Sunday, December 21, 2014

Conversations with Parents – Part 1– The Dilemma

I am in Chittorgarh, Rajasthan. A training session will start at 10 am.  Over hundred students from a masters program in business are expected to attend the talk.

The talk was about falling in love with learning, finding your passion and working on it from a young age.  I had to deliver the talk in a mixture of Hindi and English. Most of the students at the university came from the rural towns and villages around Mewar. But this made them no different from the students in urban cities. 

During the session, I realized how many of them were so intelligent in a variety of different ways. But it must be so hard for them, to work through a system that respected only a few types of intelligences. How do we get our parents support for the field we are interested in? Let us try finding out.

The Only Valid Path

In most Indian communities at that time, becoming an engineer or doctor was the most preferred option. For many young people, their options ended there. I knew that they family pressure to earn quickly. So it was hard to fully explore your interests in this context. We need to free the physiological and security needs, to inspire the self actualization and psychological inner drive.

Every Parent wants the best education for their Child

I also remember having a conversation with a parent from the Indo- Brazil Chamber of Commerce at a conference in Mumbai. He described how his son would not get access to the best resources in India, because he was an average student. The best students get into top colleges like IIT, IIM, AIIMS and more, while students in between have to settle for institutes that don’t match up to institutes on a world level.

I was very frustrated when he told me that, he had no option but to send his son abroad to a university in the USA. There are very few world class institutes in India. The smartest students in some special institutes have the benefit of a world class learning center there. But millions of other students across India are forced to settle for much less.

What about the parents that cannot afford a high quality foreign educational program for their children?

Some parents can afford to send their children abroad, like my friend from the Indo-Brazil Chamber of Commerce. They will not settle for less even if their child cannot get into an IIT or IIM. But most parents in India, and other developing nations cannot afford to do so.

Where do they go?

Let us Learn Together
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