If you are a parent .....by Azim Premji.

Discussion in 'Jokes' started by sudhavnarasimhan, Apr 6, 2006.

  1. sudhavnarasimhan

    sudhavnarasimhan Silver IL'ite

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    If you are a parent .....



    by Azim H. Premji, Chairman Wipro Ltd.



    If you are a parent, you have many aspirations for your child that may include him or her becoming a doctor, an engineer, scientist or another kind of successful professional. I believe these aspirations are driven by your thinking about your child's future, and her centrality in your life.



    Since good education is often the passport to a good future, I presume it leads you to getting your child admitted to a good school. Then you encourage your child to study hard and do well in school exams. To bolster this, you send him or her for tuition classes. This would have primed your child for board exams and entrance exams, thereby leading to admission into a good professional course. Doing well at college increases the probability of landing a good job. And a good job means the child's future is ensured.



    I am neither a psychologist nor an educationist, and what I will now state may seem counter-intuitive.

    I think that these aspirations and actions might be doing more harm than good to your child. To understand why, we need to re-examine some of our fundamental assumptions.



    In the first place, I have seen time and again that living for some distant future goal also means you do not live in the present. The distant goal will always translate into an external measure of success, such as exams. And most exam-focused children start forgetting what it means to be a child ­ to be curious, mischievous, exploring, falling, getting up, relating, discovering, inventing, doing, playing.



    Childhood is very precious; precious enough not be wasted by the artificial pressures of contrived competition, by too many hours of bookish study, and by school report cards that simplistically wrap up an entire human being in numbers.



    The second assumption is that education is merely a ticket to socio-economic success. Given the state of our country, this reality cannot be ignored. But restricting education to only this aspect is, I think, a very limiting notion of the aim of good education. The primary purpose of a school is to guide the child in her discovery of herself and her world, and to identify and nurture the child's talents. Just as every seed contains the future tree; each child is born with infinite potential. Imagine a school, which sees children as seeds to be nurtured ­ here the teacher, is a gardener who helps to bring out the potential already present in the child.



    This is very different from the current view, which sees the child as clay to be molded ­ where the teacher and parents are potters deciding what shape the clay should take. There is an old (and forgotten) Chinese saying “Give a seed to a potter, and you will get a bonsai".



    Even in a commercial organization, to make profits we do not have to chase profits. Rather, we need to build an institution that gives every employee an opportunity to do meaningful and fulfilling work.

    Create an organization driven by values of innovation, integrity, customer centricity and care. And as you practice these values everyday and moment, you will see that the profits take care of themselves.



    Similarly, dear parent, this is my request to you. Do not give up your child’s present to secure his or her future. Give your child the freedom to truly explore life with abandon. In doing this, you will see your child flower into a creative and sensitive human being. And when this happens, everything else ­money, social success, security ­will fall into place automatically.



    Let your child be a child.




    Isn't it a good forward!



     
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  2. varalotti

    varalotti Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    You set us thinking, Sudha!

    Dear Sudha,
    That was a wonderful piece on children. I wish every Indian parent does read it and more importantly act on it.
    When I was hardly 30 and my daughter hardly 3, I had a chance to read Kahlil Gibran whose words hit me on my head,
    "Your children are not your children.
    They come through you and not from you."
    I have seen many scientists, writers, painters, musicians being turned into clerks, accountants and engineers thanks to the parent's ambition.
    So when it came for my daughter to choose her courses after her HSC, I let her free. I just warned her to look into herself and not go where there's a crowd.
    Chennai (All Chennaiites, please forgive me) is the worst town in this regard. The typical higher middle class child gets up at 4 in the morning, has one hour of study and then goes for tennis practice. Comes back at 7 ready to go to school. Comes home by 5 after having some extra classes at School or some private tuitions. Usually there is a special coach waiting for him at home to give some extra mileage on subjects like Maths and Physics. Then there is a music class or dance class for the girl child.
    The child virtually has no time to wonder, no time to sit idle and gaze at the stars or simply play around with the neighbourhood boys.
    And the value these people set for Plus Two Marks! My God, you will have to see it to believe it. My fellow shuttle player at the club did not come to play during his son's exam time.
    And for this children Plus Two appears to be the climax scene. They pour all their energies into it and once they get good marks, they relax.
    When they take up courses where they will have to study on their own (CA is the best or the worst example in this regard) they fail miserably.
    If I had enough time and money, I will do a doctoral research on the lives of all those plus two students who scored 1150 out of 1200 and what did they do thereafter in their lives. I'll also analyse their emotional index after interviewing their wives and children. I am sure to unearth many surprises.
    Sorry, my reply is longer than the thread. But this is one area I am pretty passionate about.
    Thanks for provoking me.
    regards,
    sridhar
     
  3. Kamla

    Kamla Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    To Sudha and Varalotti...

