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Challenges I face in getting schools ready to accept technology

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2nd Jan 2015
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Editor's note: Education is one of the most critical sectors for tech entrepreneurs in India and there are many developments happening but the challenges are huge! Working with schools, getting acceptance and changing mindsets is a huge task. Deepak Goel is the founder at TestFormula.com and has had a lot of learnings from his experience with schools. In this column, he shares these challenges...


mindset
  1. image credit: ShutterStockGetting an appointment: We do not get appointment to conduct workshops even after follow ups. To be honest, most of schools expect us to provide some free material/gifts which are really tough for us. Being a startup venture we try our best to share quality knowledge with the students but out of 10 schools, only three give us appointment. It demotivates the team to some extent. For any startup, time is very crucial resource.
  2. Lack of awareness about technology usage: Students are aware about social media & gadgets but they do not know how they should use the technological innovation in the education sector. Most big companies are doing great in education sector but students are not aware of the usage of these technologies. We have covered many schools; both government and private but found that very few schools try to support us in creating awareness of technology. Making them aware is a challenge in which schools can be a big support.
  3. Traditional approach of study: Most exams are getting online. Working on computers has been quite important but students still go to coaching centers and take classes. They can use online lectures from home. Online study would help them to understand how competitive they are among students from different places and also save time, but students are not aware about benefits of online education. Most people are trying to provide quality education using e-learning techniques but students are still using same approach which was used 10 years ago.
  4. Marks oriented approach: Students are not writing in their own language. They learn the things as it is written in books or being taught. They think marks can be obtained only if they write the things as it is mentioned in the books. We were surprised when some students told us that their teacher asked them to solve mathematics questions the way it is mentioned in solution book. To some extent it may be correct to use that method but on the other hand we are killing creativity and innovation building in students.
  5. Job skills: Education is not much relevant as far as getting a job is concerned. Most apparent reason of an unsuccessful education system is that after graduation students fail to acquire soft skills. Communication skill is a basic demand of any job which is absent in many students.
  6. Parents’ pressure: In space like sports, cooking, painting and music students are not encouraged. In most of our career counseling workshops, we found students were interested to join the Army, or become a sportsperson, or open their own music academy, but they are asked to take medical and engineering courses after schools and hence they have to study accordingly. We conducted a survey in certain societies to speak to parents and found that parents would first want their children to settle and then they can pursue these interests. Basically parents do not want to allow children to give priority to their passion while choosing their career.

We have found that there are many challenges for a startup in the education space. TestFormula.com has planned to fill this gap by conducting 100 workshops per year. We have understood the ways to tackle these challenges and the schools which we have covered this year have welcomed us for next year too. We are coming up with innovative ideas in our workshops and have built a specific team. Some other startups and entrepreneurs are in collaboration and together we will tackle these challenges.

TestFormula is also building an App ‘MarkSheet’ with the help of academicians and psychologists through which a 10th class student can get an idea about choosing the right subjects after class 10. There are other softwares available which help students in choosing a career by a personality assessment test, but the ‘MarkSheet’ app will also consider previous records of students’ mark sheets along with a personality assessment test.

Challenges and flaw in the education system can be tackled by support from schools, parents’ views on career choice and collaborative approach of entrepreneurs.

About the Author:

Deepak Kr Goel, Currently Founder & CEO at www.testformula.com  (An Online Education Venture) An MBA Core Alumnus from NMIMS, Mumbai & Marketing consultant, has taken Guest Lectures at certain B Schools.

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