Student’s choice vs parental pressure

When it comes to choosing what to study, it seems parents and peers have the final say.

Parental and peer pressure on students to choose professional courses against their choice has come in for harsh criticism from educators and experts.

Increasing number of drop outs from professional colleges and the soaring backlogs have been attributed to this undue pressure. Many students struggle with arrears years after their courses have been completed.

“I know many parents who say it is better to take up an engineering or medical course rather than an undergraduate programme in arts and humanities.

It’s the fascination for these courses that force parents to impose their wish on children,” said D. Babu Paul, former Additional Chief Secretary and writer.

Recalling the days when he pursued a professional course, Dr. Paul said that students who failed to clear the papers after three consecutive attempts were not allowed to pursue the B.Tech. programme further.

“With the proliferation of self-financing institutions, it has become easy to get a seat for a professional course. I have started seeing this rush even for civil services examinations. Many students who lack the required skills and aptitude pursue it mainly owing to parental and peer pressure,” he said.

In his three-point advice for parents, Dr. P.S. Sreejith, former director of Institute of Human Resource Development, pointed out that parents should not force children to an engineering programme, if he or she lacks numeracy skills. Many students are seen struggling with basic sciences whenthey come for professional courses like engineering.

“Engineering aspirants must also have analytical and mathematical skills. It is no longer tough to clear an engineering examination, but really tough to get a job without having these skills.

Youngsters must also develop good communication skills to excel in their careers,” he said.

Refuting the allegations that school managements force students to prepare for professional courses, E. Ramankutty, director of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in Kochi, said that the role of educational institutions is to provide them general education and not force them to pursue a particular professional course.

“Pressure comes from parents. We only provide them career guidance and present the variety of courses available for study,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 12, 2021 10:58:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/students-choice-vs-parental-pressure/article6227963.ece

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