Disrupting The Norm: What Models Of Learning Are Needed For Education?

Exclusive interaction of Dr. N. M Kondap – Director General, Deviprasad Goenka Management College of Media Studies (DGMC) and Durgadevi Saraf Institute of Management Studies (DSIMS), Mumbai, with BW.

Speaking with BW, Dr. N M Kondap expressed his views on the subject of what new models we need for education in general and management education as the changing market dynamics; and the velocity, gravity and drive of people behind education.

The prevailing reality of disruption today in Education, in his view was like “swimming in the turbulent sea, and facing the hurdles and challenges successfully”. It is not merely the change that it is taking place but the multiple dynamics at play simultaneously in education that determined whether we are likely to succeed or not, he said. 

Excerpts from his interview: 

What are these multiple dynamics you are referring to?

Varied in my view, ranging from people (teams), target audiences, products or services offered, to competition, the timing, and the financial aspects. All are metamorphosing. We need to consider the fact that each market has a natural life cycle driven by innovation and circumstances. Education is in no way different. There are a number of cases we can discuss and cite wherein organizations have lost opportunities at unable to change themselves in the changing market dynamics, resulting into shutting down of businesses. We also have success stories wherein the organizations with strong foundation which have taken the best advantage of changing market dynamics.

What are the steps, therefore, we need to succeed?

A team, or the organisation, needs deep insight and knowledge, expertise and technical skills, to design solutions, and face and meet the market needs successfully. 

In doing this, for instance, we need to have a combination of:

  • The Hustler – who has customer knowledge and understanding of the market to effectively position an offering; and
  • The Hacker – who has the technical skills to design and develop well-crafted and scalable solutions.

How does this affect Education per se?

I think it is the 4th Industrial Revolution today which is taking automation of manufacturing and processes to a new dimensions. With focus on the Internet of Things (IOT), Cyber-Physical Systems, Smart Factory, and Internet of Services as are being widely quoted in academic research journals. The advantages of Industry 4.0 are thus optimisation and customization, and pushing research to be successful. The challenges facing Industry 4. 0 are in the areas of Security, Capital, Employment and Privacy. All this is having its impact on education in general, and specifically in management education.

So in your view, what is the future in of 4.0 in respect of Education?

Given the nature of Indian Industry today, it will mean new jobs in manufacturing, big data analysis and analytics, robotonics, and a range of other new and upscale technological inputs. With this happening the whole foundation of industry, and thereby education, will be impacted and affected positively.

The future of business as is clear will be driven by Automation and AI – machine learning, machines as a service, predictive maintenance, self-driving logistics vehicles, and a host of new introductions. Agile will become the norm. Block chain technology will revolutionise industries. Business practices will be dominated all over by collaborative work and integrated technologies. 

Furthermore, the increasing cross border (global) businesses will increasingly make the need of high level of education and training more cultural sensitive among our students and young managers for better performance and success on the jobs. Impact of business on triple bottom line, including profits, people and planet will be more important than assessing business outcomes merely by top line and bottom line. 

Having said all this, I believe, the education system needs to be ready to accept these vital changes occurring, and to yet to happen still, and be prepared to meet the prevalent challenges in the marketplace. So call it the need for Education 4.0! Which focuses on future learning and different from the past to meet new opportunities of growth and development at the individual and organisation level. 

Education will need to directly align with Industry 4.0, where man and machine will align to enable newer possibilities, harness wider digital technologies, and big data, analytics, and open source content all over. Leading to the need for life-long learning in schools, colleges, and institutions. In new and more up-to-date and advanced norms in education. Plus, the need for continuous adaptation and upgrading in the work-place situations. 

The drivers of newer education norms, in all this, will be:

  • Emphasises on Skill Sets, rather than just Memorising.
  • Technology will largely determine and steer the course and path of this.
  • The new Millennial Mindset and Behaviour of the young ones.
  • Talent Investment by Education Institutions and Organisations, in tandem.
  • Shared Content and Open Resources. And new Collaborative Platforms.
  • Digital Devices, Networks and new Media transformation.
  • All round Social and Development/Progress in the country – rural, small towns, and urban areas.

What is thus your ultimate message to students?

The future of education lies in having a new VISION, for their learning. Seeking knowledge and skills. Finding out. Having hunger for learning and information. Being focussed. Building around yourself – choices, strengths, and customisation to your goals. Learning together – collaborative – from each other, peer to peer learning. This trending will dominate education.  Teachers will only be facilitators. Communities will be built around shared learning and aspirations, among the young. Be ready for it.

Some 10 skills, and qualities, among students and potential the youth, outlined in a recent research report by the World Economic Forum listing on which the future jobs will largely depend on are:

1. Complex Problem Solving abilities.

2. Critical Thinking.

3. Creativity - in general, and on the jobs.

4. People Management abilities.

5. Co-ordinating (Collaborating) with others.

6. Emotional Intelligence (EQ, over IQ)

7. Judgement and Decision Making capacities.

8. Service Orientation - in every respect.

9. Cognitive Flexibility

10. Negotiation Skills and abilities.

When translated In respect of Education, this means and will result in:

At Students level: Improved and all round student engagement, improved learning outcomes, better career pathways and success, and thorough intervention and remediation means within current days. Being industry Ready!

At Academic Institutions level: Improved student retention, maximisation of student success and growth, resource optimisation, and curriculum audits related to practicality and present-day requirements of industry and business management practices.

Swamy Vivekananda had said, “Education is the manifestation of perception already reached in man”.

Thus, in my view, the message to our current students and young potential managers will be that in the coming times education will all be Value based – in the form of to use the common terminology in technology today.

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