Ever heard of a place where high school education increases the chances of someone’s death? Welcome to India! Our education system is sure to give you a premature stroke or at least the live catacombs or “hostels” as they are fondly called, would certainly accomplish the job.
The coaching industry today has begun to exercise control in areas beyond the concerns of education. They have a very big role in shaping the thinking patterns of the young students as it has been observed. Besides teaching the ways to run a marathon like a sprint, they inculcate much more than just studying habits: one of them being fear. Fear of failing, rather falling, as it seems. Fear as stark as drowning; in the sea of one’s own desires and ambitions. Fear of what would become of them if they fail to accomplish what they, or in most cases, their parents had dreamt for.
Majority of students in India are enrolled in some or the other coaching programme; tenth graders making it more of a trend for peer groups. Seriously though tenth graders, there are better ways to doom your early teenage years than messing up your already-messed-up-brains in a (mostly) useless class! But what is sure for all aspirants in the +2 programme is the guarantee that more than half of them would never get through, regardless of the lump sum of money they stuff the coaching institutes with. Instead of making better future citizens, raking in moolah is their prime concern. Their motto is not to make students capable enough to think for themselves, but to make them that lion in the circus who “intelligently” knows to jump through a flaming hoola-hoop whenever threatened with a hunter. Perhaps they don’t understand the difference between “well trained” and “well educated”.
Such institutes may help one section of students achieve goals but it destroys the self-confidence of many. Many students live with the nightmare of studying in a lower batch or putting in true words, any batch except the topmost one. They suffer from sleep deprivation, obesity and depression while some poor students even commit suicide . Of course, only a lunatic would dare to visualise a mentally sound person living in a pigeonhole for a hostel room, eating crap for food and working 18hrs a day. Whom or rather what are we raising then? Kids or cattle?
There is an urgent need to ask ourselves if we really need to put ourselves through such (again mostly) unnecessary pain that too for a formal permission to enter into colleges, another name for “level-2” of the mental harassment programme. Or is excelling in every sphere of life more important than our lives. The most appropriate answer would be a giant “NO”. We seriously need to relax our adrenaline levels a bit about petty exams or even as many people would say “life-deciding” exams; or at least not consider them above all reasons for existence.
Having suffered from the nausea that follows the roller coaster ride of ranks for 5 years in a row in one such institute; I can surely say that whatever be the reason, it is just not worth the time or at least one’s precious heartbeats. And the same applies to any such “life-deciders”. Literally, stop fretting! even if you completely screw them up. Because, as one of my favorite writers Rohan Joshi says , “No matter how big the train wreck, it is a promise, tomorrow is going to be okay and there is always a place for you in the sun which is not dictated by mere numbers on a sheet of paper.”