“Empowering to Excel”, Season 2 @ Dibrugarh University proves magical!

The powerful “Empowerment to Excellence” program takes its powerful strides in the second season at Dibrugarh university. The four-day intense, interactive programme enables every serious participant to transcend every barrier that one has created for oneself in our journey of life. The program has been liberating each one from the shackles and helping each to realize the infinite potential we all have. It facilitates each to believe in oneself, to dig deeper and discover, what more one can be.

This year we are initiating 1200+ students into their empowered, rejuvenated and joyful journey ahead.

Just listen to the students giving their feedback on what they have gained out of the program and experience their unshackling…..watch their confident presentation skills, even on those topics that they never even heard of, let alone study.

Since I had space constrains on my mobile to videograph the whole of two hours, I voice recorded the entire introspective session. Kindly find time to listen to the enthusiastic sharing. You will be surprised how they share about not just their own, but also how they invited their shy friends to come into public and openly share..

– The transformations they have seen in themselves and, their friends and classmates
– The cathartic experiences
– Commitment of participants for their own future and that of the group

Debrugarh University, Season 2, August 2017 – Empowerment to Excellence – Audio : Learnings, Realizations, Delight

The four day process is an engaging endeavaour to help each participant

– Explore oneself, Understand oneself well
– Make notes on strengths and areas of concern for improvement
– Realize the elements of personal effectiveness
– Understand the secrets of being an effective communicator
– Being a good participant in group discussions and activities
– Being an effective presenter and communicator
– Being a very good communicator even while writing
– How to invoke the leader in you, and take leadership
– Introspect, realize and set an agenda for personal growth

Finally

– Create a vision for oneself, for ones career and life
– Set Long term and Short term goals
– Commitment to ones own development and also development of the entire group

These sessions were facilitated by R. Sreenivasan, with Bhargav Deori and Dr. Sarvjeet Herald as co-facilitators.

Looking forward to the second half of season 2 scheduled for Sept 8-11 that will have participants from humanities, commerce and all non-science and technology faculties.

If you are reading this and are from Dibrugarh University, make sure you make the maximum out of Sept 8-11 schedule.

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VCCircle conference on Edu-Investments, November 18, Gurgaon, India – My notes as a Panelist

I was part of two sessions, one as a panelist and the other as a special invitee… Here is my notes – Pre-event, during Event and post thoughts…

PANEL

Edupreneurs: Revolutionising the Effectiveness of Education Delivery Systems (How can edupreneurs work in a dichotomic market like India to merge the chasms between the organized and highly unorganized education sector in the country, mainly higher education? Building sustainable businesses is the key to being a successful entrepreneur. How should entrepreneurs and institutes walk away from working in silos and leverage each other’s strength in creating a robust education system?

Panel Members –

– Manjula Pooja Shroff, Chairperson, Kalorex – Moderator
– Bindu Rana, Director, Millenium schools
– Prachi Windlass, Director, Michael and Susan Dell foundation, INDIA
– Gopal Devanahalli, VP, Manipal Global Education, Manipal Group
– R. Sreenvasan, Co-Founder, CL Educate

cxsotorxeaanhw6-jpg-large

Each one planned to introduce oneself and ones work, in short….

My Pre-Event NOTES of CL Educate Intro…

Career Launcher is a leader in –
– Test Prep
– K-12 education – Indus world schools
– Skill education – skill schools

Also through the following entities, CL does capacity building of University and Corporate

– CL Media – Digital Presence
– GK Publications – Curricula and Pedagogy; Curriculum Support & Publishing
– 361 degree – On Demand  Learning
– Accendere – Research Incubator
– Bilakes – Business Incubation & Seed Funding
– Kestone – Corporate empowerment and building institutional Partnerships

Statistics in Numbers

CL – 265 locations, 1.5 million engaged, over 1.5 lakhs more than 50 hours
Accendere – Research incubation, Patenting, Journal publishing
CL Media – 163 institutions trust with us for branding, outreach and awareness building
Kestone – integrated marketing,events, customer activation, training, staffing; 100 corporates, 500 events – wipron nokia, microsoft, snapdeal, PayTM
G K P – 1.5 million books.. career and education
361 degree – largest in India – online enabling partner for University and corporates over 20K learners

