Congratulations to Malvika on securing admission for undergraduate program in MIT. I think she was able to pull this off in main due to internet and the web which puts all the information, knowledge at your fingertips. But still Malvika is an exception. We know about her now because she is successful winning medals in Informatics Olympiad and thence securing admission in MIT. I don't think we would be reading this article about her if she did not have any of these successes. Similarly there could be many who did the same thing i.e. home schooling or un-schooling and are not successful or at any rate on the scale or level of Malvika. This means it is not really for everyone and parents/children have to carefully weigh all factors before deciding to embark on this path.
Nonetheless we would see more treading this path mainly due to the internet and the web which facilitates access to information and knowledge, know-how and do-how on any topic or subject not just statically but dynamically in the form of interactive forums where one can get answers for questions on anything at all.
It is also some coincidence that Malvika has gained admission to MIT which happens to be the first academic institute in the world to publish their courses online through their Open Courseware project when Charles Vest was chancellor. Many academic institutes around the world do it now, but MIT was the first. Similarly Malvika's success could be the first of many to follow.
Re: Malvika and MIT
by Srinivas Konuri on Sep 02, 2016 08:08 PM
Our academic institutes in particular premier ones viz. IITs, NITs should have a provision to accommodate students who haven't had formal or conventional schooling. They could even create an Exceptional Quota (EQ) with a very few seats to give opportunities for children who have demonstrated exceptional abilities to pursue degrees in science and engineering if they so desire. At the least the requirement to have completed 10 2 should be done away with for attempting JEE. The upper age limit should still be there but the lower age limit should be flexible to allow for deciding the lower age limit on a case by case basis in the respect of exceptional children. They should be able to enroll in any discipline or institute solely based on their JEE rank, whether or not they have had formal schooling. If a student without the benefit of formal schooling is able to crack JEE, more power to him or her and nothing should stand in his or her way to pursue further education and everything done to nourish their exceptional aptitude.
Re: Malvika and MIT
by Srinivas Konuri on Sep 02, 2016 08:27 PM
Informatics Olympiad does not seem to require a student to have completed a minimum formal school level to participate and win. I am not sure if it is same for other Olympiads viz. mathematics, physics, chemistry, astronomy, biology, geography and if not they should allow for a student without any formal schooling at all to participate as in the case of informatics Olympiad. This should be the case even for subjects like physics and chemistry which involve "experimment" component because as far as I know the very last stage of the Olympiad only involves test of "experiment" skills. Also if someone is exceptional in theory he or she could be easily trained to pick up "experiment" skills.
In 2010, Akanksha Sarda won gold medal in International physics Olympiad and was the lone Indian to win gold medal that year. She was also a top 20 ranker in JEE and could have easily gained admission into any IIT or discipline of her choice but chose to pursue undergraduate program in MIT. Now another Olympiad medal winner Malvika is going to MIT and coincidentally both are from Mumbai!
Akanksha only Indian to win gold medal in 2010 International Physics Olympiad, Malvika only Indian to win silver medal in 2015 International Olympiad in Informatics and Sindhu, Sakshi only Indians to win medals at Rio Summer Olympics 2016. Academics or Sports, it is the Indian women who are holding India's flag aloft on the world stage!
Whether one calls Malvika Joshi as a prodigy or genius, she has made a dent in the field of mathematics. While MIT has offered her admission, our own IITs, universities (of course, I don't whether she sought admission to any institution in India or not), have rigid rules about admission. There is little scope for admission of such students like Malvika. It is high time that we don't lose such students to USA or other western world by amending the admission procedures.
While Kudos to the mother for taking a brave unconventional decision, it cannot be denied that Malvika is a gifted child if not a prodigy. So lets not make unfair comparisons with our own kids, not every child is exceptional neither can every school or univ drop out go on to become Bill Gates. So Congratulations by all means to Malvika & her parents for having taken the unconventional path of not schooling her from class IX onwards, but then 99% of the other children need to be in rat race much as we may dislike to ensure that they get a place to stand under the sun in this highly competitive world of today.
Re: It was a brave decision but Malvika is a gifted child
by Rajesh R on Aug 31, 2016 07:56 PM
Not necessary every child has to be in rat race.It is simply to persue ones own interest with proper guidence.Are all children who graduate in their respective subjects persue their life in the same line.90 % no.so why should we as parents push our children towards the Rat Race and stand justifying that. Malvika and her parents are an example of how the things can be done on our own and not getting carried away by others conventional so called Wisdom
Even for kids who go to school, the mother at home is the teacher who checks the progress and helps the children through. That is the case in most Indian homes and Asian homes.
Given half a chance, every mother would like a child to grow smart and be playful. Unfortunately, the hierarchical and divisive systems make them desperate. Malavika's mother's experience at the NGO must have offered her the lessons of life - too valuable and transient to be wasted at schools.
The teachers at schools only crack the whip and students have to be tutored outside the school to pick up. Some mug-pots like chatur ramalingam of the famous movie, 'make' it riding on others. Is it any surprise that even meaningful Olympic attempts are so rare and intellectual property development non-existent? We produce glorious managers like Pichai, Nadella and Nooyi, but very rarely a Karmarkar (if someone knows and remembers him)
When a 'successful' father kicks in it gets worse. They take decisions which ends up in misery for their children. Because they try to correct their mistakes - they again learn wrong and teach wrong things.