I think we just need a tad bit of unstructured imagination to come up with the most amazing works of our lives. For the last ten years, I have dreamed of building an education empire which would make learning an experience that everyone would want and desire, not ridicule and detest. For the last three years, I have been working with a very talented bunch of people to make that dream a reality. We are indeed making fun-ducation a reality which is a really wonderful experience for an education company such as ours.
Today, I am happy to announce that we have launched the Gyan Lab Kidovators Challenge. As it is rightly said, every child is a genius. We, at Gyan Lab, also believe very firmly that every kid is an innovator. If you are a parent, you would remember all the praises that you had for your little kid with a glitter in your eyes about his/her walking style, weirdly intelligent questions, significant interest in everything in the surrounding and an attempt to try everything they possibly could see and understand. We are trying our level best to keep the innovator in your child absolutely intact so that you can always, always have that glitter.
As we grow, the system gets to us. It is not the schools fault, it is not the teachers’ fault, it is not the child’s fault, and it is not your fault. It is the system which is at fault and we cannot change it unless we work together making sure that its deep rooted nexus is uprooted right from the foundation.
Kidovators Challenge has been designed for and dedicated to the future champions of India. This is why the tagline runs as ‘The Challenge for Innovators of Tomorrow’. Kidovators Challenge is the most unique and interesting challenge for school kids till date. We have a written test based on topics such as Communication Skills, Quantitative Aptitude, Current Affairs and General Knowledge, and Mental Ability and Scientific Aptitude. So, we are not testing how well o they learn their subjects but how creative, innovative and imaginative are they in their though process. In the second round, it gets even better where you kids have to participate in a tech race involving optimization of resources, time and credits (that will be initially given to them). This is so exciting! It is almost like they are solving real life problems. And I have a belief that every kid is atleast 10 times as intelligent and innovative as adults which means that the final round will be a blaster.
This competition is going to be held across 60+ cities in India with over 5000+ schools participating. In case, your child's school in not participating, you can register directly at our website! At present, we are only taking payment by cheque and DD but within a few days online payment would very much possible as well.
We have attracted some of the best corporates as the sponsors at this mega-challenge including a couple of public sector organizations, few educational ventures and a number of quality media houses which would be soon added to our website. This is just a testimony that there is a lot of belief in our cause and it drives us to keep working hard and making sure that there is a true impact.
Another factor that will ensure a good time for everyone is our team. The core team comprises of people having prior experience in Goldman Sachs, IAESTE Austria, Infosys, Hero MotoCorp, BYJU and IndiaReads. With this kind of diversity, you know this team will deliver a super show. And, we are getting so much of love from so many people who are getting associated with us through the Kidovators City Ambassadors Program which just shows how committed these people are to bringing about this positive change in the education sector.
I hope you and your kids have a great time at the Gyan Lab Kidovators Challenge – you must remember every kid is an innovator. Here is the link to the challenge again – http://kidovators.gyanlab.com
Written by: Priyadeep (PD)
Founder and CEO of ADD-on-GYAN | Entrepreneur | Educator | Creator of Gyan Lab
I am taking a lot of effort after a long, long time to write this piece which is something we have been working on and testing for quite sometime – fun-ducation. My motivation to do so comes from the fact that I am seeing everyone give their 'expert opinion' on how best education can take place. Some of it would go on to become real disruptions and some of it real disturbance - whatever be the case. But one just cannot deny that there is this wave going on throughout the world as we all sense education to be the 'Next Big Thing'.
Who am I to speak on this? Not that I am an expert myself, but I know one thing for sure - the exact pain point of the consumer. I completed schooling in 2007 and under-grad studies in 2011. I think I have some perspective from the consumer side which is what really matters to me and the vision of Gyan Lab.
As a student, all I desired my education to be was something that was 'fun to do', something that 'I wanted to do'. I think to make a real impact this is more important than anything else. If I am enjoying my education for real, I would want to do it. And do it well. Once there is true desire, true education will take place. Instead of taking such a simple point through and implementing it, we made it a very, very complicated affair. You cannot only blame schools or policy makers for today's condition of education in the Indian subcontinent. Every single stake holder including parents are responsible for the same.
Just for the sake of an example, here is something that has become very common these days and some people can totally relate to this. You wanted a school for your child which you could boast of in front of your friends. Some people built such schools. You paid hefty donations (called admission fees, development fees, etc.) and massive fees and got your child enrolled to satisfy your ego. They gave you promises of some stuff like swimming, golf, tennis, horse-riding, etc. But, there comes a time when you feel the school is ripping you off and charging more money uselessly. So, there is no trust between you (as a parent) and the school. Sounds familiar? Then you are one of the 'urban modern rich folks' who have so much of collective value to change the way in which education takes place yet you believe in satisfying personal ego over everything else.
That is just one case. There are many more. You see hypocrisy everywhere in the education field. This added with the fact that it is massively fragmented makes it look one hell of a task to make actual dents possible. However, in the last three years that we have been working in the education field, we have seen real interests from school administrations, parents and educators to bring about the much talked about change. There is this huge wave of democratizing education taking place and we are really happy to be right in the middle of the action.
Bringing fun-ducation is not a very hard task to fulfil actually. It is only a matter of some solid brainstorming and, innate and accurate implementation. Our effort at Gyan Lab has been to make fun-ducation the mainstay of the learning process. It is really amazing as to what kids (especially in early and middle school) can do when given the full reign of their own learning process and pattern.
The first step to introduce fun-ducation is to involve kids in the decision making process for anything that concerns with them. As I have seen as a child and now, kids are treated to be naive, idiots and creatures who are not supposed to be involved in the decision making process about anything including themselves. This needs to change in order to make them responsible. There is also another side where parents just leave the kids to decide what they want without any discussion. This case is also a problem as free things have no value in our lives. Start off with basic responsibilities, keep making them more complex with time and definitely praise your kids for any job done well. This process must start as early as 5 years of age so that kids can feel responsible and be judicious. My parents always made sure that I was involved in the decision making process of my life and this made me responsible for whatever happened in my life including choosing to study mechanical engineering and starting-up right in college.
A very vital step is to ensure that nothing is taken for granted. I have had hundreds of parents coming to me for counselling for their kids saying that they do not value the hard-earned money and are very stubborn when asking for a lot of things. This is the first of lessons that a child must learn in life – nothing comes for free. I think this is a very sensitive issue and something that parents must take care of early in a child’s life. How about having a fair barter system? And, saying that you will gift your child an XBOX 360 for a 95% marks in an exam is not fair! And, it is not fair to you because you will not give such a deal to an outsider, will you? But saying that you will tip your child well if he/she helps you at the green grocer’s market is a good proposition. Letting them be entrepreneurs in their own rights is also a great way (say garage sales) to help your kids understand value of everything.
It is at this points, after getting used to the above two points can we introduce them to fun-ducation. Fun-ducation will ensure that while they have fun learning, they understand the cost of education and make the most of it. They also seriously start thinking of their life and career (their favourite career may change every six months but atleast they are giving enough thought to it should please any parent). If they alternate modes of education that are being tried to be introduced to kids are introduced without preparing them, then the education does not happen and the whole activity just is pure fun. This is definitely not our intention, nor of any other organization working in this direction.
The change is inevitable but it can definitely be accelerated, and it needs to be accelerated. We do want Fun-ducation to become the successor of the moribund and archaic Education in India. Do you?