Footprint – 20K schools and colleges; 1.5 lakh students > 18,200 hours on our web offerings per week

What CL does at UNIVERSITIES AND INSTITUTIONS

Academic Thought Leadership, International Presence, Institution Credibility

– Capacity building of universities and institutions, learning institutions
– Consulting Visioning Strategic Thinking
– Faculty, Academic development, Research and innovation
– Admissions: Outreach and Application – TAAF Services
– MARTECHING
– skill education
– Incubation and entrepreneurship
– Career Development Center – Employability, Higher studies facilitation

—CONTEXT——- current market scenario —–challenges for the nation

Only 18% graduates are employable in India
91% software professionals lack programming and algorithm skills while 60% lack domain skills
71% lack soft and cognitive skills while 73% lack English speaking and comprehension skills
57.96% have poor analytical and quantitative skills
For core jobs in mechanical, electronics/electrical and civil jobs, only a mere 7.49% are employable


The session was supposed to be on higher-education, but the panel felt that the continuum from school to university has similar challenges and reforms are needed across the segments. Also opportunities and investment needs do exist across. So the pre-session discussion covered the entire spectrum.

Pre-event notes of each of the panelists..

Issues I noted down ..

– Democratization of Learning and its access
– Contestability of markets, access to Universities
– Digital technologies and creating impact
– Mobility and the influence in learning; Global Mobility
– Integration with industry; Industry funding research
– Opportunities for entrepreneurs and Funding possibilities

– Life-long LEARNERS, COURAGE, HUMILITY : Key, How to instill?

Gopal Devanahalli wanted to talk about

– I would like to focus on higher education and continuing education for working professionals.
– Changing learning needs of working professionals – esp in certain industries like IT
– Online courses & types of courses that are relevant to the learners
– The effectiveness of the online delivery model and how to make it more effective.
– Regulatory issues

Prachi Jain Windlass  wanted to talk about the following –

– Opportunity areas in K12 education, college entrance and career readiness.
– Opportunities for collaboration and leveraging the ecosystem. Many of our portfolio companies: Avanti, Convegenius and OnlineTyari are taking this approach. understanding their core and leveraging the ecosystem for non core areas.
– Our experience in breaking down the silos in the govt education system, and the role that private sector players can play, risks involved.

Manjula Pooja Shroff of Kalorex wanted to focus upon
– Changing scenarios
– Integration of k-12 to Higher Ed
– Teaching Learning delivery process

Bindu Rana’s concerns included

– Challenges in running schools – to deliver the intended
– Regulations stifling the effectiveness
– Challenges in setting up rural schools – quality, price point, training, delivery

– Why cannot the government see education as any other industry? With challenges of access and quality existing all across..

  • Promote PPP models across
  • Engage and bring in private partners to collaborate in school and university systems
  • Use technology to improve training of teachers in enriching content, pedagogy and all processes
  • ….

Other Issues discussed across panels – My notes

Is the nation ready for only digital? Is that trend every where?
– hybrid model is the most successful one
– engaging is the key, mentoring, giving the confidence

Lessons from failures? Key to success
– Team with vision
– sustainable relationship within and with customer
– respect with disagreements in board room and among the team members

Skill education went through cycles.. now we are in the third..
A. IT education – 80s and 90s
B. Sales upgradation – 2000 onwards..
C. now vocational? Entrepreneurship
– quality of higher education is lacking
– rote to conceptual learning, how will we make it happen
– concept of job, loyalty shifting
– nature of learning will have to shift
– propensity to entrepreneurship
– learning to learn paradigm

How do we enable learners to face VUCA?

– VUCA – volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity
– learning, calling passion from within, help others raise their capabilities

Public education….how to revive?
– policy enablement

– Rote to Conceptual learning?
– edtech – retrain teachers, students,
– appraising teachers, reward them, being discipline,monitor

Home schooling
– becoming popular
– investment opportunities?
– work-life, work-home balancing

Key to succeed in Education space

Quality first, then scale
Be prepared for long haul, then scale
Then comes franchising

—————————————————– As a special invitee..

