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Values & Education

Kya Banoge Munna?

“Kya Banoge Munna…

Mummy kehti bano doctor…papa kehte afsar…

Engineer banjaoo bhaiyya..behna kehti aksar…

bacche ke khel-kood mein bolo bache ka kya hissa…

iss sawal ke hi jawab mein kar de shuru yeh kissa…

kya banoge…munna”.

Kya Banoge Munna? - Preparing Toddlers For School - And Education

In English, it roughly translates as follows: A little boy is asked, “What shall he become when he grows up?”. Mom wants him to become a doctor, dad wants him to become a government office, sister advices him to become an engineer. A child isn’t just allowed to live his childhood”.

This is a song that is so familiar to me from lazy summer holiday afternoon TV aka Doordarshan. I never really understood or tried to understand the depth of the song back then! I just knew the sister tells the elder brother to become an engineer and I was proud that my elder brother did just that. I used to feel he listened to me and chose the profession.

But come to think of it, he took up engineering because he hated biology and had a phobia of blood and hence, couldn’t even think of being a doctor. So the question of being a doctor or an engineer was automatically solved for him.

He is happy in his chosen line. But not many are that lucky. Some were forced into engineering or medicine as any other profession is below the family standards.

‘Oh! You took commerce? Arts? Marks were less in 10th?’ is the most familiar question a commerce or art stream person would face then. It was considered downright crazy to choose these streams if you are an above-average student.

Thankfully, the education mind-set in India is undergoing a big change. Now people are looking beyond engineering and medicine. We hear parents proudly telling about how the child is doing biotechnology or psychology or mass-media or visual communication degrees. It’s a nice refreshing change.

I am now happy that my child will have a broad variety of choices. Here the husband stops me and tells me that I am jumping the gun here. “Look at her, she is hardly out of diapers and still can’t decide whether to play with sand or eat it or do both!” he looks on adorably as only a dad of a spoiled brat can look. “What’s the big hurry? I don’t care if she goes to school a little later than usual”, he almost says with moist eyes. The protective dad comes to fore.

True! She is just 2. But I have the nursery admissions looming over me. I have so much to choose from. I have to think of the education systems. I have to pick a syllabus which will give her the broad variety of choices. There is so much to choose from: CBSE, State, ICSE, Waldorf, IB, etc.; etc.; I already have a headache.

Plus! I hear admission in any of the “big” schools for any of these syllabi is an uphill battle. Some schools even resort to US H1 visa style lottery system! There are also rounds and rounds of interviews with the parents and ward.

In our case the ward is not the problem. She is a chatterbox and willingly shows off her ABCs’ and 123s’ and Nursery Rhyme skills. It’s the parents. We are unsocial and reserved people. Interviews jar us out of our comfort zones. Sigh!

While I research about this in all seriousness using my ever faithful Google, the toddler is busy destroying/creating/drawing on a paper with a permanent marker; I have no idea where she found. The husband chuckles and tells me, ‘Search for how to get rid of permanent marker stains off a toddler’s body first!’ Argh! Ok permanent marker stains won’t do a good impression in an interview. I began searching for ideas to remove them. Prioritise life. Yes! I am doing just that. Her future school can wait!

An erstwhile Quality Analyst, Sirisha Achanta, is now a full-time mommy to an adorable 2-year-old girl and a part-time writer. 🙂  She loves to dance, dream and read a lot!