A friend of mine was telling the tale of his schooling. He took the Science stream in FYJC because everybody coerced him to. His schooling till then was from Marathi medium. When he took the admission, he did not know that science was the English term for Marathi vidnyan, nor did he knew the difference between Science, Commerce and Arts streams. Later he did graduation in Science, again because his ‘advisers’ told him to. And finally he did MBA this year and is looking for a job now. When I asked if at least doing an MBA was his own decision, he said, “I wish I could I say so.”
He is not alone in this respect. Eight out of ten students I meet have similar stories to tell. And it surprises me a lot, because my own story is a completely opposite one. Every decision about my academics was a planned decision. As a child I wanted to do a lot of things. I wanted to be a writer, a social worker, a teacher, a scientist and finally a journalist. But I finalised to be a journalist when I was in ninth standard and then stuck to it.
It is a pity that our student population is a confused lot. They don’t know why they are studying and how it will help them in life, except that it will help them get a job, earn money or get a good husband or a wife. The main reason for such a pitiful situation is that we lack critical thinking. We never question things. We are programmed to accept things as they are served to us. We lack the motivation to dig deep.
There is no dearth of information, if only we are willing to look for it. Students never explore things on their own. They either depend on their family or family acquaintances to guide them about their own career. This needs to change. Students need to get more assertive about their own life. They need to carve their own niche.