AKAMAI Presentation – Digital delivery platform, especially Video that will be 80% of the content on-line in the near future..

– formats : 5 min and 20 min content
– launch has to be fast, else you lose the client/subscriber

High quality
– no stalling/no buffering;
– always available, relevant,
– no data plan restrictions

Education on mobility? what are the trends, and what will be challenges of the future..

Instant user experience – FB provides
Consume as much as possible
Offline content goes online – you tube
Download during nights, local content play while travel
Challenges about space on device
Battery running out – delete the app

Here is the link to a set of photographs of the event uploaded by VCCircle on their FB page https://www.facebook.com/VCC-Events-1176152369113449/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1355409131187771

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Can we be masters of the technology rather than slaves – ICT in Education Summit

“Learning has hugely shifted online and is no more restricted to schools and colleges. The modern ways of learning have evolved with technology with a variety of tools and resources available online to facilitate this learning. It is to understand and deliberate on this that the 4th ICT in Education Summit was conceptualized and organized, which was attended by around 200 guests comprising of academicians, think tanks from the corporate world and government representatives.” – VAR India, who organized the event. The report is on 4th ICT in Education Summit

The afternoon panel discussion was themed around “Education in India merits Change.”  It was moderated jointly by Mr Vijay Shukla, Managing Director, Eduvisors, and Mr Sujit Panigrahi, CTO, Convergent Technologies. The panelists included, Mr Adil Usman, Business Head, iProf Learning Solutions; Mr R. Sreenivasan, Co-Founder, CL Educate (career Launcher); Ms Vineeta Mittal, Principal, The Millennium School, Gurgaon; Mr Gaurav Tomar, Director, Rabindranath World School, Gurgaon; Mr Varadarajan Sridharan, Fellow, Ed Tech; and Ms Sara H. Basson, Ph.D., Worldwide Program Director, IBM – TJ Watson Research Center.

The panel, discussing “Education in India merits change”

Topics for discussion revolved around the present education system in India, spanning from how to make Schools’ ICT Investment Count and technology-led disruption for Indian education ecosystem to upgrading ICT infrastructure to make learning environment fit for the future and safeguarding devices and prioritizing cyber safety and security.

Opening the session, Vijay set the tone for the panel discussion ..

– How does ICT impact the three dimensions of quality, access and equity
– Is the school space or higher Education radically impacted
– with just 18% gross enrollment ratio for higher education in India, what is the game changer

Varadarajan shared

  •  ICT challenges and compels improvement
  •  21st century saw ICT push, because of quality – as tool to enhance
  •  Most technologies and tools have evolved in the last decade
  •  The hole in the wall experiment by Dr. Sugata mitra, showed how ICT can make a difference
  • So, teachers’ role has changed – It is a question of how fast you adapt, what do you do as a facilitators
  • It all boils down to how do you, as an institution empower the mentors
  • concept of learning environment, home work and evaluation change
  • Policies of the state has to keep pace with this change in the outlook and environment

Vineeta Mittal

  • It is a tool, definitely required
  • What all needed to change in a school context –
    • Teachers have to move from content delivery to being facilitators
    • From memorization to giving conceptual clarity
    • life skills to be inculcated and taken forward
    • The learning will become interdisciplinary
    • May help children to evolve as out of the box thinkers

Gaurav

  • Only compelling reason I found was, every school in the vicinity is placing hoardings all over about ICT, whether they understood or not
  • Could procure hardware from Nehru place, software home grown
  • But one significant shift that technology demands is the cultural change
    • How fast people in the system orient themselves to the shift
    • Is it imposed or embraced
    • The leadership has to facilitate the whole process

