Beyond Four Walls: Challenging The Classroom Convention

Indian students love the classroom, be it before graduation or after. We have been bred in an environment where education or knowledge is primarily imparted inside the four walls of the class. The student-teacher relationship is carried on and on. And we love our professors, especially the good ones, or probably the great ones! Or probably the ones who teach concepts well. We love listening to them and learning from them. But here is an observation: Professors who haven’t been a part of the industry, make really bad ones. Or putting it another way, professors who really haven’t been on the field doing the job, can they really teach us concepts? Some amount of ambiguity always remains when the approach is entirely theoretical.

So, here’s an idea! The general notion has always been to close the gap between classroom and industry. Universities set courses in accordance to industry demands. So what if the workplace becomes the classroom? Let’s say, the last time you sit in a classroom in any college is the twelfth grade. And then, you apply for a job in the industry. Or you give a Government entrance exam to work with the Government. The only deciding factor is, of course, your field of interest. And you start learning only as you start working.

Now, how does this help?

1) This process filters out the bad teachers. Those who might know a lot but do not have the skill or the art to unfold a concept. You are taught by people who have worked in the field.

2) As one student applies to a job after graduation or post- graduation, any workplace has to incur training costs to get the new workers abreast with the culture and work pattern of the company. Now, the company starts making money along with training the workforce as they start allotting work to them.

3) An eighteen year old student directly contributes to the GDP of the country. And there is no need to finance this kind of education.

A really crucial point is to include books in this process. Rather than teaching redundant theories in classrooms, it should be the sole responsibility of the student to read and refer books related to their work. This ensures simultaneous impartment and exercise of knowledge. It is a real time learning programme which shows positive effects everywhere. Exposing students to the real world at such a young age will help groom them too.

So why should the relation between Educational Institutes and the Industry be limited only to campus placements and guest lecturers when there is an amazing overlapping potential. This automatically helps any organization to scale up and indirectly helps reduce unemployment. Anyone opting to start-up will have the right orientation after working somewhere rather than just studying.

Industry and Government facilitating higher and further education might very well be the future. The industry becomes a knowledge hub that revolutionises the way the country goes ahead. This model directly takes development to the rural areas. Be it primary education, infrastructure, communication or transport, the true potential of rural India can be leveraged fully. The unutilised resources, human or material, can be employed and optimal returns can be received. Urbanization of rural areas will in turn help remove population concentration from urban pockets and help achieve regional balance.

The opinion is completely open to discussion and comments are welcome.


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