Learning by doing

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Urvish Paresh Mehta is a F. Y. B.Com student at Narsee Monjee College of Commerce and Economics, simultaneously pursuing Chartered Accountancy. He has a flare for writing, and regularly participates in Inter-Collegiate Debate Competitions. His articles have been published in newspapers and magazines. Urvish follows cricket religiously and dreams of living in a ‘happier India’.

THE yards put in by the academia very often are the seminal factors in deciding the distance the nation is likely to gauge in terms of prosperity. Thus, it is no rocket-science to derive that the better sync the learning process has with practicality, the nearer the summit of success will be. It is a widely acknowledged fact that the practical scenarios are light years away from what the education system advocates. Educational prophecies and real-life occurrences are sometimes as distinct as chalk and cheese. Hence, with this background in purview, we are confronted with a million-dollar question – “What will be the shining beacon in such times of despair?”

The concept of ‘learning by doing’ thus gains a lot of relevance in this scenario. Good cookery books alone do not make great cooks. The hours one puts in front of the stove have a lion’s share in determining how good a cook he will be. The ability to absorb and grasp facts must be led by a desire to discover the practical bearing these facts and figures reflect. As a Chinese proverb rightly enlightens us, “Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I will understand!”

In a nation where there is an alarming need of being ‘employable’ along with being ‘educated’, learning by doing is a perfect antidote to failure. The industry-academia bridge needs to be cemented steadfastly. A small hole is enough to sink the largest of ships. In the same vein, a minor bottleneck in the field of education may have a gruesome effect on the state of the industry. However, various issues confront the efficacious implementation of ‘learning by doing’ on the pristine land of India. The first impediment is the knowledge-obsolescence caused by the stagnancy of the syllabus in majority of courses. The syllabus is not upgraded with the requirements and demands of time. Secondly, India lacks the state-of-the-art infrastructure in education, which is a pre-requisite for creating an environment conducive for innovative learning. Thirdly, the students habituated to rote-learning pills may find practical learning a tough nut to crack. Lastly, the teachers too are not in a state to embrace innovative learning whole-heartedly, especially in those areas where education remains a mere dream. Sadly, this list of problems is only illustrative and not exhaustive. The Indian education planners will have to battle on a war-footing to ensure that a larger section of the society gets to taste the sweet pie of ‘Learning by doing’.

However, the notion of ‘Learning by doing’ is not only for the Education Planners to emulate and implement. It also necessitates the need of an integrated approach. Curiosity is the best teacher. The learners must also make it a point to relate theory with practical life to the best possible extent. Educational institutes must also invite industry experts to give discourses on various industrial facets, which may arouse interest in the budding children.

The winds of change have already begun to encompass the Indian backyards. The idea of learning by doing is steadily beginning to engulf the ignited minds. The impetus of following one’s instinct and impulse has been a major contributing factor.

Thus, learning by doing sets a perfect model of how the gift of education is to be imparted to the youth. The classrooms must transcend beyond the traditional scope of four walls. The lighthouse of such an education can guide a million hearts and can mould many. The world will be a much better place to live in when the terms ‘Doing by Learning’ and ‘Learning by Doing’ can be used synonymously and interchangeably!

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