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The Debt We Owe To Society

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

–Nelson Mandela

Education is the necessary evil that most of us find meaningless when we go through the rigors of early morning school, the drills, and the fitness classes. Ask a student what he or she enjoys the most and the answer, in most cases, will revolve around something other than education. Our present education system caters to the principle of probability where each student must undergo a number of courses, covering different subjects. These could range from history to biology, from arts to science, from commerce to computers and so much more.

With all due respect, the educators try their level best to help students prepare for various career fields at an early age so each individual could see and decide what interests him/her the most. It has worked remarkably well thus far. However, the Million Dollar question is for how long the same system will continue to work and still feed the growing demand for talent in innovative fields.

We are in the midst of a huge paradigm shift. With the fast-looming changes powered by universal connectivity, Smart Sensors, Augmented Reality, Machine Intelligence, Robotics, Drones, and Self-driving Automobiles, we need to take urgent steps to make changes in the school curriculum at an early stage. The present-day system of Vocational Studies past High School is likely to create a huge gap in demand and supply equation where qualified talent is concerned.

We are already well aware of the technical skills and the superfast learning capabilities of present-day toddlers. These kids are born with technical skills. They do not need to read a User Manual before playing with a Smart Phone or an iPad. Their mother tongue is not what the parents speak at home. Rather, it is technology, more like techno-geek.

The majority of the present-day adult population will remember how difficult it was to have a Personal Computer twenty years ago. Cellular telephones were a huge fad that only the rich could afford. Owning an automobile was a dream for the teenagers so they could hit the movie stands with their newfound love in their arms. This is the scene from a developed country. On the contrary, those in the developing world had to struggle to go to the high school. University education used to be a dream that majority could never see fulfilled. Rest everything else was a sheer luxury.

With the change in dynamics, growth in the Internet connectivity segment and easier access to cheaper products, courtesy global competition through e-commerce, we have a large reservoir of young blood rearing to embrace newer technology and run with it to new heights. It is our responsibility, as caring adults, to ensure they have access to all the necessary tools to exploit the open chest of competitive enterprise where innovation is the ‘Mantra.’

Keeping in view the above scenario, I must mention that I have no intention to ‘overturn the entire apple-cart’ so to say. Where young students are required to study five or more subjects, for a lengthy duration anywhere from five to eight years during schooling, we should look at honing their skills at the Elementary level. By the time a child turns ten, he/she should have enough technical skills and clear picture of the oncoming changes in mind to decide on the most promising field of study. Of course, the same parents that feel overjoyed at their toddler’s antics shall be obliged to help frame his/her future.

Education for the sake of education may offer a living wage but learning the skills needed for future growth and to tackle challenging opportunities needs a more drastic action plan. It is the responsibility of our administrators to take note of the urgent need for improvisation towards a total change in school curriculum over the next four to five years at best. Any more delay in rising to the call may bear unpleasant consequences that we MUST be prepared to face.

An excellent and very timely quote from Abraham Lincoln comes to my mind at this moment: “You have to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was.” In such a sweet tone, he tells us to let the oncoming generation do its own growing. We must STOP imposing our own, at times archaic, systems, studies, methodologies and other beliefs that may not help them at the same pace they absolutely need to thrive.

Let us take a serious note of the changing fundamentals, and start preparing for a more conducive environment for the next generation, so it may also use needed education and prepare for a better tomorrow!

Thank You!

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Bharat Mathur
Bharat Mathurhttp://www.bharatmathur.ca/
WHERE goal setting and systematically achieving each one of them has been the ‘Mantra’, where earning trust by delivering value has been an uncompromising principle and where deeply impactful experiences have made an indelible impression to look directly into the eyes of toughest problems and tackling them head-on has been a major cementing glue in the foundation, Bharat Mathur fits the bill, hands down! Creating value for others, out of the challenges his career in the “C” Suite kept throwing at him left, right and center, Bharat now finds solace in being a ‘Guide by Your Side’ rather than a ‘Sage on the Stage with An Eye on What You Buy’! Past 4 decades of Bharat’s life have been no less eventful than that of anyone else in similar circumstances. However, the way he lived from one challenge to another and stayed focused on his goal is clearly visible as much in his Coaching as in his #1 Best Seller Book: “you Are YOU-nique: Realize Your True Worth”! His next book project tackles ‘Internet of things’ (IoT) from the viewpoint of a layman and helps understand this fast-approaching revolution in simple, easy-to-understand language with live examples: “SMART PHONE + I o T = INCOMPARABLE OPPORTUNITIES” Nurturing a number of successful businesses, mentoring a lot more towards astronomical growth and helping them identify and eradicate trouble spots, Bharat has rightfully earned the nickname: ‘Achiever’ Send him Bouquets or Brickbats, Bharat loves it all!

