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The future of Education .... post Covid-19

I had surmised four years ago that the future of education was clear to me, just that the path to get to this future wasn't clear then. The future I predicted was - and I quote:  Take a leap into future, learning could be transitioning back to the heydays of Indian Gurukul system - just that these Gurukul's will be online. What will be known is not universities, colleges or degrees; what will be known is teachers and professors of repute (the Guru's) and the subjects they teach. Thanks to the ubiquitous nature of the Internet, Guru's could be running a course on several platforms or several courses on one platform. People will take courses from Guru's of repute to learn what they want to, not because they want a degree from the platform which they represent! I believe the path to get to this future of education has been found and it runs through the Pandemic zone called Covid-19. Covid-19 is a warp zone which has accelerated the transition from the brick-and-mortar

Learning is broken

In my previous post , I advocated that learning for the purpose of making ends meet (making a living) is soon going to be passe. So people are going to learn for the sake of learning! Some rights reserved   by  LeanForward lf This also means that the paraphernalia built by Universities across the globe - that of placement cells, industry-institute-partnerships, alumni programs and all such stuff to ensure that their students get 'placed' in the corporate world  - are soon becoming effete. But as technology and tech entrepreneurs continue to disrupt methods and means of education; possibly even the basic infrastructure - classrooms, campuses, hostels, dorms, auditoriums - might start becoming defunct. The future of learning will possibly just need an internet connection and a device (laptop or tablet or even a phone) to get connected to the internet. The shift is not merely converting the physical to virtual. Using the power of 'virtual', apps and services li

Education for employment is passe!

  Some rights reserved  by  Kevin Steinhardt Learning today is assumed to be meant to lead to jobs. The objective of learning today is not to enable us to perform greats, it simply is expected to get us closer to the job where we will earn a loving for ourselves. Calling education as learning is probably misleading in today's world when there is more clamour for 'employable skills' to be imparted to our kids. From India to Europe to the US, we are all squalling for education in STEM or teaching kids to Code so that they can get jobs which give them better lives. The purpose of education to merely ready you to earn a living, live a life is an ancient concept now and needs to be deprecated as early as possible. In this age where some developed societies are planning to provide for minimum basic income to all citizens [ Reference ], the concept of education for earning a living is soon going to be defunct. In such scenario, how do we motivate you people to aspire for

Education for employment is passe!

  Some rights reserved  by  Kevin Steinhardt Learning today is assumed to be meant to lead to jobs. The objective of learning today is not to enable us to perform greats, it simply is expected to get us closer to the job where we will earn a loving for ourselves. Calling education as learning is probably misleading in today's world when there is more clamour for 'employable skills' to be imparted to our kids. From India to Europe to the US, we are all squalling for education in STEM or teaching kids to Code so that they can get jobs which give them better lives. The purpose of education to merely ready you to earn a living, live a life is an ancient concept now and needs to be deprecated as early as possible. In this age where some developed societies are planning to provide for minimum basic income to all citizens [ Reference ], the concept of education for earning a living is soon going to be defunct. In such scenario, how do we motivate you people to aspire for

Why should I do an MBA?

Reproduced from a Quora Answer by me here . There are many possible answers to this question depending upon what stage of life you are in - just graduating, within 5 years of work experience, beyond 5 years etc.; and whether you plan to get a good job or want to start on your own. I will provide the most generic answer here and refer you to few blog posts of mine for variations of it for different scenarios. What value does an MBA provide: Network : As you go forward in life, you will realize that success depends on what kind of people you are connected to who can help in climbing the ladder of success. For example, as an entrepreneur, your company requires to connect to stakeholders - customers who buy your product / service, service providers who can feed into your product with minimal cost, investors who provide funding etc. Similarly, in a job, if you are connected to your superiors, you get more opportunities to excel and play a more impactful role. An MBA gets you tha

Education of the hand and the head

I have written previously on Education, my own bias towards Gandhiji's Nai Talim philosophy and my mentor Prof. Prasad's attempts to implement Nai Talim in Post Graduate studies. However, I keep getting disappointed at the lack of any support whatsoever to this (almost 80 year) old but pragmatic approach in primary and secondary education, even when the need for this is observed. I read this article in Mint by senior policy managers for J-PAL South Asia, they talk about "concern(s) that while enrolment in elementary education has increased, education outcomes have declined, with abilities in reading, writing and other comprehensive skills deteriorating"; suggest " Pedagogical solutions such as restructuring classes by learning level, rather than by age or grade and improving School governance like incentivizing teacher presence and effort, and putting in place properly designed monitoring and accountability structures ". What is lacking however

