Rishi Jalan, Founder & CEO- The Big Red Group
Change makers are the one who bring about a change to the existing social fabric and life that revolves around it. But in the first place, to bring about a change, first and the foremost there has to be an understanding on ‘what needs to be changed’? This understanding is a conscious effort which we as parents and our education system needs to inculcate in our children right at the outset.
Are our families and education system been able to achieve it?
Like majority of our families, even our education system is at the crossroads of evolution as it is from these very families come the people who are the fulcrum of the system- teachers. Children think very differently about the world around them and feel very strongly about the change that should be ushered in, but they do not know how. Their innate sense of justice, fairness and forthrightness is what makes them a natural and right agent for change. It is we who have let ourselves sink into our lethargic stupor of our existing ways of doing things and any change outside of our comfort zone is usually difficult for us. Therefore, we need to play a proactive role in setting an example for them.
An essential part of our children’s learning in schools needs to be on co-creating leadership skills in every child that can equip them to be changemakers for a better world. This is what builds life skills and not the subjects that we teach.
Essential qualities our schools must inculcate in children to help them become the future change-makers are-
In my opinion compassion and empathy are central to who we are as a human race and these qualities are therefore our only chance of survival. Children who grow up in an environment where kindness and compassion are valued and recognized, end up internalising these qualities naturally. They are empathetic, connect to others easily and build stronger relationships. This is where EQ is considered over IQ. After their education is over and they start working, children realise that they have to do some major unlearning and relearning as more and more successful organisations across the world are about teamwork, collaboration, empathic leadership and building stronger relationships.
In our world of congested information, the need is to focus on developing critical thinking into children. Children question everything they comes across as they make sense of their world through questions. Curiosity is the necessary spark for learning, the brain is energized when it is curious and only rests till it has found the answer. Therefore, it is our duty to channelize that curiosity and provide food for their thought.
The spirit of collaboration is the one which has been one of the reasons for existence of the human race. Collaboration is a mindset, an approach and a spirit. Where each child’s assets, affinities and temperament are understood individually but the focus is on team spirit, building synergy and bringing out the best in each other.
Change makers take the path ‘less trodden’, it is because they have the courage to think differently and question the Why, How on different subject matter. Courage comes when one is equipped with knowledge on things and a belief system and as parents and teachers we should nurture such qualities in them which would equip them for the future.
Holistic and practical education modules like STEM Learning, Robotics, AI, ML need to become subject matters which should be actively taken up by schools and introduced to students at an early age for them to develop an aptitude towards the same and also build upon their personality. Future change makers are a by product of both their society and the educational system therefore, the need of the hour is to evaluate them. Since society is a work in progress, the conscious efforts have to be directed towards the education system as it’s plays the catalyst for change that we want to witness in our future generations and gradually sweeping into our social fabric.