As I travel from Santa Cruz to Ghatkopar in a BEST bus, I see 90% of the buses around me filled with posters advertising IIT-JEE institutes and details about their past results. The new season is here! Boards and the academic year of ICSE and SSC schools are over. If you aged anywhere between 14 and 16, it is time to make choices, my friend.
The JEE pattern has changed. ISEET comes into existence from 2014. As you know, ISEET is the new exam to get into IITs and other top-notch engineering colleges. What I don’t like here is the way this exam has given birth to a business. Parents pester students to start preparing for this from class 10 and sometimes even from class 8. Frankly, if you really want to get into an IIT/BITS/NIT you do need to start preparing early especially if you are an average student. Otherwise preparation from class 11th is just fine.
Kids today have the zeal to do anything. It’s just how they are groomed decides what they end up being by the age of 17 or 18 when they join graduation school. I personally didn’t have any aim to be an engineer until I turned 18. I still remember topping my school in 10th boards and then the natural choice was made by my parents - IIT. The day they took me to this top coaching institute, the owner said, “Well just be focused and we have the resources to get you in. And foolishly, I believed him. Well I did not have a choice. B.Com and other allied 3 year degrees won’t fetch me the basic start a B.Tech would provide, or so I thought. I couldn’t do medicine because I simply hated biology.
Now, you would want to ask me why so much of confusion at the age of 16? Well that’s because I did not know many of the topics that I had to face in +2. And all because I was in a SSC school which had a very badly designed curriculum. Now, as I am interning with ADD-on-GYAN, I so realize that if I had this in my school I would know somewhat what I would be doing later and maybe would have made a wiser choice.
I so repent sometimes for taking up Electronics and Communication Engineering. People crave for this branch in MIT, I do not know why? They want to upgrade. I had dreamt of doing Metallurgical Engineering from an IIT/NIT when I fell in love with Inorganic Chemistry. You might be thinking when did I fall in love? Answer - only when I took a year drop after class 12 because I wasn’t guided well till then. And I will only blame my coaching institute in +2 for this. But my dream was wasted.
Coaching today is a business and the educational policies of the country are to be blamed for it. They talk about India becoming No. 1 in economic development by 2050 and here they are playing around with the future of India. This has to change. And maybe ADD-on-GYAN is one of the solutions. I can only hope so. Counseling sessions right from class 8th must be made compulsory so that students can dream and follow them rather than get butchered by the educational ‘mal-practices’ of India.
I too have a dream. I dream that the next generation after us would know what to do with their lives. And maybe interning with ADD-on-GYAN is how I can contribute to the change.
by Abhishek Bhaduri (Member of Technical Team at ADD-on-GYAN & a 1st year MIT Student)
Just give it a thought,
Isn’t it easy to learn a game (be it a card game or billiards or a game in any other form) by looking at others play and then try and play yourself rather than simply read it from a book?
Isn’t it easy to learn good behaviour by looking at your friends’ good behaviour and follow him rather than reading it from a book?
Isn’t it easy to learn the art of communication by actually communicating people rather than studying it off a book and writing an exam on it?
Don’t you learn more from your own experiences than listening to your friend’s experiences?
In all the above mentioned cases, we learn a new thing by practically doing it. And they all pretty much happen naturally. When such important aspects of life are learnt with practical experiences then what is the point of gaining knowledge on various concepts just by learning then by rote from a book, without any sort of practical knowledge?
Practical knowledge and application skills are essential to survive in this competitive world today. Inculcating them at the school level is the only way to fortify these into a person. Obviously, this is not achieved just by studying the scary looking school textbooks or listening to the teacher talk. Today, a student needs to experience the concept himself/herself or in simpler terms ‘perform experiments’ to know the concept better.
We at ADD-on-GYAN are promoting this very concept in not only the high end schools but also the average schools where most Indians send their kids. We are aiming to bring a change in the system of school education where practical coaching is given an equal importance as the theoretical learning because it is our firm belief that practical learning adds to the process of sharpening a student.
When we say practical learning, I am pretty sure that all you remember are the ones that you performed at Grade 11 and 12, i.e. the chemistry titrations and snippets of the physics ones. We still remember them not because they took place some years ago but because we did those experiments, we saw how things worked; we saw the concept actually taking place along with reading it out from the books. If concepts as advanced as ones in high school and college levels are feasible, then with a little effort and vision, almost all concepts of science and maths in the lower grades can be explained to the kids easily using experiments and practical exercises.
Kids tend to learn more using this way.
At the end of the day, the fact is that education is all about grabbing knowledge and sustaining it.
Studying for exams is not the main target. Being a smarter person is.
And also, making money is never the main purpose. Educating kids is.
Written by: Neha Suvarna (Neha works in the Creative Team at ADD-on-GYAN)