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In Race to Make Doctors, Engineers, Parents Killing Aspirations of Their Wards

Getting a seat on merit or in the state management quota for medicine and an entry to any of the IITs are the aspirations most of the parents have when their child reaches Class VIII. Read More

Sunday December 18, 2022 5:37 PM, IANS

In Race to Make Wards Doctors, Engineers, Parents Killing Their Aspirations

Thiruvananthapuram: In 2009, a Malayalam movie, Makante Achan (son's father) was released depicting the trauma faced by a youth who wanted to be a musician and singer but his village officer father insisted on his becoming an engineer.

The son lands up in a coaching institute of K.C. Francis which is considered a sure-shot success institute in the state. The principal of the institute, Francis is a strict disciplinarian and through CCTV he used to control each and every movement of the students. In the end, the son, Manu fails to clear the entrance, and his father Viswanathan, is heartbroken and turns to drinks for solace.

Manu walks out of home and lands up as a hotel waiter. But later the father and son unite, and Manu becomes a popular singer after winning a reality show contest on a local channel.

Most of the students of Kerala commence their entrance grilling from Class VIII and join various entrance institutes that have mushroomed in the state. The focus has now shifted to Pala in Kottayam district which just like Kota in Rajasthan takes in medical and engineering aspirants to help them crack the exams.

The institute is attached to a few residential schools where the students from far-off places of the state like Kasargod and Kannur can stay and learn the nuances of the competitive game. Students flock to the institute which conducts entrance exams for admission to the institute itself. Annually the pass percentage of the institute's students is high, thanks to the extensive drilling and coaching.

Several students complain of homesickness but the parents who have already dreamt of a better future for the child do not allow the students to come back to their homes and instead force them to stay in the hostels.


Sujith George (name changed), a teacher of Physics in a reputed coaching institute of Kerala while speaking to IANS said:

"We are comfortably placed as far as perks are concerned, and I get more than Rs 2.5 lakhs per month as salary. I feel extremely sorry, however, for some students who never wanted to be in the race to become engineers or doctors but instead want to be in the liberal arts."

"The parents will never allow them to join the profession of their choice but force them to continue in the institutes for cracking JEE and NEET as also state-level entrance exam for engineering, KEAM", he said.

Rs 1K cr worth coaching industry

The coaching industry in Kerala by an average count is worth around Rs 1,000 crore per annum with institutes mushrooming in various parts of the state and inviting reputed teachers, paying them huge salaries.

There were instances in Kerala where a reputed Chemistry professor flew from one institute in Thiruvananthapuram to another institute in Kochi and then to Kozhikode.

There are teachers who fly for a week to Dubai and Qatar to teach in entrance coaching institutes in those countries mostly to cater to children of Malayalis living in those countries.

The aspirations of middle-class parents, NRIs, government servants, middle-level business people are to make their children reach the top with both engineering and medicine being the most sought after professions.

Getting a seat on merit or in the state management quota for medicine and an entry to any of the IITs are the aspirations most of the parents have when their child reaches Class VIII.

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Manoharan Nair, a businessman in Thiruvananthapuram who has sent his only daughter to a coaching institute in Kottayam district, told IANS:

"We toiled day and night to keep the kitchen fires burning and ultimately we are now in a position to give our daughter a decent education. Last year a maximum number of students from this particular institute cracked the entrance exams and got into prestigious engineering and medical colleges, so why not my daughter?"

"I have put her in that institute since she joined Class XI and teachers informed me that she has a good chance of reaching the top bracket to get a merit seat for medicine."

This is the aspiration of most of the middle-class parents in Kerala and they would do anything for that dream to be fulfilled.

Interestingly, students are not that keen that only engineering and medicine are professions to be followed and instead are also opting for admission to law colleges while some aspire to do a chartered accountant (CA) course.

But by and large, more than 80 per cent of the cream of the Kerala student community goes to attend entrance coaching classes to crack the JEE and NEET entrance exams for admission to IITs or engineering colleges and medical colleges.


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