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05 May 2009

X AND XII GRADE-SHOULD PARENTS LET THEIR CHILDREN SELECT THEIR ELECTIVES

Parents are a concerned lot especially when their children get to the x th and the xii th grades. They are worried about the academic performance so as to be able to secure a merit seat in a good college or university. Choosing the right electives is extremely important at this stage since the future career is based on this. Electives should be chosen according to the marks obtained in the qualifying exam and the aptitude of the student. Over indulgent parents sometimes force their children to take up subjects that they studied as well while in college,and some others prefer to force them to study what they themselves could not. Indian parents are often found justifying their actions in more ways than one.
So,what happens to the student who was forced to take up subjects or languages he never liked? My study over the years shows that some do well simply because they have to,while a significant majority begin to show poor academic performance. And still others who,after finishing their studies,change their career completely.
Examples of these include the following:
A girl forced to take up engineering by her parents began to show poor performance right from the very beginning. But,as the parents did not relent,she took to drugs. Finally,she is now doing what she originally wanted to do-fashion designing.This from a very well placed family.
One other girl I know quietly wrote an entrance exam for a Hotel Management course and then told her parents that she had made it.
Another girl was being forced to take up science and maths so as to be able to take up an engineering seat,but she failed in 2 attempts. And now,she is a lawyer.
A young man who finished engineering with a distinction,because the father was also an engineer,never pursued a career in engineering.Instead he set up a little restaurant and is doing extremely well for the past few years.
Another young man who is an electrical engineer just because his father was, made sure he gave his daughter a career choice,and guess what,she is a bank manager today-something the father had been denied.
Times change and it is imperative for parents to understand not to force their desires or aspirations on their children. Children today are much more aware because of the exposure gained through the internet and so must be gently guided along. Never nag! Do your homework well and find what choices are available as options for your children,but first take into account the temperament and the interests. The career choice should be a passion,not a drudgery.The career choice being made should not be so that the parents can strut around in society saying that their son/daughter is an engineer/doctor/MBA.

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