Approach to Education System – Is it ok to be slaved at school?

Last week my cousin came to our home for a meet up with the family since it was long time we had met. My brother and I had a chance to meet her kid who is in seventh grade. He was in love with the games in laptop and brother’s android. But I felt he was a starved of these when he went on to play wild.

When I was talking to my sister, she said he has very less time in her home for games or such activities. Her father in law retired head master of the school allows him a leisure time of two hours a week. All he does at his schooldays is to get up early, study, go to school (study obviously), come back home, do home work, drink whatever they mix for him (Memory Vita, Bournvita, Horlicks yada yada yada…) and go to sleep strictly at the time they have marked for him.

I dont know what they wanted to do with a boy. When a request to visit a mall or movie came from him the next thing shot at him was “Beat so and so girl in the studies, get first rank for the rest of the year and I will give you all you want”. And my sister failed to understand that each kid is different in its own way.

People say all the time to me that each individual have an unique talent and it is upto him to bring that out and make the most of it. I am just putting a question to those people. Will such kind of kid, who had been brought up with such time table will ever know what his real calling is?

I demand such parents should be put into 14 hours of work in office for six days and should be given only 2 hours of rest on the off day. And then the kids should ask them to provide a better life and education. I know that in the big cities the approach towards education is changing, but the small town people think that their kids are their only ticket to their retirement foreign trips :).  And I can see that.

My brother was seen as a criminal in our neighborhood and family when he encouraged the children to do more of what they like. And more importantly the children were not able to find out what they really like in their academics. They were not able to choose between the subjects. All the kids stated that their favorite is french as they were able to score maximum without much strain and get good names with their parents. And they were not able to converse in french, obviously. I knew people who took sanskrit as their third language in my higher secondary. They did or forced to do it by their parents to sky rocket their total marks. I dont think anybody is now using the language for any reason whatsoever.

Upon seeing all these, I reckon that I had a wonderful childhood. I always had the freedom to choose.  I had the freedom to choose not to go for entrance coaching while all my friends toiled on their weekends. No offence meant. They are doing good now and so am I. So whats the point in sacrificing the weekends?

I had the excellent life of backbenchers all through my school life. I was in the back bench and had all the fun having the lunch in Maths classes before the lunch is due. Chatting through the whole history period about how harbajhan and lakshman had won the kolkatta test against the Aussies. We threw bags into houses from our cycle and went onto play cricket till 9 at night and get back home to get nice thrashings. But that was fun.  It never put me back in the rank race or even my friends. We were against copying and we just wrote what we understood from our teacher’s words. I was encouraged by my family and friends to do this.

The problem I have seen with people who had been brought up with such time table and studious typos is that they dont have any hobbies when they get to work. I had a chance to watch the interview when they hired people for my company. When asked about hobbies, nothing went beyond listening music and watching TV. One guy said that he is interested in watching movies, which was my favorite area I started questioning him. He was assured that I am not one of the decision making guy, so he was kinda free.

Me: So What was the movie you watched recently?

He: Game

Me: What will you say about that movie?

He: Please dont watch it. ( I had hard time to keep my smile down)

Me: Atleast there must be one good thing to say about the movie.

He: Yes, Heroine. But she too dies soon.

So what had he done as a hobby in his academic days?? Hobby in Academic years. I must be kidding anyway. And it showed me that after 15 or 16 years of education, we have a lot of graduates in our country with no life. So why these rants anyway? I am guilty. When my sister’s kid asked me to take him to a mall next time he comes, I asked him to study well and get into IIT. You can have all the fun in Chennai, when you are here. But I am still afraid what kind of aftershock the statement had created in his life by my sister and the family to this poor kid.

(I have seen a lot of IITM guys who pursue their passion as well as their studies. They are impeccable in their time management. They are active in social networks, score good grades, excel in music, photography and anything they want. In  the recent sarang festival it was so refreshing to see new competitions like clay modeling had a lot of attendance.)

Do you have a kid? Do you force him to stick on time table and ranks or do you want him to become what he wants to become?

Food for thought I think


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  2. Rohit

    Hi Prasanna,

    I total agree wid you. even my cousin brother who is currently preparing for the board exam does not lived his life i feel. Even i have tried several attempts to explain to his parents to let him to do what he wants and not what you want, but all in vain. I think the mentality of parents need to be changed. It had been beautifully portrayed in the movie “3 idiot” , but as time go by people tend to forget things.

    Anyways beautiful article.
    I think you might like to listen to this in case you haven’t “ken Robinson’s School kills creativity” search on youtube or else you will get it on


    1. Bragadeesh

      Rohit. Thanks for the link. It surely explains how the education is modeled now a days. Hope this changes, but I think its a big process. And about the movies, I overheard a dad saying his son when coming out of Taare Zameen par “I have brought you to the film you wanted. Now no cricket vagaira for next three weeks. Concentrate on revision exams” :).. It surely doesnt last long

  3. prasanna raghavan

    Hi prasanna [another prasanna :)]

    These things happen because, I think, many parents are selfish. They choose to make children believe in what they want. That they do not have time to entertain children seems a convenient excuse. If that is truly the case, they should remain without having children. I take it very selfish from the side of parents to make children and then cut them to size.

    1. Bragadeesh

      Completely Agree boss. Its very selfish from the parents side, they just want to boast the intelligence of their child rather than anything else. Since academic marks alone matters, learning became optional and studying is the thing to do right now 🙂

  4. Indian Homemaker

    Loved this post. It would help to encourage each child to do well generally, to have fun even while learning and to try and explore career option even through hobbies. Thankfully, we can now make a living out of things we feel passionate about.

      1. Bragadeesh

        IHM: Thanks fr your visit and comments. As you said, now we can make a living out of what we really like. When I was a kid, we will be watching some movies in star movies or hbo, where the hero will be encouraged to play a guitar and be a star. My family thought such things were impossible in India. Now it is possible to be a drummer and earn enough.

        As you said, it would help children if we give time for both studies and his interests. But such parents are so dutifully take the kids away from anything fun :).

        Btw, I loved the Animal metaphorical story. Made me laugh and also think.

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