17-Year-Old Homeschooled Indian Girl Gets Admission Into MIT

When her mother Supriya removed Malvika Raj Joshi from school in the 7th grade, and decided to homeschool her daughter, it seemed a very good decision. The reason for the drastic move was because mom felt her daughter could be happier studying at home, instead of being part of a rat race.

“We are a middle class family. Malvika was doing well in school but somehow I felt that my children (she has younger daughter Radha) need to be happy. Happiness is more important than conventional knowledge,” Supriya said.

“I was working with an NGO that takes care of cancer patients. I would see students who are in 8th or 9th standard being affected by cancer. It affected me deeply and I decided that my daughters need to be happy.”

The decision no way was an easy one.

“In India, people are still not very aware about the term “home schooled” or “unschooled” as it is commonly referred.”

Malvika's parents
Malvika’s parents

After a difficult battle of wills with her husband Raj – an engineer – and also quitting her own job, Supriya won the battle to homeschool Malvika. She designed a curriculum for her daughter and together they started the journey.

“My husband Raj wasn’t convinced initially as it was a risky proposition. The kids won’t have a 10th or 12th standard certificate and there was bound to be fear. I quit my NGO job and designed an academic curriculum for Malvika. I created a simulation (classroom like situation) at home. The confidence I had as a mother was that I am capable of imparting knowledge in my daughter’s.”

But it worked.

“Suddenly I saw that my daughter was so happy. She was learning more than ever –from the time she woke up to the time she was off to sleep. Knowledge became a passion,” the proud mother recalls.

The only place she was able to enrol Malvika into was the Chennai Mathematical Institute (CMI) where her knowledge was close to the BSc standard.

It seems that the decision to homeschool was the right one because Malvika has been accepted at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT). What is more amazing is that she did it without any certificates. The acceptance is purely based on her own merit. Malvika has a most amazing computer programming talent which has earned her a scholarship. This was the result of Malvika being a three-time winner at the International Olympiad of Informatics.

Malvika is now in the process of attaining her Bachelor of Science Degree. She is to be congratulated for her achievements, and it is hoped that other girls will follow her example. Institutions may someday change the admissions to talent of the students, and not only to school degrees. It also seems that a determined mom can make all the difference in a daughter’s education!

Source: The Logical Indian