17-yr-old Malvika Raj Joshi doesn’t have a class X or XII certificate but has made it to the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Her’s is a narrative about a mother’s conviction to break stereotypes and the self belief of her teenaged daughter, who revealed merit” has more weightage than “marks”.

Her’s is a narrative about a mother’s conviction to break stereotypes and the self belief of her teenaged daughter, who revealed merit” has more weightage than “marks”.

The MIT has a provision for allowing students who are medal winners at various Olympiads (Maths, Physics or Computer) and it was Malvika’s medals that ensured that she can fulfil her aspirations of pursuing research work in her favourite subject — Computer Science.

Malvika remembers during an emailed interaction from Boston. “When I started unschooling, that was 4 years back, I investigated many different areas. I found programming fascinating and I used to give additional time to it than to other areas, so, I began liking it ” she says.

Malvika found it difficult to get entry in elite Indian institutes like IIT, which includes strict rules as one needs to pass class XII exams. In fact only institute where she got entry was Chennai Mathematical Institute (CMI) where she was registered into M.Sc level class as her knowledge was on par with B.Sc standard.

“There is absolutely no question that Malvika’s entrance to MIT is based at IOI on her superlative achievements. It is a credit to MIT’s flexibility they can offer entry to a student who exhibits intellectual potential that is exceptional despite having no formal high school qualifications says CMI’s

Madhavan Mukund, who's also National Coordinator of Indian Computing Olympiad.

“This is possible only for a pupil whose academic accomplishments are excellent, which will be the situation with Malvika’s operation at IOI,” he's a word of caution. But fascinating story begins are ’sed by this youthful Mumbai girl about four years ago when her mother Supriya took an unbelievably demanding choice.

“we're a middle class family. Well-Being is more important than conventional knowledge,” Supriya told PTI describing her decision.

I was working. I'd see students who are in 8th or 9th standard being affected by cancer. It impacted me greatly and I determined that my daughters should be happy.” The decision no means was an easy one. In India, people are still not very conscious about the term “home schooled “ or ” unschooled” as it is normally attributed. Additionally, it took to convince Malvika’s father Raj, an engineer who runs his own business.

My husband Raj wasn’t convinced as it was a risky proposition. The children won’t have a 10th or 12th standard certification and there was bound to be anxiety. I quit my NGO job and designed an academic curriculum for Malvika. I created a simulation (classroom like scenario) at home. The self-confidence I had as a mother was that I 'm not incapable of imparting knowledge in my daughter’s.” But it worked. “Abruptly I saw that my daughter was so joyful. She was learning more than from the time she woke up to the time she was off to sleep. Became a fire,” the

proud mother recalls.

For three straight years, she was among the top four pupilevelho represented India at the Programming Olympiad. Madhavan, who prepared Malvika for all three Olympiads, spoke about her magnificence. As part of the training for IOI, she had to fill in gaps that are unforeseen in

her education arising from the fact that she'd not been formally enrolled in school.

“For instance, she hadn't ever studied matrices. She was never intimidated went about attaining her goals very methodically.”, and when faced with a pile of things to learn If more parents need to understand about her daughter when Supriya was inquired, she laughs as she says, “They are all enthusiastic about knowing the way to get into MIT. I simply inform them that we never aimed for her entrance in MIT. I tell parents to comprehend what their children enjoy.”