Some thoughts on University Education in India

Recently Sam Pitroda recently mentioned that - "too much focus on engineering and medical education has created a situation in India where liberal arts really did not get the kind of attention it deserved." He said: "A good liberal arts education is important to produce leaders. India has now begun to recognizse that we need not only world class engineering education, we also need world-class liberal arts education. And, we agree that the model we have in (University of) Chicago or Harvard is a model that we need to look at , but it needs to be Indianised - it has to be of a local context." Clearly, Pitroda is talking about the skewed model of having competitive exams for professional courses only which has created a void in liberal arts education in India. Unlike US system, Indian universities do not have a uniform SAT for admission across disciplines – so while for entry to professional courses like engineering and medicine we rely on AIEEE/SEEE and PMT/CPMT’s b

Hamara Dhandha

I have previously written about Prof. Prasad and his initiatives to promote student entrepreneruship through his National Center for student Entrepreneurship (NCSE) in the NITIE campus. He is courting students nowadays for his Hamara Dhandha initative. Prodded by him to come and 'lecture' the students on the idea of student entrepreneurship - I went to NITIE on July 4th - the audience was thin because committee interviews were going on. So not sure if Prof Prasad will get many volunteers ... I explained the guys the need for looking our of the NITIE universe - the PMG's and Placecoms - to work in stuff like Hamara Dhandha. The philosophy doing rounds in most B-school campuses (as it had been through our times as well) is that stuff like events, industry lectures, internal committees, paper presentations etc - are the major contributors towards a heavier CV which ultimately helps during placement. However, what this philosophy fails to notice is how the landscape in Bu

Coda: Entrepreneurship education in India

On the chain of thoughts on Entreprenuership, Ujjwal Banerjee - one of my seniors from NITIE also posted his thought. Ujjwal as some of you may recognize is one of the finalists of the Lead India contest held by Times of India.  Ujjwal, true to his iconoclast image strikes a completely different perspective on Entreprenuership - that of the Individual's choice. Read on ...   "I belief in Libertarian school of thought where the individual is given complete autonomy to decide what he/she chooses to do in life. The government and society should faciliate that ideal and allow people to flourish and ensure that they abide by the rule of law. "The role of education is to help them become rounded individuals where they not only acquire certain skills, but also understand the responsibility they have towards their fellow beings, nation, environment and the world at large. Today the education is more focussed on skill building that too for the section of society above a cert

Role of the society

Continued from previous posts [ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] While my point on the US culture and subsequent responses, has anyway addressed a lot, Prof Prasad's take on Indian society is worth mentioning.  I feel - what is there in USA we cannot (in economic terms) provide in India. And even if you provide all those things which are in USA to the Indian audience, we cannot achieve the results what US achieved with their method, because we are different on many other things. We are culturally and socially different compared to USA. There people work, People tell and do the same things, there is no inheritance of wealth, youth are made to work. In such a system the VC system works.  Let me now come to what India is when compared to USA on enterprising front. In India, the social system is [built on] spoon feeding. 45 year olds are controlled and mentored by their elders. Till 30 years [of age] there is complete dependence on the parents. Parents want to continue the dependence syndrome even f

Do entrepreneurs need any 'education'?

Continued from previous post Conversely, I realize that entrepreneurship requires skills which come in very cheap and are not exactly "business related". Business skills (imparted in MBA courses) are required in entrepreneurship way down the curve when your business idea/company has already survived a couple of winters. For example if you want to start something in software - you need to basically know coding and stuff like that; if you want to start something in energy - you need to know the technical details behind that. One doesn't need to know accounting methods or Investment management or Supply Chain principles when one is in startup mode. So here is the dilemma which needs to be dealt with when it comes to "education for entrepreneurship". The basic skills for entrepreneurship are not difficult to learn - and the soft skills for entrepreneurs are more intrinsic than those which can be taught. So, how can education make or break an entrepreneur?  In my

Entrepreneurship Education in India

One of my NITIE professors, Prof. T Prasad has been working on promoting student enterprise in the country. Work done by Prof Prasad [ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ video ] is really commendable - especially given the lack of support such initiatives receive in this country, from student and faculty alike.  I and another alumnus,  Rohit Tripathy , recently had an email discussion with him on the subject of Entrepreneurship education - here's what came out of it.  Apathy in B-schools towards Entrepreneurship It is absolutely true that there are few jobs at this in time. Still, MBAs are waiting for recruiters to reject them rather than try their luck in their own ventures. Prof Prasad recently met 2 students from a B-school who won B-plan at another B-school with intent of commercializing innovations. However, when asked, students said that purpose of this b-plan participation was to win it; they were not concerned with entrepreneurship at all. B-Plan Competitions and other "networking"

Education: Private or Public?

