MALAYSIA - At his age, his friends are playing football but 16-year-old Ranenthraa Sreenivas Rao is already in university and on his way to becoming a doctor.
Ranenthraa enrolled in Universitas Sumatera Utara (USU), Indonesia last August, just one month after his 15th birthday.
He has always wanted to become a doctor, ever since his grandmother suffered a stroke four years ago.
After seeing the way his grandmother suffered and knowing that his family has a history of the disease, Ranenthraa said he wanted to be able to help others who faced such life-threatening conditions.
Getting a headstart
He studied in a government school until he was 10 before his parents transferred him to an international school in Kajang for two years to expose him to the O-Levels syllabus.
Once he got a taste of what the O-Levels would be like, he was taken out and then homeschooled to prepare for the examinations.
His father, Siva Prakash Rao, has a background in engineering and computer science, and is adept in Mathematics.
He took it upon himself to teach Ranenthraa the subject. Other subjects such as Chemistry and Biology were taught by a personal tutor.
Ranenthraa did not sit for the Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah exam but thanks to his parents carefully crafting his education route and remaining actively involved in it, Ranenthraa was able to sit for his O-Levels exam when he was just 13-years-old.
"Homeschooling is not easy as the student must have the ability to learn things fast because there isn't anyone to coach them full-time.
"On top of that, both my wife and I are working and also need to concentrate on our jobs," said Siva Prakash.
He added that they were fortunate that Ranenthraa could grasp concepts quickly. The bright lad scored four Bs for his O-Levels.