Sreeni

Tech or ICT is only an enabler. If I look back at our journey in CL Educate

  • Launched compassbox in 1998, reached thousands of homes, initially mostly the MENA Region for curriculum support
  • Then we went on to introduce classrooms on the desktop in the MENA region – 2001, teachers teaching from remotest parts of India. Pankaj, an amazing teacher with passion for tech, used to take biology from Patna in 2001, when internet penetration in India was miniscule. But Indians abroad lapped it up
  • CL – we have sessions in the career and test prep space – webinars – attended by about 6-7k participants from nook and corner of the country and abroad too

The important challenges to focus in schools these days –

    • To make the learning environment and processes that stroke the right brain, any ways we are masters of clerical faculties
    • Idiot box was a challenge, it became a baby sitter… Now lap top, palm top… Whatsupp (FB acquired it for $19bn yday).. they all end up making  people unproductive, if not realized their role..
    • I had shared about a film that I had come across, in which the grade 4 curriculum was completely taught through a project to design the furniture for the classroom, during the academic year. Here is the film..

What is very important is how do we use it, where and when to use it.. Possibilities include

  • collaboration among mentors across geographies
  • collaborative learning among students,
  • customizing learning to differently-abled children in the same class
  • promote interdisciplinary work
  • bringing world class open source learning resources to the child and mentors

We need to be master of technology rather than ending up as a slave…. Hope the laptops distributed by the UP govt is being put to good use, not just for watching movies!

Sara

  • education is the next big thing for ICT
  • analytics holds the key to facilitate students
    • personalizing – individualized attention
    • Georgia school research. – with the data, can you predict the student where will he be?
    • enabling careers – education and the world – marrying the two
    • best innovation is pause and start buttonChallenges
      – complete info about the student
      – how did you know that he is going to succeed; analytics of historical data
      – we have technology, trying to find the solution; not the other way around

Adil

Problems that can be solved by tech

  • check a few industries – health…. Tech has changed paradigm
  • we need to think how tech can be used in the
  • Challenges
    – shortage of quality teachers – people
    – access to high quality content and tools
    – customized learning paths
  • We have deployed tools in – Meghalaya, Mauritius, now 15 million in CBSE
    – increase efficiency, reduce unwanted workload
    – tablet and online learning
    – Offline, online, in lass, outclass
    – mentors can be better facilitator

Vijay

– what is the matrix of success?

Q & A

Dr jayaprakash – I used IBM 1620 in 1964 first time; retired as Principal Baskara charya college

in Delhi and NCR ….
– quality of the student? How does it change? In NCR we do not have shortage of resources…what about the interiors of the nation

Vineeta
Kind of learners – visual, kinesthetic, …. Figure out what kind of learner and use it
Any where and any time learning

Varadarajan
– do we have a road map for ICT
– quality vision and road map
– Dmitry, a thought leader is working on Preserving his brain
– large hadron collider, whole movie has been made. How many get access to it

– failing to plan is planning to fail

Sreeni

  • Having batted other way around let me bat for ICT
  • In IWS, our schools, the best of the resources from the universities of the world is on the tabs for the students – imagine MIT, CALTECH videos to understand the concepts of specific gravity, viscosity..children get to see the experiments recorded
  • Come to the class and faculty does only practical to help you understand better
  • It is all about how best we use and we need to stroke the imagination of mentors first, then children will be take care off

Vijay
I sum up the discussion with a question

Can we strike a right balance both in creation and consumption of technology?

Lasting impact with design and mobility – Collin Cole, Frog Design @ Indialogues

Collin Cole, Frog Design @ Indialogues

Collin Cole, Frog Design @ Indialogues

Colin Cole received his Bachelor of Fine Arts , Design from the University Of Texas, Austin.

He was the founder and president of Virtual Studio , from 1994-96. The company produced award-winning business to business projects for leading high tech companies, such as Compaq, Dell, AMD, Texas Instruments and other high tech leaders.

As Vice President of frog’s new Design Realization group, Collin ensures intensive collaboration between frog’s strategic design teams and technology developers worldwide. With over 20 years of experience in both design and engineering management, Collin brings focus and multi-disciplinary expertise to this critical phase of the delivery process. Collin also leads and supports frog’s expansion into new markets throughout the US, Europe and Asia.

