Two decades ago, I started my career in Bangalore, as an engineering student who was keen on working with schools. My first work stint was that of a Debate Teacher in Sri Kumarans Children’s Home. It was an amazing experience for me and I learned a lot for I loved working with schools and students. The more I enjoyed the role, the more I realized that I managed to influence students and to infuse in them a love for public speaking and communication. The experience of working in a school completely transformed me as a person, I grew by leaps and bounds picking up innumerable life lessons! Today when I look back at my eventful life, I can very safely point to my work experience in college as life changing. I have spent my life thereafter, working with schools, adding value to the education system and doing my bit to make things better for students.
One is at the prime of health, energy, confidence and excitement between the age of 18-25. The so called ‘youth’ this time, has the potential to change the world. History is proof that the youth have been responsible for some of the biggest changes that have occurred over millennia. Even the experienced ones that bring about change had the seeds of change sown in their minds and hearts while they were young. Somehow in India, we as a society do not recognize this potential in the youth and expect very little from college students. We are happy ‘relegating’ them to be ‘just students’. I use the word ‘relegating’ very responsibly as we have such low expectations from our students, we just expect them to study and do well in academics. However, youth in most parts of the world work while studying. Somehow in India as a society, we do not encourage our college students to work.
I started my career as a college student and over the years I have had the privilege of working with thousands of college students in innumerable cities across South Asia. I have always been inspired by their energy and enthusiasm. The college students who have worked as part of my Krayon team over the years have helped us create some of the biggest children’s events like Horlicks Wizkids, Dell Champs, NSE Funancial Quest, Spellbee and many more.
Working with college students has taught me that they can be very responsible if we trust them and give them the freedom to express. I have never been let down by any college student that has worked for me throughout my career. College students can relate to school students a lot better and can be effective change makers if we create a proper system to engage them with school students.
Schools across India find it difficult to source specialist teachers/faculty for skill-based programs like art, music, dance, drama, sports and so on. Some schools use their alumnae effectively to support their programs but most schools do not look beyond experience. Youth can and have played a great role in making a difference in the learning of students!
Do you have a plan to engage with college students to improve your school?