Picture this – it’s a hot afternoon in April, school’s just started and you’ve got two back-to-back periods of trigonometry. There’s lots of formulas, no calculators, hefty textbooks, and no real direction. You soldier on, determined to make sense of the triangles on the board, before you realise that you’ve grown up, school’s out and you haven’t learnt anything that might actually help you excel in your chosen career. Sure, the foundation’s there – reading, writing, critical analyzing – but template-style education segregates interests into arts, commerce or science, focusses on exams and marks and culminates with a degree that doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you’re qualified to, for instance, write a song or start a company even though that’s where your heart is. Enter experiential learning, or learning by doing, that can at the very least supplement the more conventional methods. At its most advanced, however, it can disrupt the traditional education system completely.  But experiential learning can change this. 

And there’s no better time than right now to revisit or reimagine what a holistic education can give you. One of Project Mynt’s co-founders, Aayush Naran (engineer-turned-serial-entrepreneur) recalls, “While we were in schools, we were not allowed to use a calculator while dealing with complex arithmetic problems during exams. Using the internet in the school lab was banned, and if I used the internet to study, my parents would never believe that.” However, he points out that, everything changed when he got his first job. “My boss expected me to check Google before I asked him a question, and I was specifically asked “Don’t you own a phone” in a derogatory manner, when I was trying to solve those large number arithmetic problems in my head.” He finds this gap problematic–education was supposed to prepare one for what they were going to do in the future. 

Ways of assessment must also be overhauled, he believes. Narang says, “I was an engineering student and I used to earn more marks to learn computer programming codes and writing them on an answer script than to actually run that program on the computer. Moreover, I knew the code which was to be written but I never downloaded the software which was required to code.” 

So, is experiential learning the answer? 

Narang certainly believes it is. Corporates have started admitting the facts that a better experiential learning background and a self-learning attitude is the actual price-worthy skill, rather than just the degree that people hold in India. The ancient Chinese philosopher, Confucius once said, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” The idea that learning by doing is not new, only forgotten. However, at Project Mynt we believe that experiential learning is going to be the next big thing in the education space. Soon, it will be widely understood that experiential learning and creative thinking are the skills to chase, not just diplomas and degrees. 

This will also help combat the extra expenditure that corporates (and individuals) need to spend on upskilling themselves for a job. Needs and extra expenditure on upskilling is on a rise due to this lack. Currently, companies and mass recruiters incur huge costs on experiential training due to these lags in the way that India currently studies. You see, as job profiles continue to evolve, social media continues to create new jobs, hierarchies in companies continue to change and the world continues to become a smaller and smaller place, these lags will continue to be exposed. And, hopefully, understood. 

At Project Mynt, we’re placing all bets on the rise of experiential learning – come check out our capsule courses in Filmmaking, Photography, Music Production, Entrepreneurship and more to see how it can transform your education experience. 

 

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