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To change or not to change

When at 15, students are made to choose a stream, which will determine the career path, there is bound to be confusion, reports Kiran Wadhwa.

mumbai Updated: Mar 08, 2010 01:30 IST
Kiran Wadhwa

Ishita Kayastha scored 96 per cent in class 10.Maths and science were her strong points. Ishita, of course, took up science.

The 16-year-old said that she had never thought of anything else as an option. But one year into the course and several engineering tuitions later, she has realised that this is not what she wants to do.

“Opting for science is a bit of a norm especially if you score well,” said the Lokhandwala resident. “I knew I did not want to do medicine so I looked at engineering as an option. But now I want to switch to commerce in my Class 12.”

This is not unusual on the city’s campuses. When at 15, students are made to choose a stream, which will determine the career path, there is bound to be confusion.

While the University of Mumbai has made a move towards interdisciplinary study by allowing students of all streams to take up B.Com after class 12, we still lack full flexibility.

In the US, most university students choose a core curriculum that includes subjects from various disciplines at the undergraduate level.

Students get about two years to decide what they want to major in. So, a student who wanted to do physics may end up becoming an archaeologist after he explored the subject for two years.

Apart from the age, even social pressures dissuade

students from switching streams.

“After Class 10, I took up science. But now I find myself drawn to psychology. My parents are horrified at the thought of me not becoming an engineer,” said Rohit Bansal, a Class 11 student.

“To be honest, even I wonder how people will react when I say I want to do arts. So, commerce might be a better option.”

Shreenal Badiani knows she wants to do medicine. But the junior college HSC system and the incessant entrance exams coaching classes, have put her off completely.

The CET exam for medicine has about 64 textbooks to study.

“There is a test every week and hours and hours of self study. One day I got up and realised that this is not where I want to be 10 years from now — a doctor among thousands,” said the Juhu resident.

She has now opted for

science (A levels) at an

international school, which is more application based. She wants to do her medicine in the UK.

So, are you one of those who are stuck in limbo or one of those who managed to pull thorough and emerge successful?