A constant debate in India is between public and private sectors - which is better for growth, which is better for social equity and which can propel the nation to the next orbit? Clearly, given the last decade and half's run that the economy has had, private sector has won the debate as far as Industry is concerned. However the debate still continues for public utility services like education and healthcare. Especially with such a large part of the population still to become literate and quality of education being under doubt (even for the private sector in some cases), the pendulum is still oscillating between private and public for the educational sector. While there are several arguments in favour of privatization of education and private education vouchers , the one's against it are not completely unfounded. I quote: The assumption of competition in turn assumes three things: a) that “school choice” is real, b) that it is not possible to cheat the system, and c) that

Education vs. Real Life

New Yorker writes: In terms of how we evaluate schooling, everything is about working by yourself. If you work with someone else, it's called cheating. Once you get out in the real world, everything you do involves working with other people. .... Studies show that there is very little correlation between how someone's peers rate him and how his boss rates him Read the complete story [ The Talent Myth ]

Should MBA teach 'hunch' and 'inspiration'?

Read the article Can MBA teach 'hunch' and 'inspiration'? on PaGaLGuY.com But the real question to ask is - Should MBA teach 'hunch' and 'inspiration'?. Transacting business does not always need 'hunch'. Most business transactions require insight, they need the ability to look through the obvious, through truckloads of mundane data and spot the right trend. What Ms. Gauri is probably talking about is Entrepreneurship - her examples of Microsoft and napster indicate the same. The question one must ask is whether even today Microsoft is being managed by Harvard dropouts?? Microsoft is headed by Steve Ballmer who graduated from Harvard University with a bachelor's degree in mathematics and economics. After college, he worked for two years at Procter & Gamble Co. as an assistant product manager and, before joining Microsoft, attended Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Same with Napster whose CEO is Chris Gorog. However, one

National Education by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Foreword: Presented below is the article which started my metamorphosis from an anti-Gandhian to a Gandhian. I was a staunch anti-Gandhian in my adolescent days, and even today I disagree with Gandhi's political thoughts. However, I have gradually become a Gandhi loyalist for the revolutionary ideas that Gandhian philosophy represents in the area of development and education. These ideas are relevant even today and will be very useful for planners in India and other developing countries. Credits: I first read this article as a part of English textbook in my 1st year of Engineering. I had been searching the electronic version of it since then. This copy of the article is courtesy www.mkgandhi.org , a website run by Bombay Sarvodaya Mandal, Tardeo Road, Mumbai; I had mailed them about my search for this article to which they responded promptly. I am thankful to them for this. NATIONAL EDUCATION Published in: Young India, 1-9-1921 So many strange things have been said about m

Education of the hand, Politics of the head!

Gandhiji [ http://www.mahatma.org.in/ , http://www.mkgandhi.org/ ] in an article titled 'National Education' in 'Young India' in 1929 wrote 'the existing system of education confines itself to the head and ignores the culture of heart and hand ...'. Some of our demagogues would interpret the above as advocacy of introduction of hand-weaving as a subject in school syllabi - but Gandhiji's message is very relevant today when even foreigners are pointing out shortcomings in our educational system. What 'Education of the head' means in today's context? Some symptoms: - High emphasis of exams - less emphasis on study/ activity during the term - High emphasis on theory - and practicals being considered of little value - Resulting high emphasis on plain mugging; less emphasis on understanding What Gandhi means by education of the hand? Some pointers: - Results being more dependent on term-long activities and practical assignments - Industry part

Experienced vs. Freshers – an MBA perspective

Shubham and me compiled and created an article during our first year of MBA. It was never published, nevertheless MBA aspirants will find it very useful. Publishing it online for the same purpose. However, Shubham and myself claim a copyright on the text .... and of course very many thanks to all our freinds whose views have helped us compile the article. Experienced vs. Freshers – an MBA perspective By Nikhil Kulkarni, KPMG Shubham Choudhury, Infosys PGDIM- X, NITIE, Mumbai Ashita Mittal was placed during her final year in engineering college with a leading software firm. But she never wanted to be another brick in the wall. She wanted to differentiate herself from other graduates who start their career at the lowest rung of organizational hierarchy. MBA was a natural choice for her. On the other side is Shailesh Dhawla, who worked as a software engineer with a leading software consultancy firm for 3 years. He started his job with some ends in mind, like working with a known c