    Dear Sridhar,

    So well said!

    First of all, Sudha, thanks for the anecdote. From the couple of snippets that appeared here of Azim Premji, I cannot but admire the person. I have to look up for more material and get more informed about him. This one is worth forwarding to everyone:)

    Sridhar, that poem you mention of Gibran is one of my MOST favorite ones. Each time I read it, it brings tears to my eyes and at the same time, gives me a sense of liberation, if you know what I mean. Even I wish you could really get involved and research and find solutions to this education/qualification dump we seem to push our children into. It can be done, with a windfall, a lottery ticket, who knows! But even then, I don't see many following your cousel. It has grown very deep roots which cannot be eradicated.

    My kids were fortunate in that they did their schooling in Germany. Comparatively, the education system is well structured. No report cards, no prizes for academic excellence and not frowned upon if the child is not inclined in scholastic pursuits. That some parents still insist upon high performance from children in school is out of choice and not out of compulsion and fear of losing out in life. I have seen my friends' children shine and make headway in other fields such as fine arts or travel and work in Africa or S America and one girl is working with the backward communities in Andhra Pradesh, India! Our friend, who is a leading doctor and the hospital administrator is proud of his only son working as a cook in a well known local hotel! Sudha, do you agree with me? Your daughter must have done her schooling there!

    America is no different to our own India in this sense and it is a well known fact that the children of the indian origin are the ones who excel in schools here! Yes, a matter to be proud of , but at what cost?!

    L, Kamla.
     
  4. sudhavnarasimhan

    sudhavnarasimhan Silver IL'ite

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    You are right Kamala!

    Of course Kamala, i agree that the education system of not pressurising the children , in Germany was very good for my daughter, who joined here in 7th grade. She was exposed to schooling in India also and she could see the tension and stress that her friends were going through later . Here also i noticed some indians who were here for short periods, pressurising their children to in for eng or IT...even if they had other ideas. I also let my daughter decide what she felt she was best in and encouraged her when she has chosen a brand new course in International Communications Management..though i too had many questioning such a choice. But i can see now that she is doing her best and is also happy!
    But like we all know, in India the peer pressure is too much even for parents!

    well let's hope that what Sridhar feels should happen and very soon the children should be left to enjoy their childhood!
     
  5. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    I cannot help joining you three !

    What Sridhar says is 100% right. I see that pressure in Chennai is particularly more for children. In coping up with all the detailed routine Sridhar has described, my DIL has forgotten that there exists a world outside the children's studies & routine ! I feel so sorry that she is missing out on simple pleasurs in life ! I wonder whose pressure is greater, hers or the children's ? But I dare not open my mouth because the present theory is " That that child, that that parent!"
    Sridhar, if ever you do that doctoral research, I would like to join you - living in Chennai, my heart bleeds for these children who have really lost their childhood. I cannot help remembering my school days in Madurai St. Joseph's - there was time for everything I wanted to do, but topped as well. Well like the typical Senior Citizen that I am, I can't help saying the usual words " Oh, those were the days ! "
    Love & regards,
    Chithra.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2006
  6. Lak_657

    Lak_657 New IL'ite

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    Christmas Gift

    Children should be given keen attention from the date of their birth. We need to care for their overall development from the beginning. When they are at home their best friends are their toys. So we need to choose their toys with at most care. It is better to select the toys, which are focused solely on your child's development. Here is the good opportunity for that. Just go to this site and grab the wonderful opportunity.

    http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2244929-10455494:clap
     
  7. jothi

    jothi Senior IL'ite

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    Hi All,

    Well said by each one of you. I agree totally with all of you about the pressure that our kids go thru in India. I know that when went to school the scenario was totally different. My kids go to school in the US. They look forward to going to school everyday. My daughter who is 6yrs old wants to go to school even on the weekends. How many children in India will want that too. We are planning to return to India next year. I am frantically trying to find a school which can be compared atleast a little bit to the structure of American Schools. We are coming back not because of education but to show our kids a good extended family life, which we miss a whole lot here.

    Jothi.
     

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