National Education Day is celebrated on 11th November every year to serve as a momentous reminder of the transformative power of knowledge and the pivotal role education plays in shaping the destiny of a nation. Instituted to commemorate the birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the first Education Minister of independent India, this day reflects on the evolution of educational ideals.
In today’s dynamic world, education goes beyond traditional boundaries, adapting to the needs of a rapidly changing society. It should not only impart academic excellence but also instill critical thinking, creativity, and adaptability. As we celebrate National Education Day, it is an opportune moment to envision an education system that prepares individuals not just for exams but for the challenges of an ever-evolving world.
Education should not feel like a pressure to get a certain score but instead inspire a love for learning, foster inclusivity, and equip individuals with the skills necessary to navigate the complexities of the modern world. We spoke to an individual who feels the same way – Lalith Dhanush, Career Clarity Coach. The founder of More Than Textbook, he hosts his own podcast called “The Lalith Dhanush Show” which helps you understand more about unconventional careers and how to achieve success in them.
He interviews experienced guests across different careers to help the viewers understand more about career success in any field and gain expert wisdom. Lalith has also authored a book called “AVERAGE TO UNSTOPPABLE IN YOUR 20’S.” His Josh Talk addresses how an average student became ‘Unstoppable’ in his career. On the occasion of National Education Day, the Social Nation team got the opportunity to speak with Lalith Dhanush.
Does Studying = Success?
While studying in school/college haven’t we all got this thought once that is whatever we’re learning will be of any use in actual life? Will this curriculum be enough to make us successful in life? We posed the same question to Lalith who said, “College and life are completely opposite. In school, you learn the lesson first and then you are tested, but in real life, you are tested first and then you learn the lesson. So the answer is a big NO.” And we agree.
While subjects like English, Maths, Regional languages, and practical Science concepts are essential, we really need the education system to equip us with skills we will need our real life in the outside world. We need to move away from the age-old theoretical approach of textbook learning and rather take a practical approach. Teaching students about investing, managing their finances, writing cheques, filing taxes, having good communication skills, being confident, and building an entrepreneurial mindset is way more value-giving.
When asked ‘How important is the conventional education system in one’s life,’ Lalith had a very interesting response. He said, “School and college is like an insurance policy. Covers only risk.” As we mentioned above, a lot of times these educational institutes fail to teach kids real-world skills.
Moving Out To Study
There is a notion that moving away from your native town or country to study is an unmissable experience. At home, we are dependent on our family and friends – it is a comfort space. Learning how to live on your own in an unknown place and finding your way is a journey that can really aid with self-growth. Experiencing new cultures, meeting and conversing with people coming from different backgrounds and mindsets can be quite eye-opening. Lalith, according to you, how much of a role do travel and exposure play in your 20s? “Cost of travel should not cost you your learning experience. More than travel the mindset to learn and unlearn is unmatched.“
The one commonality we have noticed amongst highly successful people is their reading habit. Most of them attribute their success to reading for a couple of hours every day. Lalith, how crucial do you think reading is in one’s daily life? “Readers are leaders. You need not read but you need to be a student of the game, and the only way to do it is to acquire knowledge through various mediums like books, podcasts and mentors.” The exchange of knowledge that takes place through these mediums is truly invaluable.
Studying The Online Way
Another emerging trend ever since lockdown happened and the whole world shifted to online mediums for various purposes is online courses for education. These have revolutionized the landscape of education, offering a flexible and accessible way for learners to acquire myriad knowledge and skills. The convenience of learning from anywhere with an internet connection has made education more inclusive, breaking down geographical barriers.
Whether pursuing formal degrees, gaining new certifications, or exploring a hobby, online courses empower individuals to customize their learning journey based on their pace and preferences, making education more adaptable to diverse lifestyles. When asked if online courses help learn a new skill and how effective they are, the podcaster responded by saying, “What helps you develop a skill is practice and feedback, not just sitting and listening. You need to use it in real-time.”
Lastly, here’s some advice on education that Lalith wanted to share with those in their 20s:
Experiment as much as you can.
Then once you find out what you love, upskill.
Focus on play and having fun with work.
Watch who you surround yourself with.
Do as many internships as possible.
Run a marathon, not a race.
Take life easy and find your source of spirituality.
Educating yourself is of utmost importance. But don’t place your entire importance on marks and grades. Have the hunger to learn new things and explore in life. These skills are what will genuinely help you grow and succeed. These have been our takeaways from this very insightful chat with the career guru Lalith Dhanush. We hope this helps you as well 🙂