Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Preparing for professional courses. When should one start? Part I

Right now my elder son will complete his eighth grade and will be in the ninth grade next academic year. There are many private institutes which have started giving out application forms for those children who are interested in taking up professional courses after twelfth grade. They claim that they will lay a strong foundation for children in science and math. Now these are two year courses which will commence during the summer vacation. Once school reopens then it will be held once or twice a week for the next two years.

My dilemma is whether I should enroll my son now or should it be done once he is in the eleventh grade. At this age he is not very sure what line he would like to pursue. I do not know whether I need to burden him right now. At the same time I do not know if he will be missing out on an opportunity given the tough competition that they have to face these days.When I asked these centres if it is important that they go through this now or should it be when they are in the eleventh grade? They say that it is better if they do it now as they will also get to know whether they have the aptitude to go in for professional courses in future. But don't children change over a period of time? At this age they are still not so serious.

These days coaching for IIT and other such courses start when children are merely in the sixth grade!!! I wonder if there is any childhood left for them. Apart from school pressure they must also study hard at their second school i.e. the coaching centers that they go to. These centers also have strict rules and are run just like a regular school except for different timings. I feel totally confused. If it is a child who has that extraordinary talent of deciding what he would like to do in future and is steadfast then it is really worth.

Many a time I really admire these children who from some remote rural village have got into IIT or an engineering college or medical college. They did not go to some fancy coaching center but got into this by sheer hard work. So is it possible to get into prestigious institutes without going to these kind of classes? Interests and aptitude change in children over a period of time. Specially I think boys show maturity only at a later stage and right now my son is still in that playful mode. Hence right now I am at crossroads. Can any one guide me?

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