In your leisure time, what do you like to do most?
- Play cricket
- Perform scientific experiments
- Read and write
To the casual reader this might appear to be a random question with some random answer choices provided.
We would urge the casual reader to look closely. As we are now about to tread the untrodden path. Boldly go where no man has been before. Once again.
What we are looking at is a sample question from an Aptitude Test being introduced by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), designed to enable youngsters make informed career choices.
It is designed in a way that it will assess in three hours what continuous involvement of parents and teachers over ten to fifteen years does not reveal.
It has become necessary because parents and teachers are so closely involved with youngsters that they have no idea what they like or dislike, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and what their desires and fears are. They, being parents and teachers, are also naturally in no position to either take responsibility for the children’s future, or guide them.
Moreover, without an Aptitude Test, how would the government play nanny and make the common man believe that it is his welfare they work for, without having to deliver any improvement? As it is expected to by the common man in a free, democratic society. Otherwise, he might even have to start taking responsibility for the upbringing of his own children and, perhaps, their welfare in adult life.
We don’t know if you could, but we could not guess the implication of the answer choices.
It is learnt from reliable sources that if a youngster chooses “Play cricket” as the answer, the test results would tell him that he should take up cricket as a career.
Amazing, isn’t it? There is really no limit to what human beings can do once they set their mind to it.
How could the youngster have known otherwise? Or, how could his parents have, having spent only about fifteen years with him? Educators, having spent ten years on an average, never really stood a chance.
It gets even more bizarre. If the student chose the second option, “Perform scientific experiments” as the answer, the test results would tell him that he should target to become a scientist.
Even if a youngster cannot articulate his thoughts and feelings, he will need to choose one option and hence get a career allotted. From no career to a career. How much more good can a test do?
Doubters be warned.
Never has a test been run so scientifically. After all, it has inputs from reputed academics and psychologists. Not to mention private enterprises who will eventually run it.
It is designed to ensure the youngster faces no challenges in his adult life. If, on account of some freak occurrence, he faces an issue of poor performance at work, all he would need to do is whip out the results of the Aptitude Test taken many years back, read them out aloud to himself, and all will be well.
Grown-up youngsters worried about facing issues of marital discord need not fear. The government has directed the development of another Aptitude Test whose results will be used for deciding who marries whom.
He will not face financial woes either.
Most importantly, youngsters will learn how not to engage with the world around them and how not to take responsibility for their decisions and actions; in fact, how not to take decisions.
The utopia earlier generations may have dreamed about is nigh.
Doubters be doubly warned.
There is a good chance these Aptitude Tests will work because we have been very successful in designing Aptitude Tests that have helped us stamp out murder, rape, child abuse and other heinous crimes.
It will obviously be compulsory as the government and CBSE have a responsibility to ensure that the private enterprise selected to run the test makes money.
Friends of parents, parents themselves, grown-ups in the neighbourhood, parents of friends, aunts and uncles, occasionally older cousins and siblings, doctors, pilots, army personnel, bureaucrats, lawyers, business-people, sportspeople, musicians, actors, in fact everyone who could be accused of being an inspirational figure for a youngster, have heaved a collective sigh of relief. They are off the hook. No longer will they need to shoulder responsibility for inspiring a youngster, through their deeds, demeanour and deportment, to a choice of career.
Pink Floyd has retrospectively changed the lyrics of their 1969 anthem to:
We don’t need no Aptitude Testing
We don’t need no career control
No dark sarcasm about our future
CBSE leave us kids alone