In 1996, Collin co-founded frog’s digital media group, leading the company in its integration of hardware and software design to bring more innovative products to market. This group has since grown to take on projects across the entire spectrum of digital platforms, including web, software, mobile devices, consumer electronics, and other emerging technologies.

Over the last 20 years, Collin has worked as a designer, creative director, technology manager, and project lead. He has been in senior management, operations, and business-focused roles across the US, Europe and India.
—————————————————————————-

About FROG –

Multidisciplinary from product design, 43 years old, 15 locations, 3 in India. 1600 people, 450 designers, 1000 software engineers

Personally – 25 years in design, 16 in frog, 10 frog business cards (various roles), 3.875000 airline miles at frog, 18 visits to India

We undertake a lot of Software design in India, for various projects of FROG.

Software as a platform of change – education, communication, access

  • We are fanatical about improving the world
  • We choreograph cultural change through design
  • We are not just abusiness
  • Our work outlasts movements and fads
  • Quality…

We work with Unicef in the areas of maternal Health and infant health project in Africa

Mobile Mandate – Mobile tech combined with research will have significant impact. How can the impact be made? Here are three projects that is creating an impact. How systems thinking and design can make a difference..

 

  1. Kibera slum – connecting people
    1. Connecting people less than 2 dollars a day
    2. Slums are overwhelming
    3. Conditions are horrific
    4. There are people bettering themselves and raising families
    5. Mobile is a pride and gives sense of identity

i.      Connects families, employment and information

    1. They buy prepaid cards – swapping cards and mobiles
    2. Hesitation to lend their phones
    3. Sharing phones is the key to solve… how do we go about

 

  1. Mobile money
    1. Afghanistan
    2. A lot of people are trying to live normal life
    3. 97% of people do not have bank account
    4. This is not unique to Afganiztan
    5. How do we help them to keep their money
    6. Almost every one has mobile phones
    7. M-Acer. Mobile banking

i.      Trust

ii.      Cultural issues – saving money?

 

  1. HIV awareness in South Africa
    1. Highest HIV positive citizens in the world – in some 40% of people
    2. Less than 5% know their status
    3. Not due to lack of resources
    4. 85% of men do not want to test  – social stigma
    5. They are waiting and watching, friend loses life… am I next
    6. 78% want to test it at home, if there is a way
    7. 101.3% of South Africa has mobile access..

 We came with multiple parts – mass awareness (MTN) + Self-testing (design research – self testing kit) + community (involved them to understand needs)

  • kit has instructional notes
  • Equipment
  • Method
  • 1 bn messages
  • 300% increase in incoming calls to National Aids Hotline

 Once you found out yourself and engage with Hotline, even discreetly you can find a way of progressing ahead, talking to counselor.

Creating a good software is not about tech problem. It can really have a big impact…

 

Insights and understanding

+

Appropriate technology

+

Thoughtful, culturally aware design

+

Multidisciplinary collaboration (community participation)

 Take ownership, Create your own change.

 Profitability of the models?

Two of the three projects is HIV. They are for community facilitation

 Focus on software has its own problems. Would you like to share some thoughts?

Being involved upstream and involved can be of immense value. It is not about engineering aspects but entire systemic.

The world at your doorstep….. what are you passionate about?

(This is an old article that I had written in a couple newspapers. I stumble upon it on my laptop and thought posting it could be of value to parents who are in a dilemma about what should their children pursue.)

IT’S a paradox of the times. The world is shrinking and expanding simultaneously. Technology is transforming our planet into a virtual village. More and more people, particularly youngsters like you, are using computers and the Internet. Sitting in your classrooms or homes, you can access whatever information you need from the World Wide Web and interact with any one around the world. No wonder geography is history now. If you really capitalize on this revolution, EDUCATION can become fun and paying too. No longer is the class XII student compelled to compete only for the engineering and medical courses, not that there is anything wrong with these popular streams. But now there is a plethora of career options. One can follow one’s heart and pursue a vocation of choice.

Ask yourself, “What do I want to be?” With information at your finger tip, literally, as your ARMORY and passion as your FERRARI, if you are enthused about a career, you can invigorate your parents too to jump in, to help you chase your dreams!!

