I was having an interaction with Prof. Srivathsan, a very eminent thinker and an amazing user of technology for solving “wicked problems” in developmental space. I have written a piece about him in one of my earlier blogs – Inspiring Gurus
We as a nation need introspective, creative and learning individuals who are capable of being productive from the word go, in every area, not limited to engineering and medicine (the numbers opting for medicine is dwindling as one does not get recognized as a doctor before 12 years of real hard-work post class 12). What is the use of producing a few lakh engineers of which only a fraction are employable. Eighty five percent of engineers passing out do not have any skills whatsoever that could be gainfully engaged. It is a complete disaster.
Institutions are given permissions to open left-right-and-centre. Almost all of them are being run by connected politicians, builders and brewers who themselves have never ever had any education whatsoever in their lives. They have become a money making machines operating with impunity, not having any conscience. The so-called permission granting and regulating entities too have become tools in the hands of the unscrupulous. While genuine institutional initiatives with credible people of repute do not get permissions, the institutions operated by uncouth would. They may have a little infrastructure but certainly not genuine teachers with passion. So called professors in most of these institutions are no better than the owners themselves. Most of the students who join these institutions are just looking for a ‘professional’ degree (without putting any effort), believing that it would give a passport to a flashy lifestyle, and their parents too subscribe most of the times to their ward’s outlook, though they pay through their nose. In such a scenario where will these students end up being, but in the 85% unproductive and unemployable lot. It is nowhere education. It is not TEACHING but CHEATING… Ironically, both words are made of the same set of letters!!
There is a dire need to break this vicious nexus and provide opportunities for every deserving child. We need institutions of excellence with outstanding professors and facilitators. How do we create these for such a large population? One solution is to create such an institution virtually, that does not have any boundaries of space and time. Prof. Srivathsan, who is now a Pro-VC at IGNOU, is at this pet project of his. Prof. Kannan is the other thinker along these lines who collaborates with Prof. Srivathsan. I have been interacting with them for a year now and I am enthused about the possibilities in which our movement, Career Launcher, can contribute and so are they.
The dream is to create an EDUCATIONAL GRID that could turn out to be a university, college, school or a learning centre, whatever one would want for himself or herself. Imagine a platform that helps every educational entity, including excellent professors and eminent scientists to put their complete course-ware, with a schedule of sessions along with self-monitoring and testing system. One can start the programme whenever one wants to. The courses could be graded as certificate, diploma, degree, PG or Ph.D depending on what is the level of excellence one has achieved.
One can undergo a programme sitting at home or at a community enabling centre that takes care of schooling, preparatory education, vocational and skills education, adult education, in addition to professional education with active participation of programmes like NPTEL, a programme by the IIT consortium to help other engineering institutions / students gain proficiency. Yes, the entry to a programme will not be restricted, except for a prequalification benchmark, but exit would be. The testing procedures for exit will be stringent for any one to qualify to be called ‘so and so’. But if one does, he or she would have to be highly productive and employable.
The imagination can run wild with such a possibility. The challenge is to make this into a reality. Our nation needs it. We are marching in that direction. Inshallah, it will happen!
Imagine. Apply. Create!! Learn. Contribute. Enjoy!!
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