These are small thoughts of mine linked to our efforts to scale up KSOM with the Vision and Mission of the Founder of KiiT. Our Founder is a person wedded to his dreams and mission; naturally he cannot look into all aspects of KiiT University issues. And as teachers-students, we perhaps have more down-to-earth idea of our relationships than him, who is destined now with higher form of self-actualization. Therefore, It is incumbent on us, as teachers and students, to set standards and goals that will uplift us all to a higher platform of learning and application-and therefore a state of being.
Dr. Samanta, through his tireless efforts and sacrifices both physical and mental, seeks this little effort from us all in contributing, directly and indirectly, to our nation’s GDP in some bold measure. He may not have expressed himself thus; but being in the field of incremental human development we can, despite our differences, comprehend the issue. We are in academics and not profit sharing in terms of cash; but profit sharing in terms of kind- our students, during the 2 years they are with us, be transformed as better managers, better citizens and better human beings for this nation and Planet Earth.
Students do not attend classes and if they don’t, there are retributions created to induce them to do so. But simply attending classes through a physical presence is not what is critical for incremental development. It is the minds, more specifically the brains, of both the teachers and students, which are important for creation of synergy. That synergy which may, with foresight, create hundreds of other Dr. Samanta’s into the future- which our country needs so desperately today.
Look at the environment around us and imagine the future we are creating for the younger generation (which include our own children) which moves around unconsciously from one ‘module’ to another that we, the systems creators, create for them to ‘master’ in our curriculum. Are the modules effective enough and translucent for our ordinary students from ordinary families with extra-ordinary aspirations? Or do we just give up?
I agree not all the products we have to mold in the 2 years we have them with us, are receptive. This aspect cannot be taken as an excuse but a challenge by all of us, students and teachers. A sense of intrinsic patriotism, of fellow-feeling and assertive behavior has to be inculcated in how, as and what we structure. I am talking of both the micro and macro aspects of our operations and mind-sets.
It is a challenge by most teachers to trigger the attention of their students during the 90 minutes of class room teaching. Given the lack of response and height of discomfort, many teachers may possibly take the short cut out and ‘entertain’ through issues least related to the class topic. Many may take a longer time than necessary to take the attendance. Students are given project work where their creativity is tested as 240 project reports pile up on the teachers’ desks for subsequent evaluation. And students finally take the call when in the examinations they resort to cheating through help from micro Xerox papers, and using the toilet where much academic matter is piled in very strange circumstances indeed!
Learning by heart is encouraged more than thinking out of the box. For the latter to effectively happen, both the teacher and student need to think innovation. Together!
We are now seriously engaging with corporate professionals in partaking in our elective classes. The faculty shall give way to a few hours of her class hours to these visiting guests who have evinced a desire to give back to society with their valuable time. They shall come and deliver application oriented classes that will be interactive- and this is where the student responsibility scales up in that they need to be curious and ask questions of these wonderful practitioners. Hence our faculty/students both need to stream line into application orientation and not confine to dramatic theoretical inputs alone. Therefore familiarity with what is happening in industry and initiating discussions on trends in marketing, industrial relations and ‘ponzi’ chit-fund schemes that rook customers and innocent citizens of hard earned money need to be discussed in classes as well.
So when we talk of interactions between teachers and students, what exactly do we imply? First, the behavior of the teacher ought to be reflective enough to be in alignment with her own values, vision, self-image and genuine feelings. When perceived by the students, this behavior creates the beginning of trust engagement. Students are perceptive indeed. Secondly, to gradually raise their levels of perception from ‘unconsciousness’ to a ‘consciousness’ for both teacher and student; the teacher needs to ensure her classes are not confined to class room interactions and dynamics alone. There must be an effort to establish the “I am o.k.; you are o.k.” strokes with the confused younger minds. Here the teacher has an advantage- not only 30 hours of classroom time but even beyond- how she innovates is her issue and no systematic process or direction can be given to her on a platter by the academic system in this context. Failure is the first sign of success always!
Yes, possibly we need to innovative & get out of the ‘take classes; spend 8 hours and move out’ syndrome that the system has thrust upon us.
In KiiT University one very positive freedom is given- of innovation and student-centric activities. Our shows in the auditoriums can have more social relevance and meaning than only being confined to ramp shows and sensuous outbursts. In essence what is being shared in this paper is that as a unit, both our post graduate students and illustrious academic personalities in KSOM, need to sensitively trigger our minds so that our mental waves are straightened & aligned. Only then can we have relevant KSOM scaling up centric bhava or ideas-whereby everyone contributes in her infinite manner within her bounded rationality. So the mental waves we create need to have an artha- or meaning with the physical concept involved. And candidly speaking, to bring meaning within our ordinary students is the precise challenge Dr. Samanta & the system have given us. KiiT University has been created for a mixed set of students and not for the most brilliant youthful minds that streak into the IIMs/XLRI/IITs etc. And even these institutions are facing several challenges what with technology controlling youthful minds-the times they are indeed a changing.
Perhaps, KSOM wants a complete development of the integrated personality of both its teachers and students. This is not a one way traffic but yields rich developments for all human beings within the KSOM fold and beyond into our families and society in general. This means we need to move away from the critical into the collaborative compositions of physical, metaphysical and spiritual mind sets that are accentuated with our relevant behavior. To change in any situation is stressful but genuine efforts bring out the aesthetic appearances, sensitivity and rich philosophy that each one of us in KSOM is imbibed with- consciously and unconsciously.
The Teacher has a great deal to contribute indeed. The times they are indeed changing- always! Alternatively we may have to abide by the statement “Homosapien sucks! Wish we could change to another species!!” Need we?