Here are a few career areas that hold promise for the next decade or so.

ICE (Information, Communication and Entertainment): With integration of technologies, we are bound to witness a greater interactivity of computer networks, communication channels and entertainment media. You can now watch movies, enjoy a concert or even attend a class of a professor and university of your choice at your own pace and time, in your room at a click of the mouse. This means that the good times are rolling for back-end professionals such as innovators, software developers, content providers, engineers, technicians, producers, writers, script-writers, set designers, animators, and researchers. Of course, there’s good news for front-end experts like journalists, anchors, jockeys — VJ, RJ and DJ — newsreaders and performers. Those opting for humanities have a world of opportunities to choose from. So don’t suppress your desire to take up the Arts after class X.

Biotechnology, bio-informatics, biochemistry, biomechanics etc.: Developments in areas related to the application of biology and allied subjects along with Information Technology is bound to transform lives. Miniaturization of technologies will see outstanding progress and application in a variety of areas ranging from ICE to medicine. At the same time health-care products, food processing and preservatives, agriculture productivity, oil refining, contamination control, medicinal cures, waste management and environmental sciences will gain prominence. Keen to make a mark in these areas? Well, master both the physical and biological sciences in your senior secondary.

Design: Office or home Interiors, landscapes, shopping displays or communication – all need designs for enhancement. Institutions offer specialized and intensive courses in design – product, textile, ceramic, interior, landscape, fashion, gem and jewelry, retailing and communication design, not limited architectural design. Remember, it’s not the stream but creativity that determines your success in the world of design.

Education and Human Resources Development (HRD): They will be highly integrated and with the world becoming a knowledge village, there will be a growing need for educationists, counselors, trainers, assessors, motivators, academic administrators, instructional designers, course designers, and techno-academic integrators. One can get into this area irrespective of the subject at higher secondary.

Healthcare: Another area that will witness a great shift from public or governmental domain to the private domain. Healthcare will see greater application of technology and sophisticated medical practices at a reduced cost. Hospitals will be run like any other business corporate and so will require people for administration, public relations and customer care in addition to needing doctors, surgeons and paramedical staff.

The conventional sectors: Sectors that have a continuous demand for trained people include: Infrastructure — transportation, energy, community planning, for instance; Financial — innovative instruments for resource generation, insurance, banking and so on; Services — hospitality, tourism and travel, IT enabled services, for example; Development and legal sectors — such as social work, human rights, developmental economics, environmental issues; and, of course, the defence sector.

So list your thoughts and prioritize your interests, pursue your passion. Read up about the areas that appeal to you and see whether you have the capabilities needed to pursue that career. Armed with the information, speak to your parents and teachers, asking them to do both, listen to and question your plans. They will be able to help you in discovering the path to your goal. Befriend them as you would your peer group. If you need more help email me. Focus and work hard…the Ferraris will be yours for the asking.

R. SREENIVASAN, MTech (JNU), MBA (IIM Bangalore)
Educationist and Motivator,
Chairman, Indus World School, RAIPUR
sreeni@clef.in

Every child is gifted… How do we facilitate her? How much technology should we use?

If we can expose the children very young to various art forms – performing and fine art, indulge in simple science experiments, read read and read a lot of books, my experience in the last few years shows that we can facilitate development of a phenomenally inquisitive, bold, well informed child who challenges the world. I am experiencing a few at SPIC MACAY national convention @ IIT Kanpur.

Why as elders we need to be more involved?

Evolution of a human being is significant in the first 14 years of life. In the first three years the mental faculties develop to the extent of 80% of an adult; by age of 8 it reaches almost 90% and by 14, 98% of an adult. Rest of the life it is consolidation / building up on what has been acquired in the first 14 years.

