I have been reading The Beautiful Tree by James Tooley recently and was amazed with the amount of research which went in to write the book. This book speaks on James Tooley’s experiences in the developing countries as to how they are over-looking the Public education system and turning towards Private education to provide a better future for the young generation. Two case studies, one of Hyderabad, India and one of Nigeria caught my utmost attention. When James tried to turn to the Government to understand how and why the poor families are turning towards paying small amounts of fees for their kids to be educated in private schools, most of the times he received answers in the affermative. When he continued his journey, he found amazing results and he was astonished. I cannot summarize a 300 odd page book here, but the one thing which I took away, is that no poor family of the so-called developing country is leaving any opportunity to rewrite their future.
In the recent issue of Career 360 I was really impressed with the cover story. It is the same old story which we all hear that the education system in India needs to be revamped. But, few stories of children of poor farmers from Bihar on how they went against the odds give a refreshing perspective. The story of Anand Kumar who started Super 30, a school which coaches top 30 poor children to get into IIT is really inspiring. Can you beat this, in the last 7 years, 182 students of 210 have made it to the IIT’s and in the last 2 years, all 60 students made it to the IIT. These are the results we speak about.
In an interview Tarun Tejpal mentions that the education in our country is more of academic and marks oriented. This is the most disturbing part.
I hail from South India (Andhra Pradesh) and when I completed my graduation (I did not take up Engineering/Medicine) most of my friends have either taken up Engineering or Medicine and after education, one has to take up a job in either Infosys / Wipro / TCS which are the best IT compaines. What you do in the organization does not matter, but as long as you have one of the 3 brands, you are entitled for a settled, secure life and when time comes, a huge dowry for the wedding.
Just to give the other side, if one has to apply for B.Sc Economics in Delhi School of Economics, the cut-off percentage is usually more than 95%. When I took up Economics and Computer Applications in my graduation (this course has been terminated after 2 batches because there were no takers), I was termed the most un-fit and unsuccessful in my batch. After 10 years, when I look back, I think I made the best decision of my life and I really need to thank my Parents and Brother who gave me all the support to do what I want in life.
Now, why did I get into this topic? One thing I realized after co-founding HeadStart and founding Dazasya is that we are not yet ready for Building a better tomorrow with the current way of how we deal with things. In the last two years of being with the Startup community, what I notice is that the willingness to take risks is not yet ready in our minds. Even if one is ready to take the risk, family and social pressure’s take up a lot of time to get you forward. Once you get forward, what misses is the Bigger Picture. Should I attribute this to our up-bringing? From our childhood we are “told” what to do and if we do not, we are not guided enough to come out of the situation.
We are not taught problem solving, but taught only the application of a formula. We are not taught how to think differently, but only taught how to follow what has been thought over by our teachers and elders.
This is one of the primary reasons as to why we do not have an Apple, Microsoft, Google coming out of India.
Many entrepreneurs today are in the path of Entrepreneurship for freedom to work and chase their dreams. When we look at their dreams, ideas revolve around something which exists today, rather than trying to create something new. Why don’t we have even a browser bring created in India?
Let me take my own example, I co-founded HeadStart 2 Years and 6 months ago and founded Dazasya 2 Years and 2 months ago. In either of the two organizations, I am able to Innovate anything new which can help the Startup community.
Let me begin the change here….