My Thoughts

Archive for the ‘College’ Category

In 2012 we have seen a spate of movies in Tamil targeting the education system. What we have to keep in mind is even though these directors/movie makers have their heart in the right place movies can hardly provide a proper solution. In the end they need to make money and for that they need to be over dramatic and can hardly show reality after a certain point.

Suddenly people have started to take a good notice about our education system. The higher mark equals brilliance concept in our system is one of the most outdated concepts ever. Students (except for a few) hardly learn anything but get the required marks to get over the line. The interesting situation is when the teachers call the parents and complain that their kid isn’t doing well in studies. This is funny because the parents are paying a fortune to put the kid in that school and the fact that they are unable to educate him/her should be a warning signal.

The parents put their kids in a private tuition and voila he starts to pass. Now my question to all the parents is this, if a tuition teacher can make your kids pass (Even though he isn’t imparting any great knowledge) then why does he need the school? Why can’t he just go to 3-4 tuitions and just take his exams, doesn’t that make sense? To be frank the problem is that in a class of 40 about 20 will probably pass in all subjects, the rest will fail at least in one. The teachers are mostly worried about only the top 20 in the class and do not want to take the extra effort on the other 20.

The argument that we are teaching the same way to everyone and why isn’t your kid doing well does not hold water. Kids are different and not everyone is the same. Teachers don’t teach the concepts and just expect the kids to understand what they blabber in the class. Some kids need more than that. When you teach geometry or trigonometry, teach them how the solution comes and what’s the concept behind them. When you do that everyone will get the point not just the bright ones.

This happened to me when I was in standard X1th. That was the year we got introduced to Integral calculus. I had no clue how it worked. Whatever the teacher taught went way over my head, completely clueless I almost failed my exam. Then I went to the tuition, which I hated at that time but could not be thankful to the guy now. The guy who taught me was young and probably just out of college. He taught me the concepts, made me understand how integral calculus works and you know what in the very next exam where the entire paper was on integral calculus I managed to score 90%. The teacher was in absolute shock. Now the point is I am not dumb but the teacher has no clue how to teach. If a guy right out of college can bring out such a performance out of me in my very first exam since I went to him then there is surely something wrong with the school.

The stupid syllabus and 10 chapter’s thing should go and emphasis should be on making the kids understand the concepts better. In that way we aren’t memorizing but understanding what those things in the book mean. When I came to the US I felt that the things we are good at are actually miniscule as we are poor at actual practical implementation of concepts. We keep reading books and vomit it onto the paper and most of us don’t understand what we write. Parents should question the schools when they say your son/daughter don’t cut it as it is not true. The fact is that the teachers and school don’t have the patience to work on your kid. If the tuition teacher is able to get the desired result then you know where is problem is. If India needs to produce quality professionals and not just the quantity then this has to change.

I always believe in hard work. Working hard is always important in any field and once you do that success will always follow. I have been a pretty hard working individual through my life. Nothing comes easy in life which is something I realized a long back. I wasn’t a good student, studies was a struggle, getting work was a struggle but in all these things there was one common factor “Hard Work”.

There was an incident which further emphasized my belief. This happened in 2005 while I was doing my masters here in the US. I had graduated in December of 2004 and the only thing left to complete was my project documentation. I was involved in a research project which was tied to my final semester course. I did all my research and my document was ready. I submitted the same to my professor and left the town and went to Chicago for training. Chicago was 8-9 hour drive from the place I was studying.

I requested one of my friends to help me with the communication with my professor but I kept getting the document back. The professor wanted changes in the documentation and it was definitely becoming difficult to coordinate. I kept making the changes and the document kept coming back to me. It wasn’t pleasant as I had graduated in December and it was already the end of March. The grades were already in place, the only thing left was getting the document signed off.

This is where I decided to take the bull by the horns and took a break from my training. I left to my college and said to myself, I am not coming back until this document is signed off. I met my professor in college and requested him to spend some time with me in explaining the changes he needed. He pointed out the same and I noted down everything, made all the changes and came back the next day. Even though he said they were fine he did find another couple of errors/changes in the document and again I went and worked on the same. The next day when I met him he sat with me and reviewed the document and he was impressed. He said he already liked the content of my project and he enquired about what I was doing at that point.

He appreciated my hard work and was very impressed that I just drove down to get this thing done. He hugged me and wished me luck on my future endeavors and finally signed off my project document. I was absolutely thrilled and relieved to see the sign and the seal. I had already received the grade for the course which was A- and I just wanted to get my certificate. I left my college for one final time and was extremely happy with what I had achieved over the past couple of days. Few months later I received my degree certificate and also a corrected mark sheet. I checked why I received the mark sheet again as I already had it and I noticed that the professor changed my grade to A+ from A-. Even though it wasn’t a huge change and hardly contributed towards my GPA it was a change nevertheless.

I just felt that my professor rewarded me for the hard work I put into my project. It was further emphasis to the fact that even though luck plays a huge role in a person’s life hard work is the only thing you can control. If you do the work luck automatically follows. At that point the only goal for me was to get the document signed off, getting a better grade was not even on my agenda but that was a great bonus.

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