So it is very important for us to expose the child to as many a activities as we can to stimulate various intelligences that exist in human being. Howard Gardner has classified these intelligences into 8 broad dimensions –

Linguistic – ability to learn and speak – Children have amazing capabilities to absorb. By age of five they can speak as many as 8 languages if we help. So read read and read variety of books – develops language as well as imagination;

logical and Mathematical : Expose to maths and logical puzzles, riddles – this can be done everywhere playing, cooking, driving….build felicity with numbers and logic

Natural – children play with dogs, only an adult stops her from doing so by inducing fear : expose to nature – trees, animals… go for walks, discuss about plants, play with animals…

Kinesthetic – Mind and body both have to be trained. More you train more fit they are : ability to utilise all parts of the body – play play and expose to varieties of games

spatial – colors, shades, shapes….. Have a painting corner with an easel and lots of colors..create a wall with bhoosa board one corner to the other in one room to display all the work of children..they will be thrilled

Musical – music stokes many of these intelligences and along with arts and nature explorations gives a lot of patience, empathy etc..

interpersonal – ability to thing and organize oneself…. by giving room and space to children to introspect and decide for oneself we facilitate it.. we can be with them to ask questions that will help them to arrive at their own decisions..

Intrapersonal – ability to interact and socialize with other fellow beings.. so create opportunities for children to interact….

Simply said as parents we need to create as many opportunities for children to explore than a uni dimensional approach..

So when we look at working with technology only… then a child is losing out on many things. Yes 5-10% of learning can be through tech-facilitation..

Indira and I try to facilitate Mallika by taking her out at least 4-5 days in a week…with exposure to all of the about said intelligences…

Apart from Mallika insisting on reading 10-15 books every day, and painting and craft works for a couple of hours; Maths and creative puzzles; impromptu music sessions with Indira, she indulges in Swimming almost daily, Music classes once a week, 3-4 performances every week; Bird and botanical walks a couple of times in a month; a couple of times in a year 4-5 day breaks for SPICMACAY national conventions; experiencing the wild and country side by road etc…

Yes she does spend 5-10 hours or so in a week with TV and Comp playing on her maths games, paint brush or going to her favourite websites of Disney, greeting cards making, story watching on Youtube etc..

Looking forward to your comments too for being a better parent.

Sreeni
sreeni@iwsb.in

Education Space – promise, future trends and prospects

I was interviewed by TOI on the growth prospects of education sector, trends expected in the near future and the path Career Launcher is espousing. Here I reproduce the interview that will appear very soon.

How the education sector is sailing through the economic slowdown –

– Education gives hope for a better future, thus education sector will always be a sunrise sector, irrespective of the state of the economy
– Especially when economy is down and out, education sector performs even better because people want to enhance their employability chances through,

  • Gaining greater skills or re-skilling
  • Undertaking courses or degrees that are valued more in the market place

When I say education is a sunrise sector, it does not really mean every institution in this sector will be in demand. Only the institutions who are really concerned of facilitating every learner earnestly, will do well in the long run. When I go through statistics of enrolment process over the last few months across the segments in education – number of universities, numbers applying for any university selection, preparatory programs, skill schools, vocational training etc – I can safely say the growth visible this year is to the tune of at least 20-25 percent this year, despite economic slowdown.

Growth prospects of the education sector –

Ironically, growth prospect of education sector is always extremely bright due the distance our nation has to travel. The challenge is daunting, but surmountable.

Is there any doubt about the curve the  education sector is facing –

  • With over sixty percent of population expected to be below the age of 25 by 2020, the nation has a great challenge to facilitate the FUTURE India.
  • With only about 11% of the population progressing beyond class 10, we have a vast majority to participate in learning and facilitating
  • With over 80% of professionally qualified people considered to be unemployable by the industry, we need to train them in skills that can enable them employable or even better, self-employed or entrepreneur.

We need thousands of new educational institutions every year that provide meaningful education that is accessible, inclusive, affordable, flexible, and contextually relevant. Yes, there are certainly a lot of doubts about how many of these institutions really have an intention to provide such a meaningful education in a very honest way. I am not excluding the government here.

