“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood […]” Do you remember the lines from The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost? They mean you need to take the path of passion. In today’s world, it is quite reverse; two roads diverged with one leading to engineering and the other to medical science.
Whenever the graduates’ matriculation scores pass 90, everyone expects them to pick science as their stream for further cogitation. It passes on an outlook of science being a Royal discipline and the others something lower. In our society, there is a stereotype of science being for winners and other disciplines for those who fail to attain. People always conclude that when one is not capable of learning science, only then they opt for other studies. Maybe those who quest for other subjects might be interested in other fields like journalism, fine arts, etc. and not necessarily fail at enrolling in the science courses.
I still recall when I first decided to continue science after 10th grade. All the teachers and the people I know had one thing in their mind; I was going to be either an engineer or a doctor. People had random questions, like: “Which coaching institute will you go to?” or “Why didn’t you go, Kota?” It is our national “wisdom” that “either engineering or medical sciences guarantees a stable, well-paying job,” which influences everyone’s thinking.
Every year around 30 lakhs of students take their intermediate examination including all streams. About 12 lakhs of aspirants appear for JEE (Joint Entrance Examination), and 11.5 lakhs for medical entrances like NEET. If we take a look at the statistics, it would appear that almost every student is taking these entrance exams. Everybody wants an admission to IIT, NIT and AIIMS. It becomes a self-made law for the students to appear on these entrances. An average of 50 applicants applies for each government seat which is still higher than Harvard’s with 17 per seat. These statistics suggest a severe problem in our education system.
Though the country is falling behind when it comes to lawyers and psychologists, everyone is still aiming at engineering or medical sciences as their future careers. Students are so obsessed with these entrances that they carry on for years trying to get them, and afterwards wondering how they spent this much time attempting to get in. Meanwhile, they could have completed another degree and had already made their future.
These misconceptions of success formulas have become a virus affecting our society. The problem is created by our education system and people guiding it. They have promoted courses like B.Tech, B.E, MBBS and have failed even in raising awareness about others. There are courses which can be picked after intermediate that will be paid better, like Animation and VFX, Hospitality and Tourism, Journalism, Advertising and Multimedia Technology. These courses will surely not be intimated by anyone, and it all ends with engineering or medical colleges, and people paying large sums for these programmes.
By: Kaiser Haque