January 10, 2008, 12:00 am
INDIAN students, especially those in the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) stream, are not faring well in professional entrance examinations due to a lack of real competition, knowledge about avenues for higher education and a lack of awareness about careers, an educational consultant has said.
Ritesh Gupta, general manager of Forum for Indian Institute of Technology Joint Entrance Examination (Fiitjee), is in Doha on the invitation of MES Indian School. Fiitjee proposes to start its Integrated School Programme(ISP) at MES. Fiitjee has been conducting the ISP in Indian schools since 1992.
Fiitjee prepares children for the entrance examinations of IIT and National Institute of Technology (formerly Regional Engineering Colleges) Common Admission Tests (CAT) and Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) among others.
Gupta said that no student could be termed mediocre in his/her academics.
“A student’s academic performance depends on a host of factors such as the circumstances in which he/she lives, the motivation from parents, colleagues and friends, and on the basis of a methodological approach applied to solve a problem analytically,” said Gupta, a management graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi.
According to him, the CBSE system doesn’t give room for a methodological approach in education and hence most of the students are rote oriented.
To qualify for any high calibre academic programme, one needs to study differently and should possess a different mindset indeed, argued the trainer, whose educational group sent a whopping 2,758 students last year to seven IITs and two other institutions where selections were made from the JEE merit list. The nine institutions together have about 8,000 seats, which included reserved seats for eligible categories.
Gupta felt that with at least half a dozen IITs coming up in the next few years, students who trained properly stand a better chance of securing seats.
“But what is important is that chances are restricted to two unlike a few years ago when aspirants could appear any number of times,” he said.
This puts more pressure on each aspirant and it calls for proper planning by students he added.
“Such a catch 22 situation calls for an approach that is aimed at treating the problem and not the symptom,” he explained.
“What is happening with most CBSE students is that their over-reliance on PCM (Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics) makes them somewhat weak in other subjects and when they try to improve the other subjects, PCM suffers badly,” said Gupta.
“What is important for a student is to strike a real balance between the two components,” he said.
The Fiitjee, said the trainer, helps students with a range of packages that he feels provides aspirants with a real direction throughout the coaching programme.
“Each student should bear in mind that there is no substitute to hard work. Along with that he needs to plan things properly and work smart.
“For such students, development of personality is only a natural process,” Gupta said.
The entrance expert advises parents not to burden their children with unrealistic hopes.
“Engineering is one profession that calls for a lot of independent effort in one’s career. So it is foolhardy on the part of parents to thrust their own dreams and aspirations on children,” he pointed out.
The best thing is to allow children decide their career and parents only need to guide them, Gupta added.