Trends expected in the education sector vis-à-vis current trends –

If the feedback from the industry says that over 80% of freshly qualified personnel are unemployable; If a couple of lakh ‘skilled workers from diamond Industry’ get laid off and a few of them unfortunately choose to give up their lives instead of looking at re-skilling themselves; If a highly qualified engineer drops an unwanted newly born child into a well; if a young educated airhostess jumps from the top of a multi-storied building because she was stopped from smoking; if a group of youngsters waylay cars and drive bullets into occupants only to lay their hands on credit cards to splurge, then there is a dire need to have a re-look at what we call education and how the young minds are facilitated.

What do we mean by education? We certainly have to move away from the focus on ‘good marks’, away from an assessment system that can be hoodwinked by studying only in the last 48 hours to gain so called ‘professional’ qualifications?

Education is very different from literacy. “LIFE IS ALWAYS OUT OF SYLLABUS,” is the thought that is very centric to our approach to education.   An education system has to facilitate an individual to be in command of self and such an unpredictable and dynamic life.

In the short term, the transition towards the right direction will be a slow process, but if we look at a longer perspective of ten – fifteens years, there will be dramatic shifts.

Trends I foresee –

  • We will have to move from syllabus-testing curriculum to learner-enabling curriculum. NCF 2005, national curriculum framework, is a great step in that direction. It will have to be made the bible for schools to follow to move away from stress giving teacher-driven classroom, testing and marks-seeking mindset. We as parents will have to be facilitators for the schools to move on in that direction.
  • We need to create great teacher enabling and parent coaching institutions to facilitate them create learner centric environments. I see quite a few private initiatives emerging in this domain.
  • More open schools and distance learning programmes emerging and gaining respect in the society.
  • The demands of the society for qualified people across various careers, not limited to Engineering, Medicine, Accountancy and Management; Humanities will again find its shine under the sun. Evolution of National law colleges, and Design schools coming together are a great examples of such developments I can foresee.
  • Technology will create aggregating platforms where outstanding professors, professionals, freelance experts, eminent artists who may not be qualified by conventional standards, retired scientists etc. to offer programmes that will excite and facilitate interested learners to gain what they want. Check out NPTEL channel by IIT consortium on YOUTUBE, the second largest used virtual learning channel in the world.
  • The programmes will be highly flexible – one may just get trained to be an electrician, can progress to gain a diploma, a few years after could go for a degree. A few may even undertake Ph.D. programme in their lives.
  • The entry for any course may not be controlled as is being done now. Every one who is interested in a programme will have a choice to undertake that programme, but the exit evaluation for awarding degrees may be very stringent to give productive individuals to the society and nation.
  • There will be national assessment bodies that will create unifying evaluation processes for every profession, ala CA, ICWA, CS bodies. Example – every engineer irrespective of which institution he or she studies from, will qualify to be an engineer only on being certified by this assessment body.
  • On the reach side, there will be community colleges and community enabling centres within the reach of every village and block that will make use of all these developments to reach every child. All forms of ICT, mobile technologies and sixth-sense technologies will play significant role in access side.

All these developments will make education accessible, affordable, relevant and contextual, learner-friendly, market-friendly and inclusive in every respect.

Scope for the test-prep sector (being a core area of CL); Growth Plans of Career Launcher;

Core Area of Career Launcher is EDUCATION, in its entirety. It was a compulsion to start with preparatory education, only because economically-modest graduates from IITs and IIMs, with a dream of contributing meaningfully to education, did not have any money whatsoever to get into areas of schooling or higher education that demands enormous investments. For training aspirants for IIMs and IITs, people did not ask any question about infrastructure. It all started under a tree!

Endeavours of Career Launcher in education encompasses Early-child education, K-12 schools, rural schools, community enabling centres, E-learning and tutoring, Technical education (ITI), Skill schools, Employability and Finishing schools, Business School that fosters entrepreneurship and in the near future an exciting university.

The wildest dream is to reach meaningful education to children in 6.7 lakh villages of this great nation in the next couple of decades, by working with like-minded co-creators.

As I shared above, the preparatory education space will continue to flourish till the barriers are broken to make meaningful education accessible and affordable from the very early age.

Looking forward to your comments and feedback. You can share either here or on sreeni@careerlauncher.com

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