Engineering Craze & Indian Parents
One of my pupils’ fathers would often inquire about his son’s academic progress. He is the father of a rare kind a teacher would rarely meet in his career, who would literally discuss of my subject. His involvement in his son’s studies is certainly more than that of the boy himself for he knew the syllabi of every subject. I would often quip to the boy it would be interesting to teach his father, given his overwhelming enthusiasm, than teaching him.
The boy though very average in his academics is bestowed with other talents. Sadly Indian parental mind set approves academic excellence as the only talent worth laudable and rejects everything else, whatsoever. This dad doesn’t want to be exceptional.
As his teacher and well wisher, I knew the boy never fit into an engineer’s shoes, given his skill sets are not for it in my opinion. I guess he could make a mark in humanities. But his father’s aim was fixed a constant on engineering. It‘s his dream castle that doesn’t come for any exchange. Hailing from a middle class background, the father unperturbed from his dream of seeing his beloved son as an engineer was even ready to spend a chunk of money to ensure a management seat in a reputed engineering college in case the boy’s scores in school finals lags a little behind. I know beyond doubt it will burn a big hole in his pocket.
About three decades ago teaching, bank jobs, posts in government offices were in the dreams of middle class youths. They were their safe heavens rendering job security and ensuring periodical perks and benefits. The desperation for government white color jobs is history now. The introduction of the neo-liberalization policies in the early 90s has proved a big game changer. This opened new avenues with the arrival of multi-national companies. Job opportunities in the private sector boomed. With them came the attractive pay packages. Needless to say they attracted the flocks towards them.
It was during this same period the computer and IT fields began to unleash their power. These two emerging fields have an insatiable appetite for engineering graduates. The need for qualified personnel fro engineering, business management fields sore like never before. The students and parents alike were mesmerized about this vast arena of opportunity lying before them which were approachable on the basis of talents and skills and not on monetary grounds. This became a sigh of relief for the parents. Like herds everyone followed the trend. In the past decade the educational choices of the Indian teenagers have dramatically changed- leaving arts and science branches literally stranded- where the parental influence takes the lead. Many of the parents firmly believe that the best mean of survival for their child is to become an engineer. Of all the reasons the thought of a safe and secured future of their kid is elementary.
In this ever dynamic world how far is this parental belief and assumptions lay close to actuality? Has the sacrifices of the parents and the mental pressure that the students undergo while they pursue their engineering degrees get paid of lately? What is the existing reality before any engineering graduate at present?
We shall ponder over it in the following post.