Rishabh Khanna, founder, CEO of Suraasa shares his views on opportunities and challenges of the education system in India with FE Education Online.
What is the best thing about today’s education system?
I would say that the best thing about today’s education system is the possibility and accessibility that it provides. Thanks to the internet, students of all ages and backgrounds can easily access high-quality educational resources at a click of a button.
I mean, think of it, the variety of educational resources available online is truly impressive, right? Like, there’s just so much to choose from! You’ve got online classes and tutorials, educational games, interactive simulations, and so much more.
Today, you have the access to learn from some of the best minds in your field. You can learn from people who are at the top of their game and who have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share from anywhere in the world.
All in all, the best thing about today’s education system is the possibility of learning and growing in ways that were previously unimaginable. And that’s something truly special.
What is the one thing you would like to change in the system?
One thing that I would like to change is how people view teachers and educators. I feel like a lot of times, people don’t realise just how important teachers are to our education system. They’re the ones who are driving the whole thing, but they don’t always get the respect and recognition they deserve.
The growth of teachers isn’t considered a priority. They do not receive the support and resources they need to grow and flourish. I mean, think about it, if we could give teachers the right resources to grow, they could improve as teachers, and in turn, they could provide a better education to our students. It’s a win-win situation, but it seems like not many people see it that way.
I think if more people realised how important teachers are and if we could get more of the best and brightest minds into the field of education, it would be the best thing for the generations to come. It would be a real game-changer for the future of education.
What is the role digital has played in the evolution of the education system?
I was just mentioning earlier that digital has really solved the problem of access to education. And I believe digital will play an even more important role in the future.
There are so many things that teachers have to do that are time-consuming but not necessarily important when it comes to the allocation of a teacher’s time. But at the same time, these things are important for students learning.
However, with digital, that’s not the case. For instance, digital tools can help automate administrative tasks, like grading and tracking student progress, which can free up a lot of a teacher’s time. This means they can spend more time on what really matters, like planning lessons and engaging with students.
So, digital is going to be a huge help in making sure that teachers have the time and resources they need to provide the best education possible for students.
What has been the disadvantage of digital in education?
So, access to education is a great thing, right? It means more people can learn, grow and receive an education. But E-X-C-E-S-S of content is a major disadvantage. With so much content out there, it can be tough to figure out what’s actually good and what’s not.
What this means is that today everybody can become a teacher with the accessibility of content. There are a lot of really smart and dedicated people out there creating great educational resources. But, on the other hand, there are also plenty of people who’ve no idea how education works. There’s a lot of misinformation floating around.
So, what we need is a way to separate the good from the bad. We need a credible system that can tell us which content is trustworthy and which isn’t to maintain and manage high-quality content. Unfortunately, that’s something that’s missing right now.
What is the career advice you would like to give to students?
You know, I get a lot of students from schools and universities coming to me asking what the next big thing in their industry is. They’re always asking me what they should be focusing on so that they can become successful. And my biggest piece of advice to them has always been the same: don’t focus on what’s hot right now. Because, let me tell you, the industry changes fast. Like, really fast. It used to change every 20 years, then 15, then 10, and now it’s every five years.
So, even if you focus on something that’s current today, it might be completely different in just a few years. I tell them to focus on the inside rather than focusing on the outside. Focus on what you’re good at, your interests and passions, and keep learning and expanding your knowledge in that area. Once you do that, you’ll truly become successful in any industry.