12-year-old gets BCA admission
FROM PUJAA AWASTTHI
DH NEWS SERVICE
For 12-year-old Shailendra Verma, born to a daily wage labourer father and an illiterate mother, life certainly starts early. The lad is all poised to become the world’s youngest computer undergraduate, as he has secured admission to the Bachelor of Computer Application (BCA) course at Lucknow University (LU).
Shailendra, who cleared his class 10 exams at the age of seven and class 12 exams at age 11, it feels is ike a dream “almost fulfiled”. The wisp of doubt is attributable to the boy’s circumstances, as his father earns only about Rs 70 on days when there is work.The youngster had some intermittent schooling, but never really enjoyed it. “I was always the youngest student in class and the butt of all jokes. While some students would pinch my cheeks, others would treat me as a plaything. The syllabus was never up to my standard as I knew most of it through self-study”, he says with a hint of pride. His father, Tej Bahadur Verma, who has studied till class 8 recalls the day his son disclosed to him his intention of taking the class 10 exams.
“He was only seven and no institution or board would admit him. I sought help from the then chief minister Rajnath Singh. On his intervention Shailendra was allowed to write his exams from the National Open School. He aggregated 55 per cent with 80 per cent in English,” said Mr Verma.
Shailendra then went on to clear his class 12 exams besides notching up decent scores in TOEFEL and SAT, that got him admitted to the BCA course in the Eastern New Mexico University, USA. But for a family that cannot even afford a train ride, America was too far away. It’s a familiar concern that worries them yet again. Even at LU, since the BCA course is a self-finance course, freeships are not permitted. With an annual fee of Rs 25,000 he requires thrice that amount to just pay his fees and more for books.