Elite school # elite life

There is much anxiety over which school your children get admission to, what grades they get, what percentages, which college and then there is stress over how much you need to pay as fees. I want to share two people’s educational background and how they have done in life to support my view that success in life doesn’t come from the school you went to but maybe from where you spent the first five years of your life – your home 🙂

He comes from a family of six, studied at a local school, was considered an average student but a keen debater. He went onto complete his masters in political science from a state university. Started working in the canteen of the state transport corporation. Now contrast this with education that this person gets – studied from a prestigious college and stood first through his masters in economics. He then went onto study in the University of Cambridge and finally got his doctorate from the University of Oxford.

Most of you would have guessed the second person easily, yes, it’s our current prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. If I tell you the state you will immediately know who the first person is – Gujarat, Narendra Modi, the aspiring prime minister. This is not a political debate on who is better, I actually want to talk about how true education is very different from how we see it.

Narendra Modi uses every technology propaganda machinery, every social media option and speaks according to the audience, again using research effectively. That’s his profession. I am not getting into the right and wrong for a minute, just the fact that he effectively uses all tools available to him. Ideally, Dr. Manmohan Singh should have been the one using all these new age tools more effectively, he is the more educated person from premier institutions. Narendra Modi may or may not become the PM and Dr. Manmohan Singh has been an ineffective PM for ten years – but who has learnt with every new incident, challenge, problem, event and stayed in touch with the latest tools in his profession ?

Please get your children educated, but don’t worry so much about the fancy school that charges an arm and a leg and is socially a big name, it’s important to keep your child’s curiosity alive and teach them to be lifelong learners. Most important, they should learn from everyone and every new discovery. The elite school today does not ensure an adult of fine character, values or a good human being, maybe sending your children to a regular less expensive school will teach them to be egalitarian, ignore differences, stand on their feet and remove the fear of failure.

History has many examples of rags to riches, very few of a rich upbringing leading to a richer life, if you see a rich/middle class kid have huge hunger to succeed, and be sensitive to his or her peers, check the upbringing, chances are the parents made that money the hard way and didn’t make it easy for the children to sit back on the pile of cash.

3 thoughts on “Elite school # elite life”

  1. I can relate to the Modi’s story more than Mr. Singh. I also feel the same and agree to what you said. I come from a North Indian background and due to some reasons i couldn’t go to those fancy schools where all the kids from my family went. But i don’t have any regrets because i made use of whatever resources i had. I don’t feel that i have been unfortunate 🙂 But i feel bad for the people who feel that kids who don’t go to those elite schools are mere illiterates 🙂

    • Yes Gitanjali, its wrong for people to think that kids that dont go to these elite schools are illiterate, but thats how we think in many instances – another classic mis-perception is that students from a village school are less brighter than a city school kid. Completely wrong, they are just as bright. Or poor children wont be bright, again wrong.

      You certainly are doing well and havent lost out due to the type of school you went to 🙂


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