9 COMMENTS

  1. I would like to come back to a point that I consider essential to create a proper meeting between young people and the world of work. We must promote education about the world of work in schools and transfer to young people the skills for employability and the development of a proactive approach to work, study, and personal life. In general young people “should” be accompanied promptly and addressed to build a schooling and vocational education that leads in the shortest as possible to the right job. They must learn to govern the choices and navigate the skills (and opportunities) that the market demands. An effective and realistic approach to enabling young people to better design their own future, to tune their expectations and ambitions with the reality of the labor market and, for this purpose, directing their studies.
    Communicate “employability” to avoid the frequent distortions about the expectations and the actual opportunities. An orientation that before, during and after the course of study will allow to change mental orientation, or become aware of new professional environments or to find another, because not all studies “liked” give concrete openings. That encourages young people to a deep reflection about their selves and to develop expectations tailored to the realities of employment.

    • I am truly thankful to you, Dear Aldo, for taking my viewpoint way further in bringing home the significance of a radical change in our education system. Having said that, I must also clearly state that this change must be pervasive and not just confined to the developed world.

      Students in both developing, as well as under-developed countries, have an equal right to stand out and stake their claim to the benefits that modern technology is introducing at an alarming rate.

      Such a move will not only benefit those individuals but must also miraculously enhance the growth possibilities for Global players by making available a much larger pool of competent, trained pros at a competitive cost.

      Thanks once again, with Warm Regards
      BM

      • The problem of education is very serious in the poorest countries: schools are too expensive, and families can not afford to pay school fees and books. Or they are too far away, and the children have to walk several kilometers each day to reach them. In many cases, families themselves do not understand the importance of education for their children’s future. Children start working at an early age and the girls stay home to help the family or are forced to marry very young, often with men much older than themselves.
        Poverty and illiteracy are closely linked. Those who are not educated are condemned to a future of poverty and denied rights.

        • You are absolutely right, Dear Aldo! this is where we need to make a concerted effort and repay “the debt we owe to the society.” It is not that we, as a society, are averse to charity for the sake of bringing peace, joy, health, and nourishment to the deprived. On the contrary, Billions of Dollars are raised by so-called ‘charities’ around the world annually. Governments allocate huge amounts of money for the betterment of the poor. But the money NEVER reaches the needy. Anywhere from 90 to 95% of such funds are enjoyed by the administrators themselves. Drawing 6,7 or even 8 figure salaries, use of Executive jets, luxury travel and stay in 5-star hotels, lavish parties with expensive wine is the norm for a majority of such organizations.
          The need of the hour is for us to question every one of these so-called charities when they knock at our doors or call us. Ask them, grill them and insist upon their presenting last three years of ‘audited’ statements of account to show what percentage of the money they raised actually went to the needy. ask how much their C.E.O. drew as salary and what additional perks went to him/her.

          Until and unless we wake up and take action, the poor will remain poor, illiterate and suppressed because the thieves will keep stealing what rightfully belongs to these poor souls.

          Thank You!

  2. Bharat – Excellent points in this article. Our schools are doing a terrible job of preparing our young people for the realities of the world beyond the protective cocoon of their parent’s house. Too much emphasis is spent on politically correct topics and the basic studies that lead to innovation, i.e. reading, writing, math, and science, are pushed aside. Thanks for beginning this important conversation.

    • I’m deeply indebted to you for your kind support on this subject, Len Sir! It is a serious cause for concern that in this age of astounding technical advances, we do not see the urgency to lay emphasis on the study of advanced technologies at all.

      I do sincerely hope enough people raise their voice to demand an urgent change in our approach for the sake of future genrations.

      Thank You!

      • Bharat – It will take concerned folks like you and me to create the change that is needed. My great-grandson starts middle school next year and I am going to work with him after school to go over his assignments and encourage him to begin the process of discovering his strengths and weaknesses so I can help him grow. Mentoring young people has to be the answer because the politics in running schools will never create the necessary change. But at least the conversation has begun with your article. I hope others will take the time to read and consider your wisdom.

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