Education in India is one of the biggest focus areas for the private sector and the government at the state and Central levels. While government has a limited role to play, it is the private sector that has really picked up the gauntlet to move the education sector to a more progressive and relevant level. Explaining his views on the subject to The Financial Express Online’s Somya Khera, entrepreneur and educationist Satya Narayanan, founder and chairman, CL Educate, an alumnus of St Stephen’s College and IIM-Bangalore, highlights the crucial need for a revamp of the sector and much more. Here are the edited excerpts:
You have 19 years of experience in this sector. What according to you is the most important aspect of education?
The most important aspect of education, I feel, is to recognise individual potential, it bridges the gap between rich and poor and that’s why it is important. I don’t believe that nine-year-olds need schooling to innovate, all they need is problem-solving ability. We use the term ‘resource’ for students and we even have a human resource ministry. This term ‘human resource’ in itself is problematic. Students should not be treated as consumers. Mark Twain once said that he never let his school interfere with his studies and that holds importance in today’s scenerio as well.
How has Indian education transformed in the past 15 years or so since the turn of the century? Is it, according to you, good or not?
It is good, technology today has successfully solved several issues and like education, it is also bridging a wide gap between rich and poor in this country.
What are the top 5 things that a student today must focus in order to succeed?
Five is a lot! Why put so much pressure on students? One of the most important things that a student must do in order to succeed is to chase his or her dreams. I believe parents play an important part here. Parents often project their inadequacies on their children and this I believe is an unhealthy practice. The second important thing is discipline. Why your generation knows Sachin Tendulkar and not Vinod Kambli has to do with discipline. Sachin Tendulkar had discipline and that is why he was successful. Number three is emotional intelligence. Western countries have spoiled it for this generation by putting a number alongside intelligence. IQ is only one of the parameters of intelligence, it does not teach emotional or spiritual intelligence. For instance, if a person is intelligent but does not know how to interact with people he’d be shunned by society. IQ does not teach team building, which is one of the most important skills to lead.
You have recently unveiled a programme. What is it all about?
This programme is called ‘A Million Innovators’ and was unveiled in Delhi. The program will bring together the industry and academia onto a common technology platform. The appetite for innovation from the industry is more than adequately quenched by the supply of young talent on the university side. All other critical stakeholders such as angels, IP attorneys, mentors, are on this platform. The program aims to reach universities in APAC and Middle East in phase one.