgeons clinic I am very sure it is also one more case like this considering the locality of the clinic!!

I am not against rank students, but the false glorification of it. I believe that a student who is capable of scoring 80% is capable of scoring 100% also and comes under the bracket of rank holders. Similarly a student who scores just 35% can be prepared to get 80%. Many of these students fail to make it big later on if their marks were built on memorization and vomiting. At the same time a student who builds his academic process on reasoning and problem solving ability reaches the top. They may not be shining initially but they win the race.

This is what we need to provide our children. Unfortunately we think it is the responsibility of the others (school). So we run after those schools and tuition classes. Hardly we believe that it is the home that makes or breaks a student. Consider a school setting and observe properly. For a rank, distinction, average and poorly performing student; all the parameters are same like school, teachers, books, syllabus and the total school environment. The only difference is home and parents. It is different for different student. Very few parents provide the right environment and hence very few actual performers.

If you want your children to excel in studies create a conducive environment at home that propels the child. Do not blame external circumstances. Remember the fact; the difference between students in a class is directly proportional to the quality of the parents of individual student and the environment at home. The formative years for any student as far as academics is concerned, is from age 10 to 16. During this period the the “academic DNA” is formed.

Parents play an important role not (only) the schools during this formative age. Instead of watching repeated telecasts of dirty family drams on the TV spend such useful time with children’s education. Don’t drive them out in the name of tuitions and you glue to TV sets. As long as you watch Color, Star Plus etc channels, no one, no school or institution can lift your child. Instead watch NGC or Discovery etc you may develop positive taste of watching and may get some insights to groom your child in the right direction.

During one of my conversation with a known person recently (because of which I wrote this article) the person questioned me why we need to study certain chapters in mathematics which is not at all helping in our daily lives. Unfortunately we have failed to understand the basic purpose of what actually we study. That varies from subject to subject. Maths is not to count how many pieces of vegetable or meat we made in the kitchen room. Like language subjects are there to increase our linguistic skills Mathematics is for increasing our reasoning ability, problem solving ability or to increase our rational capability. Harder is the subject more will be the effort needed to solve it, there by increasing our reasoning ability in multiple folds. This in tern helps us solve complex challenges we face in life, in science and space. Whatever we have achieved scientifically is due to our ability to reason, that helped build on failures when we encountered a problem that blocked our progress. Maths is not (only) for kitchen room!!

The biggest draw back we face in Indian school system is we haven’t backed our theory classes by practical sessions. The ratio is marginal. If we can improve this ratio by implementing practical that backs the theory classes the problem is solved to a large extent. Because of this lacking in our education system, we have created intelligence clerks rather efficient inventors. And this drawback may be eradicated quite easily if we think a little beyond the boundary of ordinary thoughts. We don’t do that instead continue blaming because it’s an easy way out.

The theory based system is so strongly implemented; most of our students may not be in a situation to recognise an object kept in front of them in which they have scored 100% marks in theory!! You may laugh but this is the hard reality. One of my known person was blaming school for this. Agreed to a certain extent. The person who was blaming school for this is a science graduate and definitely in a position to wipe out this drawback at home itself if the effort is made. Our problem is we think once we send kids to school and tuitions classes our job is done. After that it is schools responsibility and our only job is watching TV and criticising schools or teachers. If we do not think that children are our primary responsibility why does a school think so? That too when education is highly commercialised? If we do not feed the kid mentally, what they need why someone else should? If the competition is healthy, institutions wouldn’t have commercialised to this extent, but it is too fierce that everyone started advertising like this at the cost of students well being.

Stop blaming others for our fault. Knowledge and solutions to any problem is at our finger tip. We need to click the right button or to tap the right resources. Our problem is mind has eaten rust and stopped thinking either due to laziness or we do not want to sacrifice our little time. Easy way out is blaming other circumstances.

Look at any academic success stories or facts we find or read around; even those who perform under extreme poverty and lack of education among the parents, talk about their parental support under extremely trying circumstances. On the other side those parents having everything; look at others to support their child!

Dear students/parents, the time has come for year 2015 to make the right choice that can dictate your life and happiness forever. Don't go after false prestige pushing the wrong button and land up in depression later on. Make the right choices and be happy forever.


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the above article are solely those of the author.


Vincent D'Sa Archives:
By Vincent D'Sa, Shankerpura/Muscat
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Comment on this article


    Tue, Jun 23 2015

    Very true and well written. Keep up the good work, Vincy.

  • Mohammed Azhar, Bangalore/Mangalore

    Tue, May 26 2015

    Dear Vincent,
    I am a avid reader of the articles from Various sources and this is one of the best article that I have read till date. I have always wondered why on the earth people from our region have this craze for Doctors and Engineers, when the world has reached to the cloud computing. I see the trend changing in bigger cities in India to a greater extent with people opting to different career options but the margin is still low. However I just wanted to say this article needs to be read by every parent in our city and also India who pressurize their kids to be a doctor or engineer. Good Luck.

