17-Year-Old ‘Unschooled’ Malvika Joshi Makes It To MIT

17-Year-Old ‘Unschooled’ Malvika Joshi Makes It To MIT - Sakshi Post

New Delhi: Seventeen-year-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), thanks to her computer programming

Her’s is a story about a mother’s conviction to break
stereotypes and the self belief of her teenage daughter, who showed why merit
has more weightage than marks.

The Mumbai
teenager has been provided scholarship by MIT as she is pursuing her Bachelor
of Science degree after getting a seat for being a three-time medal winner (two
silver and a bronze) at International Olympiad of Informatics or commonly known
as Programming Olympiad.

The MIT has a provision for accepting 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 recalls those early days during an emailed interaction from Boston.

Malvika stated

When I started unschooling, that was 4 years back, I explored many different subjects. Programming was one of them. I found programming interesting and I used to give more time to it than to other subjects, so, I started liking it at that time

Malvika found it difficult to get admission in elite
Indian institutes like IIT, which has strict rules as one needs to pass class
XII exams.

In fact only institute where she got admission was
Chennai Mathematical Institute (CMI) where she was enrolled into M.Sc level
course as her knowledge was on par with B.Sc standard.

There is absolutely no question that Malvika’s admission
to MIT is based on her superlative achievements at IOI.

It is a credit to MIT’s flexibility that they can offer
admission to a student who demonstrates excellent intellectual potential
despite having no formal high school credentials, says CMI’s Madhavan Mukund,
who is also National Co-ordinator of Indian Computing Olympiad.

However, Madhavan made it clear that Malvika is not a
product of the system but despite it. This is possible only for a student whose
academic achievements are outstanding, which is the case with Malvika’s
performance at IOI, he has a word of caution.

But this young Mumbai girl’s fascinating story starts about
four years ago when her mother Supriya took an unbelievably tough decision. She
was in class VII at Dadar Parsee Youth Assembly School in Mumbai and doing
exceedingly well in academics when her mother decided to pull her out of


Back to Top