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“The mind is not a vessel that needs filling but wood that needs igniting.”
These words quoted by Plutarch in the 12th Century hold as true today as they did in 9 centuries ago and still it is alarmingly apparent that we have still not arrived at the gravity of the subject. If we look at the last 30 years of world history- we can observe one aspect for sure- RAPID CHANGE! So how are we preparing our children for their future? Amidst our busy lives we ought to stop for a while and ponder at this statement. Do we agree with it? If yes, have we applied it in the lives of our kids? We have loaded them with information, but have we asked them what will they do with it? Are they able to process the information? Are they able to communicate it?
The kids are 21st century learners, so what kind of learning will help them –say maybe 20-22 years later? What will prepare them for their life?
World educators and experts believe that children need 21st century skills such as Creativity, Thinking, decision and problem solving skills, communication, people and intra-personal skills along with career and citizenship/community as core themes. If you have been a keen observer you will know, that the entire paradigm of learning has changed from CONTENT to CONTEXT!
What is need of the hour then?
The need of the hour is to give our children experiences of the real world, rather than just pushing them for higher academic score year after year for they will be done with academic exams after a certain number of years but the challenges of life will keep coming at them till they are alive.
Give them an opportunity to create something so that it boosts their self confidence like never before, given them a project over which they can work along in team and have that feeling of achieving a result after collective efforts, make them intern at a small firm so that they may learn under mentors and get an insight into the professional world, ask them to recreate a community centre or educate the elderly on a topic of their choice so that they are humbled by the empathy of the cause, make them explore art, science, history, math or anything that they want to so that they can trigger their hidden talents and lay a foundation for the rest of the years of their lives.
As Steve Paul Jobs once rightfully said, “You got to have a problem that you want to solve, a wrong that you want to right and it has to be something that you are passionate about only then will you have the perseverance to see it through”
Only when children can meaningfully apply their knowledge and skills to real life situations – can they lead the way! Therefore, one should believe in making learning relevant to real life so that there is transition from learning to living and that a child’s potential is fully explored by giving them enough opportunities to discover , master and exhibit his/her talents. Moreover, when children’s efforts are channelized towards social good, they can all become forces of goodness and make this world a better place to live in.
With this core belief and backed by a highly passionate team, we have been conducting an annual program named “ProdigyKid” for the children of the 7-14 year age group. Over the course of the past one and a half year, we have witnessed some striking changes and have experienced moments of incredible creativity, innovation and leadership with the kids under the program and this has further strengthened our belief in our processes and we move forward with a strong foothold.