Speech given by Mr. Nitish Jain, President, S P Jain School of Global Management at the launch of 4th campus in Mumbai on June 5, 2015.
Hello and a warm welcome to the launch of our 4th campus following Dubai, Singapore and Sydney.
We are a very unusual school.
- We have 4 campuses and just teach business. Others have 1 campus and teach business, arts, engineering, and other disciplines.
- We require our students to study in several cities to earn their degrees.Take for example our BBA program. All students do their first year in Singapore, their 2nd in Dubai and their final 2 years in Sydney. Only crazy students join us but luckily for us there’s no shortage of them.
- Almost every school focuses on knowledge. We believe inbuilding skills. Knowledge is freely available on the internet and transient. Skills on the other hand is durable.
So is being different good?
According to JonyIve, recently promoted as Chief Design Officer at Apple-
Doing things different and new is relatively easy. Doing something that’s genuinely better is very hard.
Damn! I knew somebody would spoil the party. All along,we thoughtjust being different was good enough. So now we need to get genuinely better. How? Who determines this? Can a school of Indian origin become truly world class?
The current system of education was designed a 100 years ago.When there was no internet. The teacher centric system was a very efficient in dissemination of knowledge. However, isn’t timewe adopted something very different?
Aren’t classes too structured? Too much spoon feeding? Do we teach students life skills?
In my view, we need graduates who can FASIC. Find, Analyze, Synthesize, Innovate and Create.And then be able to persuade others and lead a team. This outcome needs a very different style of education. Not one where a teachers teaches you and then tests your knowledge based on what was taught in class. What you get are softies. I am sure that all parents in the room relate to what I am saying.
Is it conceivable to have a form of education without teachers actively teaching students? If cars can be driverless why classrooms can’t be teacher less? Why can’t students teach themselves as almost everything there is to learn is available on the internet? What they need is the right environment, encouragement and recognition.
Does this mean teachers will become extinct? On the contrary. They will move up the value chain and design the content rather than just teach it. They will challenge students to critically examine issues rather than memorize notes. Would JonyIve certify this as genuinely better?
As you may have noticed we are dreamers. The Mumbai campus is a step taking this dream forward. India is poised to be the next super power. But can India become one if its companies, colleges and other service providers focus only on making India a low cost place to do business and not innovate? [India a destination for innovation]. I doubt it.
To be world class one must lead the change. Not long ago we all used the floppy disk. Do you even remember when you stopped using it? Change is like a Tsunami. It can wash out current technology in days.
I am really sorry for raising more questions. We teach our students “ask questions” and I guess I am a creature of habit.
I want to end with one of my favorite quotes. Steve Jobs said – “Everyone here has the sense that right now is one of those moments when we are influencing the future”.