Letters: For a viable career
FOLLOWING ARE some of the responses from readers to `Decisions that shape life' (Jan.3) which summed up the discussion on alternative career choices held by the Metro Forum at its very first meeting.
Sir, The "Metro Forum" is a welcome addition to Metroplus. The attitude towards alternative careers in India is conservative notwithstanding the fact that the country apes the West in many areas. Medicine and engineering seem to be the only viable career options for the majority of youngsters while the arts and sciences do not get a favourable response from the intelligentsia. Parents still decide the course of their child's future. The preference is for careers that are remunerative rather than soul satisfying.
Sir, I hail from Palakkad, a small town in Kerala. We do not have career counselling facilities here. There is none to advise us about job prospects after we graduate from college. Could the forum address our need?
Sir, Hats off to Metroplus for the launch of the Metro Forum. The article was of special interest to me as a parent with a daughter studying in the Std XII. She is urgently in need of counselling as she aspires to pursue an off-beat career in fine arts or visual communication. But we have no clue where she can get more information about courses and the selection procedures.
Sir, Re: the discussion on career options. I think the opinions of the respective participants were similar, except that they were aired from different angles. As a nation, it is not enough if we excel only in science and technology; we have to excel in other fields as well and this can be done only if alternative career paths are chosen.
It was evident from the discussion that a `bottom-up' approach was followed. Of prime importance are the needs, interests and aptitudes of students, which can be identified only with proper guidance. Then come parents who cannot be blamed for being overriding as with their experience they know what's best for their children to succeed in life. And they are naturally ready to do anything to see their children become achievers rather than losers. I feel that much depends on the education system. Schools are part of this system, which has refused to change with time. Career counselling would be useful only if it has the required base and should be incorporated right from the junior grades. Then comes society, which should provide the right environment for youngsters to pursue jobs or venture into private enterprise. Youngsters should be able to pursue college courses of their choice for which selection should be purely on merit. Unfortunately, this is a factor that is brushed aside for other considerations. Thus, alternative careers would not be preferred unless society provides the scope for aspirants to succeed.
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