Published: 08th January 2020
We need to understand what the learners want and how they want it: Petronet CEO Prabhat Singh
Only one to two per cent of around 60 crore people are enrolled in the 1,600 plus ITIs that India has, said Singh. He added that this is an opportunity that the corporates must exploit
Before we discuss revising our education system we need to understand what the student wants, said Prabhat Singh, Managing Director and CEO, Petronet LNG. Speaking at The New Indian Express's ThinkEdu Conclave 2020 in Chennai, Singh delved into how the corporate world can help bring about a major change in education in India.
The Petronet LNG Managing Director pointed out three aspects one needs to keep in mind. "We need to understand what the learner really wants and deliver education to him when he wants it. If someone has to earn his bread during the day, you can't ask him to join classes at an ITI (Industrial Training Institutes). The other part is incentivising education to increase participation. The third is making it fun and attractive for the students — through games or any form of interactive sessions," he added.
Speaking on 'Corporate Responsibility Towards India's Public Education', Singh mentioned Albert Liebermann and Hector Garcia's bestseller Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life, "It would be ideal if we can find an intersection of a Venn Diagram of all these components where we can say that the learner will have fun. Can we create an algorithm and can we try to find a model for this? There are a lot of good initiatives happening all around us. We should not try to go against the flow but try to incorporate all these initiatives into one."
Only one to two per cent of around 60 crore people are enrolled in the 1,600 plus ITIs that India has, said Singh. He added that this is an opportunity that the corporates must exploit. "Corporates can come in here and try to take technology into account. Now, do we have the ecosystem for this? Yes, 95 per cent of our rural areas have an internet connection — that means you have access. We need to ponder on how to bring about this change," he explained. "One man or organisation cannot do this. We can draw inspiration from how Amway works. You need to create a chain. Some teachers might be providing education to some but in a different scenario they are the learner themselves," he added.
The ultimate change will come when we put AR/VR to use and integrate it with a model like this, feels Singh. "We need to brainstorm with the objectives and parameters we have and then come up with a proper algorithm. If we adopt a village and come up with a programme such that babies born there will go through various phases of learning as they grow up. Basic values need to be instilled into them in the form of experiences in life. The parents can be incentivised as they need to be with the student and help them explore more," he said. "The algorithm I am talking about will have options for the students or the learners to choose from — whether they want to study more or work or what they want to take up," he added.