  • Vernon, Manipal

    Tue, May 26 2015

    excellent and well-timed article. I had scored a mere 69% in PUC. Yes,I had to suffer brickbats but my parents were supportive and advised me to do what I liked and not to follow the rat-race. Instead of engg, i opted for BCA in a good college and what followed was the best phase of my life.
    I feel sad seeing lot of youngsters including my cousins failing to see life beyond Engg and medicine.

  • Rithesh R B, Mangalore

    Tue, May 26 2015

    good and good enough article to understand what the actual education is meant for ,hope more parents & students will go thru your message and change themselves

  • Kusuma Kumari G Nellore, Nellore/Kodyadka

    Sun, May 24 2015

    Very nicely written I congragulate the author for writing this thought provoking and beautiful article

  • Ambrose D'Mello, Pangala / Mumbai

    Sun, May 24 2015

    Good article. Sadly our education system is so percentage focused rather than career/personality development oriented.

  • Reginald, Katapadi

    Sun, May 24 2015

    Very good article vincy. I found this year PUC result, some students scored above 95% without coaching classes & by not studying in a reputed college where students have been chosen above 80% marks. This shows clearly a student can get good marks by attentive in schools & regular studies. Education now a days become commercial & out of reach of poor & medium class people

  • Mickey Castelino, Pangla/Dubai

    Sun, May 24 2015

    Good Article Vincy. Keep writing such enlightening articles.

  • gm, mlur

    Sun, May 24 2015

    How can we change our Indian education system? Every year they are loading extra theory to the syllabus.

  • Peter, brahmavar

    Sun, May 24 2015

    Now demand for welders,turners, mechanics, electricians. We need colleges which gives practical training in these categories along with academic syllabus. Our education and degree system to be changed to meet future requirements.

  • Zeitgeist, Mangalore

    Sat, May 23 2015


    Little disappointed about what you had to say about people who are good at quiz.. cause I am usually good at it... I guess because I am an avid reader. The other thing, IQ of around 135 isnt bad. is it?

  • John DSouza, Mangaluru

    Sat, May 23 2015

    It is very true that we are blindly following a two decade old market demand even now.
    We also are have been blindly following a two centuries old silly error even today which burns the economy by facing poverty and unemployment and denying basic facilities for normal life.
    Neither we wish to open our eyes nor want to implement change for a better living.

  • Suresh Nayak, Mangalore

    Fri, May 22 2015

    The write up highlights the problems the students face in the ion of a career.
    Only problems are highlighted by the author. Some solutions could have been included.
    The students study the way the education syllabus is presented to them. Getting good marks is not a crime nor are the fair means to get good marks like tuition for the not so bright students. For these students, both parents may be working or are not literate enough to help their wards with studies.
    The tuition class organisation also have to survive commercially, hence they have to advertise to get students.
    Some positive achievements should brighten up the write-up. There are hard working smart students who have got the highest marks.

    Rashmitha, a student of Sharada PU College, Mangaluru, has secured the first position in the State, in Commerce.
    She did not attend any coaching classes, she said and added that she was attentive in the classes and discussed with her friends about the lessons.
    Also Engineering and Doctor professions cannot be put down. They are interesting professions with benefits in the long run.
    At an age of 17 or 18, it is very difficult for the student to decide on a career. Generally peer/parent's pressure works. If the student is mature and smart, he/she could look around in the relatives or friends circle and choose some one as a role model and say "that is what I want to become"

  • shaleen, MANGALORE

    Fri, May 22 2015

    Agree with u. At the same time want to tell you 99% of the schools are commercial business centers. Teachers are not at all bothered they put everything on the parents, the school has time only to give reminders only when the fee is not paid on time not to check the reason of child's poor performance. No parent is selfish to drove the child to the tuition. for working parents there is no option left because the time constraints.

  • John DSouza, Mangaluru

    Fri, May 22 2015

    We are experts in doing things blindly. Mass blind followers.
    This is a great finding.

  • vinod, Dubai

    Fri, May 22 2015

    There r a lot of professions in this world.but as rightly said in the article many think that there r only 2 highly ranked professions.either doctor or engineer. That is really wrong. v have to know the interest of the child and then then send them to whichever course they like. Just forcing children for the courses they don't like will make the child unsuccessful and the person may go into depression.

  • linda, Udupi

    Fri, May 22 2015

    very apt article. I heard some colleges only take students with a cutoff percentage of 80% so that they get better results. since our education is theory oriented, most of our children know what is there in the text books. but no general knowledge. they know only the in and out of the text books

  • maxim, mlore

    Fri, May 22 2015

    I have seen so many children who were very good in academics and later found that they were failure in their lives. marks r important for getting seat in colleges but v have to instill in a child confidence,ability,smartwork habits. ultimately a persons life is important notmarks

  • rajesh, Puttur/Dubai

    Fri, May 22 2015

    Very xcellent article....I was just looking at the sslc and puc results.i feel that thers is no value for marks.almost everyone is getting 90% and the difference is 0.1%.i m shocked.even 90% is considered lessbecas there are children who get 99.9%.reason is not becas the child is intelligent. the schools and parents r making the child bookworms

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