"15 years ago..." Hiranandani Group MD Niranjan Hiranandani drops gems for Mumbai schools to excel in skill-based education

Niranjan Hiranandani spoke about India’s paradigm shifts in education, the need for vocational learning, India’s ability to teach the world, and much more.

Staff ReporterUpdated: Wednesday, December 21, 2022, 11:54 AM IST
article-image
Sanjay Tambe

Mumbai: The Free Press Journal, Mumbai conducted its inaugural award ceremony for the Mumbai Schools Survey 2022, which felicitated schools across the city for their achievements across different categories such as Learning and Teaching, Sports Education, Vocational Education and Skilling, Parental Engagement and Community Outreach, Digitalisation and Technology, and Sustainability and Inclusivity.

Niranjan Hiranandani, Co-Fouder and Managing Director of Hiranandani Group graced the ceremony as one of the Chief Guests and spoke about India’s paradigm shifts in education, the need for vocational learning, India’s ability to teach the world, and much more.

Here are the excerpts from the speech:

A very good evening to each and every one of you. I am so happy to be among so many lovely principals. This is the one time I think men can progress, there are so many women. Women look for emancipation and now I think the men will have to fight for that position. So Congratulations to all the lovely principals for having one such beautiful award. My heartiest congratulations to the Free Press on the focus on school education and the idea of getting a paper relating to education and circulating it on WhatsApp.

It’s Free Press which I receive at 3:30 AM on a WhatsApp group and it shocks me completely because it indicates how communication has changed over years.

It also brings to me the flag of the fact that we in education have been teaching the same methodology of teaching and learning over the last 60-70 years. And now times have changed. Covid has also brought to a focus that this change is something that people are going to imbibe and what it means to every one of us I don’t know because I would like to hear from every one of you.

But in reality, I have seen this happen. I am connected as a trustee of fourteen colleges in Mumbai and I have 45,000 students in colleges. We were able to get 85% of the students within 21 days and I was amazed at the fact that the teachers were able to do the communication through the internet in a short period within three weeks to outreach the students. Of the 15% of students that we didn’t reach, more than 3/4th of them were really in difficulty as they couldn’t get connectivity and other reasons otherwise of course each and everyone would have been able to do it. So that’s a paradigm that took place in teaching and learning. But can you imagine the systems of education have remained stagnant in terms of the methodology that we have followed for the last 60-70 years? And now that is going to have a big change.

FPJ Mumbai Schools Survey Awards 2022

One of the biggest changes will be there because teaching and learning will not just stop at school education, college education, and not even when you complete Ph.D. It’s going to be lifelong learning. And whatever you learned in the past in terms of it. I did my Chartered Accountancy when I finished my chartered accountancy the education I learned was valid and available for the next 15 years what I learned in terms of appearing for my exams and what was taught to me became slowly close to obsolete in 15 years unless I didn’t continue to learn, I would not be a good CA.

Now in this situational world, that period of 15 years has gone down to 7 years. So if I am now a fresh chartered accountant and I graduate in CA, unless I don’t update my knowledge in terms of learning, I will be obsolete within 7 years. That's the speed at which education is taking a paradigm and the teaching, learning courses are there.

I must congratulate Minister Kesarkar, who talked about honesty, transparency, and integrity, about saying that all the permissions will come online, I think that’s a big paradigm. I must congratulate the Free Press for calling the Minister over here to make such a big statement and we must all compliment, every one of us including principals and leaders, the Minister for the statement because it’s extraordinary and fantastic.

I am so happy to hear him and that part of his speech was outstanding so I must thank in absentia hon minister Mr. Kesarkar for all that he said but that is a flag off as far as I am concerned in terms of it. I think his idea of coming back and being clear about what we do is significant.

The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 is the second paradigm that the Prime Minister did after 35 years of creating a new policy for the country which is there and a lot of it is something that is already there.

I will give you a short story, 15 years ago, I went to a construction site and wanted plumbers, fitters, carpenters, electricians, etc. If I wanted 50 of them, I had 250 of them coming to the site 15-20 years ago. Today, when I want 50 carpenters, plumbers, and others, I don’t get five so the change has taken place wherein the education we are doing and the outcome that we do we are not able to match. On one side we have unemployment, huge employment taking place, and then on the other side, we have jobs that are going to be there.

Let’s look at the positive paradigm. Look at the entire world, We provide for CEOs of the world leading companies all over the world a very very positive outcome of our educational leadership. The second outcome is the engineers we have in terms of the international world, in NASA, Microsoft, Facebook, Pepsico. etc, we have engineers and doctors showing leadership. So our basic education is good and I must compliment every one of you for producing good education leaders. There's a lot you and I are doing right. But remember one thing, 1500 years ago Nalanda was the leader in teaching and learning in Asia, we were the teachers of the entire world.

Today we want to do post-graduation, our students go to America and other countries in the Western Hemisphere, including the Chinese, and that paradigm must change. We should become leaders of education in Asia and the NEP policy will assist us to do it. We don’t treat it as a negative, it’s a positive story that we want to do. But we will have to do a lot in vocational education and only the other education is not sufficient. Because we have a huge number of new jobs and our education should be outcome-based.

When we talk about vocational education, there are many opportunities that did not exist years ago. TV, Acting, and Production, all these items have grown due to the same. So many wonderful schools and colleges we are running should be ready for the change that’s going to happen. The people present here have won so many awards and are the right people to inculcate in our children the needed skills. I don’t want students to just come out as graduates from colleges and universities and find that they are not getting jobs. We in education are responsible for any mistake we make in misleading our students and it should be our endeavour to make sure outcome-based education should be done. As the Minister mentioned about vocational education on the side, it’s thrilling to see the possible things we can do as a country. Let’s be the service providers to the world that the people who go out are the same in the case of engineers, doctors, nurses, etc. Thank you Mr. Karnani, and thank you Free Press, I congratulate all the schools for their success, you have a great responsibility to the children. As APJ Abdul Kalam said, the future of our nation lies in the education of our children. So all the best, Jai Hind, Jai Maharashtra.

Thank you.

(If you have a story in and around Mumbai, you have our ears, be a citizen journalist and send us your story here. )

(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here.  To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

RECENT STORIES

Budget 2023: Nirmala Sitharaman announces major initiatives for India's education sector

Budget 2023: Nirmala Sitharaman announces major initiatives for India's education sector

Budget 2023: 30 Skill India International Centres to be set up across states

Budget 2023: 30 Skill India International Centres to be set up across states

Budget 2023: Finance Minister announces IIT grants, 5G labs in engineering colleges

Budget 2023: Finance Minister announces IIT grants, 5G labs in engineering colleges

Budget 2023: Top institutes to get Centre for Excellence in Artificial Intelligence

Budget 2023: Top institutes to get Centre for Excellence in Artificial Intelligence

Education Budget 2023: National Digital Library to carry books across all languages

Education Budget 2023: National Digital Library to carry books across all languages