Prepare for RIMC and Sainik School exam at least once, it can contribute to character development, exposure to a structured environment, personal growth, broadening of perspectives, preparation for a defense career, and holistic development. These experiences can be valuable for individuals, offering them a strong foundation for future success in various aspects of life.In a career and stability-oriented society like ours where socio-economic mobility is also dependent on good job profiles, parents and children seek to compete for and clear competitive exams. Selection for all high-value and government jobs in India is through written exams and an interview where academic knowledge, as well as Personality and Life skills, are tested. Succeeding in such competitive exams requires a mixed bag of skills including academic and personality-related competencies. Our education system only works around academic performance and not on personality and aptitude development. The gap between school education and competitive exams is thus filled by coaching institutes, most of which are fly by night and committed solely to their business interests rather than the wholesome development of the enrolled candidate.
Parents and children however have a way out. They have the option to access a standardized, established platform and that is the experience of the RIMC and Sainik School entrance exams. These exams are held at a national level annually and can be taken at the middle school level by students. Taking such an exam at this stage is a perfect solution to expose the child to the basic requirements of the competition and to reduce long-term exam stress which is an inbuilt ingredient of our selection system.
Now, RIMC and Sainik Schools have been opened for girls too. There is a strong case that all should attempt for the exam at least once which will lead to at least the minimum advantages enumerated below.
The needs of parents and students
In India, there has always been a very strong emphasis on education and learning. Traditionally, the Indian parent committed his child to wholesome and intensive learning experiences at the age of Eight. Indian parents still desire for their child an education that will challenge the child, help him to discover his strengths and weaknesses, and create a niche in the wide competitive world. They desire the child to cultivate autonomy along with discipline and dedication towards the goals of life. For achieving all this, the child needs controlled and targeted exposure to high standards and challenges that will lead the child to explore his frontiers. Such challenges should be a judicious mixture of mental and physical stimulation. Sadly, most of the school experiences that our children undergo do not provide these stimuli. The RIMC and Sainik School entrance tests and interviews provide such an experience to the examinees that leads them to learn about their capacities.
The Psychological edge
Education systems throughout the world are based on two core principles. Firstly the recognition that each child has nature, skills, and capacities. Secondly is the firm belief that the role of the teacher and educational leadership is to help all children, irrespective of their capacities to move from current to higher benchmarks. The one way to do this is to set high expectations and to guide the child to recognize his learning style and potential. For this, the child has to be provided the platform to perform.
The RIMC and Sainik School entrance process is one such platform that is mapped to well-established educational principles. Preparing for this exam will give a child a standardized benchmark for self-assessment. In the process, the child will also learn about the strategies used to plan, monitor, and assess his understanding and performance. Such practices (called meta-cognitive learning) increase students’ abilities to transfer or adapt their learning to new contexts and tasks by gaining a level of awareness of and above the subject matter. Students who know about the different kinds of strategies for learning, thinking, and problem-solving will be more likely to use them and move to Higher Order Thinking. Whether the child passes RIMC and Sainik School or not, he will be a better student after taking this exam. He will have a solid subject matter base and will think beyond it too!!
The Indian parent recognizes that the child needs to be propelled towards autonomy. They also recognize that this process must start as early as possible. The RIMC and Sainik School entrance processes put the child (and the parent) at the centre. What can be better than being responsible for one’s self !!. Autonomy is more wholesome than independence. The core requirements of autonomy are a sense of self-worth and self-respect. Once the child has a goal as well defined as taking the RIMC and Sainik School entrances he is on the path to becoming an autonomous learner. He will be on the path to effectively identifying his own learning needs. He will be able to set learning goals to address those needs, identify resources (human, as well as material) apply appropriate learning strategies, and ultimately evaluate the outcomes of the learning.
Physical and mental fitness
RIMC and Sainik Schools are in a way feeder institutions to the Indian Defence academies. Thus, there is a huge emphasis on physical and mental fitness in the entrance and educational experience at RIMC and Sainik School. The preparation for this exam will make the child work on basic life skills. These comprise self-awareness, interpersonal skills, and Thinking skills. During the preparation for RIMC and Sainik School entrance, the child will work on all these aspects. He will learn about himself, learn the ways of effective verbal and non-verbal communication and develop the skills to make effective decisions. Are these not the outcomes that all parents ultimately want for their children? Taking the RIMC and Sainik School entrance will provide a safe platform for these aims.
Supplements school curriculum
The school curriculum in India is rigorous but not oriented to the skills and capacities needed in the wider world. Preparing the child for the RIMC and Sainik School entrance will give him the necessary exposure to areas like logical thinking. It will also cultivate in the child necessary habits to be able to develop general awareness. The child will develop the capacity to read news media daily, analyze current events and understand the importance of his position in the larger world. These are precious life habits that once cultivated will stand the child in good stead throughout the life.
This entire process will orient the child to develop reading and analytical skills. Regular reading and being in touch with current events will build the child’s capacities as a student.
Safe, required competition
However much we may rationalize, ultimately the world that our child faces will have elements of competition. There is a constant striving for scarce resources, be they opportunities in educational institutions, jobs, or life achievements. The RIMC and Sainik School entrance exams provide safe controlled exposure to competition. In case the child can clear the exams, he enters educational institutions of excellence. In case he does not clear the exam, he still achieves mastery over the subject matter and is well prepared to take on more exams and challenges in life. Thus, taking the RIMC and Sainik Schools exams are ways to provide the right level of eustress in the life of a child.
The RIMC and Sainik School entrance exams are a complete opportunity for parents and students to test the ground for their future lives. Parents will find that it is the best way to propel and prepare their child to excel in academics, develop self-awareness and autonomy, and basic life skills. For the child, this exam will be a journey of self-discovery.
About the Author
Col Amardeep Singh, SM (R):
Ex- NDA, Infantry Officer with 25 years of Service, Instructional Tenures at the Infantry School, Indian Military Academy, and Army War College. Trainer, Coach, Author, Defence Expert, and Motivational Speaker. Director of WEDA.