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My First Aid Kit to the Ailing Educational Institutions

I classify organisations into two types - 1. Systems driven 2. Creativity driven. Those which are systems driven, follow strict rules, regulations, procedures, methods, and guidelines. They may excel into a mechanistic organisation, where everything is planned and anticipated well in advance, or alternatively, they may degenerate into bureaucratic organisations, where rules crush the very purpose of the existence of the organisation. Those organisations, which are creativity driven, are based on human endeavours, imagination, innovations and doing something beyond planning. These organisations thrive on the basis of their ability to give surprise, unexpected and unanticipated. Both the types of organisations have their own utility, relevance and favourability. However, over a period of time, we have given greater recognition to Systems Driven organisations. This should not lead us to ignore the power and influence of Creativity Driven Organisations.

Systems driven organisations try to give precedence to rules, regulations, order and discipline and try to make human beings adjust to the systems. Creativity driven organisations create and destroy systems as per human requirements. Rules, regulations and procedures are destroyed to give priority to creativity. They try to break the rules and invent a new possibility, which can achieve the goal of their existence.

It is a paradox that the creativity driven organisations have greater potential, higher impact and amazing capability. Yet we haven’t tried out these organisations to their fullest potential. We have been trying to replace these organisations by systems driven organisations. Our choice of predictability, order, systems, and procedures force us to step out to make futile efforts to convert these organisations into systems driven organisations. We don’t succeed, but we keep trying, and ultimately destroy the creativity spirit and pride on our ability. Over a period of time, rules, procedures and guidelines pile up to make these organisations too mechanic to survive.
My First Aid Kit to the Ailing Educational Institutions
Schools and colleges have the most creative talent, yet they are run like systems driven organisations. They try to mould the creative talent into their so-called systems, which kill the potential for further creativity. Most of the institutions frame academic guidelines, strict academic schedules and syllabus, and create a terrorising silence, and yet pride themselves by describing it as imposed discipline. But it is not the discipline for which a student is known. A student has tremendous imagination, energy, creativity, and a positive attitude, which need to be put to some use. These institutions should ideally connect to creativity driven organisations, which doesn’t happen.

Can’t we allow students to study what they want to study and do the projects of their dreams?

Can’t we connect the students with the creativity driven organisations to unleash their creative potential?

Can’t we scrap syllabus to give priority to creative projects?

Can’t we scrap the requirements of silence to give space to creative noise?

Can’t we change the seating arrangements to make them more disorderly in order that creativity may take place?

Can’t we put the students on creative projects under mentorship of creative people, so that they may use their creativity in real life issues?

We need to make a slow but creative beginning to restore the creativity of the students. I would suggest the following framework, which may not attract much resistance from the educational administrators, who have become too rigid to change.

1. Introduce projects/creative assignments in every semester and enable the students to work on those projects under the guidance of some encouraging person.

2. Connect the educational institution with some creative organisation and introduce slow but steady industry-institute partnership. A few examples of creativity organisations are: Advertising Agencies, Design Organisations, Consultancy Organisations, and Civil Society Organisations etc.
3. Give students an opportunity to visit different countries, different exhibitions, and different institutions and let them take credit (and attendance) for these creative pursuits.

4. Encourage and support students to participate in youth festivals, educational festivals, and tech-festivals.

5. Encourage and support students in forming their community clubs, where they may pursue their area of interest and they should be given due marks / attendance / support for these pursuits.

6. Reward and recognise students on the basis of their creativity and their ability to solve real life problems and not on the basis of their ability to reproduce the textual information of books in examinations.

7. Slowly replace the text book based theoretical education system by practical project based education system.

8. Introduce theatre, art, craft, performance, cultural programs and other such mechanisms so that the creative potential of a student may find a way out.

9. Organise regular industry visits, particularly to innovative industries with an open and frank interaction with the creative team.

10. Organise brain storming sessions on real life problems under the guidance of some very creative persons so that the students may articulate their views on contemporary issues.

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 17th March 2015.
Dr. Trilok Kumar Jain
Dr. Trilok Kumar Jain is a contributing writer at Inspiration Unlimited eMagazin

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