Back to School

It has been ages since I left school. The last few days I had the opportunity to spend some quality time with school students of different schools. As I had indicated in one of my previous posts, the transition to the Career Profiling area has been an eye opener in an area called ‘Education’ which churns out thousands who believe that they have the required ‘qualifications’ and then it slowly dawns on them that they do not have the ‘learning’ required to endure the pitfalls of everyday life. They often get lost trying to figure out when what went wrong in their life or career and are frantically trying to find ways by which their children would not end up where they are!!! Life gets pulled in all directions….. and then what is left of life is ‘Survival’. Today’s children needs a strong foundation, where their idea’s will occupy their mind in complete and they will be able to transform the idea to a physical or mental. As Swami Vivekananda has said ” Each soul is potentially divine. The goal is to manifest this divinity by controlling nature, external and internal. Do this either by work, or worship, or psychic control, or philosophy – by one, or more, or all of these – and be free.”

You would not believe if I told you that, interactions with the young minds help relieve stress on one hand and is a great source of knowledge and arouses the thought process. I ask each of you to explore this area at least once….

School life today is mechanical and very stressful. Above all of this is the fear of different forms of examinations. It looks like today schools have more examinations than study!!! I have always wondered, on the knowledge level of the toppers and top scorers and rank holders. There is a stark difference between knowledge and education today. In my professional life, I have had numerous occasions when I lost my cool, conducting interviews. The candidate who had come for the interviews showcases their degree and certifications, however in reality s/he does not even know the fundamentals. How pathetic.

In the last couple of years I have had the strongest desire to bring about a radical change in our education system. I knew that I do not have the wherewithal or right connections or powerful backings or even money to make even a miniscule of change!!!!! However somewhere within me I knew that my desire was too strong to take a back seat. Three years back when I started Career Profiling as part of a Summer Camp, there were many of my so called “well wishers” who said ‘great initiative, but you should just do this part time; it is not wise to leave IT. You should join with some tuition centre or coaching institute else how will you survive.’ I am happy that I listened to my inner voice and managed(still manage) to hold on against various odds.

The SKIE program a unique initiative by Vivekananda Kendra Vedic Vision Foundation to address the overall development of an individual, focusing on students from Class VIII, started off with the initial assessments being conducted at different schools. All the schools that we visited to introduce the program have welcomed the initiative and the children are excited to see something different from normal tuitions and weekend entrance coaching classes!!!

SKIE is for (S)elf,

SKIE is about gaining (K)nowledge,

SKIE is about being (I)nformed so that the knowledge can be shared with others, and

SKIE is about (E)ssence, the quality in an individual, the character of a person, because we all know that we can earn the love and respect of others only if we are good to them.

Hence the focus of the program will be on Self Discovery, Education, Knowledge, Attitude, and Life Skills.

The yearlong program has been planned to go along with the academics and will focus on simplifying learning of regular school subjects, and to find their usefulness in our day to day living. The purpose of the study is often lost in the rush to finish the curriculum and attain good marks. Along with this the program will have regular sessions on Communication skills, Memory Management, Concentration techniques and Life Skills.

For me to be part of the program from the delivery angle is a dream come true. I cannot even imagine the vast amount of knowledge that I stand to gain from the children, the joy of seeing Children who will write examinations with a smile, the happiness of Parents in seeing their child/children confidently stand on their own legs, ready to face any situation that warrants it. In today’s troubled times, it is very depressing to note that “Being Human” is a far-fetched thought. How unfortunate is it that today we identify individuals by their profession, or qualification or lineage or at times it is a social group or otherwise forgetting the fact that we are a ‘Human’ first.

The SKIE program aims at upholding Swami Vivekananda’s famous quote ” We want that education by which character is formed, strength of mind is increased, the intellect is expanded, and by which one can stand on one’s own feet.”

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