Many of you would have read this post which has been duly doing it’s rounds on the net. And most among you would have noticed that this list has 3 Indian kids, all of whom are settled outside India.
Now questions arise. Why aren’t any of these kids in India? Why isn’t their knowledge being used in India? Why are there so few tech whiz kids in India?
Yet, you must realize one thing. Outside India, it’s Indians who make up the largest chunk of tech wizards. And Indian kids are no further backward in this case, OUTSIDE India. Why not inside India, you ask?
Well, consider a typical middle class family in one of the major metropolitan cities of India, with a kid who studiously goes to school everyday, completes his/her homework and comes first in class. When you take out his time table of what happens in school, all that you can see is that he/she is being inundated with subjects that deal with the making of things, the history, the geography, the civic sciences. Their brains are being filled with almost useless information. No? Not useless? Okay, kindly have a look at this question. “Explain any three features of the scholar’s revolt in 1868 in Vietnam.” This question was part of the portions for 10th standard CBSE Board Exams. Why would tomorrow’s generation which ought to be using it’s grey cells to innovate for day after tomorrow, want to know about a scholar’s revolt that happened back in 1868 in Vietnam? Like WHY???
You fill up a child’s mind with all this. You manage to hard-wire his brain to learn everything by rote. You brain wash him to think that there is nothing better than becoming a doctor or an engineer and then finally, once he has gone for 4 or 5 years through the robotic machine production line of yet another engineering or medicinal college and is spewed out as yet another engineer or doctor of the country, you, yes you, the selfsame person who stopped him/her from thinking and forced them to go and study and study and study, sit and scold him again saying that it’s his fault that the country does not have a place for him to work with all the 4 lakh other engineers or doctors who were spewed out from similar “professional” factories all over the country.
But it’s not the way he studied in school or college that matters, it’s the environment you as his parent and you as his teacher provided him. Rather than teaching students about people who died, about revolutions that failed, about rules and laws of science that are invalid and useless now, about methods of calculations which are prehistoric, teach him about tomorrow. You say that you want him to be a citizen of tomorrow. Do you want him to be a citizen of tomorrow with last century’s knowledge?
If a child wants to play with computers, let him. Then only will he want to make his own games tomorrow. If a child wants to read books other than school texts, let him. Then only will he write tomorrow’s best sellers. If a child wants to watch aeroplanes flying in the sky, let him. Then only will he dream about flying his own plane tomorrow. If a child wants to use an app on his mobile, let him, because then only will he find out what’s wrong and missing in it and tomorrow, set out to make one that surpasses anyone’s imagination but his. If a child wants to paint, let him, because then only will he discover the Picasso within him.
And if a child does all of these and still does not seem to be particularly talented in any of these, please do not push him off to some coaching institute, he might become the Sachin Tendulkar of tomorrow.
The world is new, comparatively. So are we. We are still discovering the world and what we can do here. But with every generation, these discoveries are moving ten-fold faster. Don’t hold them back, because then you would be left cribbing about how your son or daughter is still in a blue collar job while your neighbour’s son or daughter is out conquering the world.
Finally, not every kid needs to be a tech whiz or a genius in learning things by heart, he or she might be a pioneer in a field that not even you would dream of in your wildest, most imaginative dreams. And never, ever judge a child with what he does, how he learns, how he walks, how he talks or even how he looks. Perceptions can be deceptive. In every way.
Break your stone hearts that tell you what your children should become. Clean the cob webs of your mind and see that your children are not only yours, but they are what the world needs for tomorrow.
Change those age-old habits of yours. Change those prehistoric mindsets of yours. Let your children fly free, physically, educationally and mentally. Let them explore what the world has in store for them, because then only can they make the world a better place to live in, for you, for me and everyone who is here and who is yet to come. And when they discover something, however small, never discourage them, but educate them about it and let them know what you think about it. And always encourage them to live not only for themselves, not only for you as their parents, but for the whole wide world, because a few drops never made any ocean.