Business Sutra 5: Education

Telecast on CNBC on 3 July 2010

We don’t enjoy education even though we know education is good for us; it is a little bit like exercise or health food. In this episode, Menaka and I discussed ancient Indian thoughts on education. The key idea here was that knowledge has to be taken by the student. Unless a student is motivated, no learning can take place. In modern education, motivation is provided using the carrot (promise of a job) and the stick (lower status) approach. But that does not stir the imagination of students. They feel like domesticated animals who resent training. So they get easily distracted. So they scream in joy when the bell rings and school ends. I feel that today trainers behave like professional – their job ends with showing the power point presentation in the stipulated period of time. Because everything is controlled – the content, the timings of trainings. Education efficiency is measured without considering effectiveness.  The trainer is often far removed from the field and hence not taken seriously. I feel, training should be part of the job. Unless one creates a replacement for oneself, one must not be promoted. Thus one has to give Saraswati to get Lakshmi. This is not easy but we need to relook at education and ask ourselves – who loses if the student does not learn, and the teacher does not teach. First episode deals with experiential learning, the second with coaching and the third with student motivation.

Segment 1: Ram’s education

Segment 2: Crossing the Vaitarni

Segment 3: Vikram and Vetal