Pearl Academy, India’s leading institution in design, fashion, business and media, hosted the 7th edition of ‘What’s Next’, a World Café style confluence at its Rajouri Garden campus yesterday. Eminent influencers and thought leaders gathered to discuss “Education for Tomorrow”, this year’s theme, with Gen Z learners and academicians.
The day-long confluence included three sessions around the themes – Setting the context, Building a shared perspective and Preparing the learner for future – in which 110 change makers debated skills, essential for today’s learners.
The first session started with the introduction of the two eminent speakers Biju Dominic, CEO, Final Mile Consulting, and Geetanjali JB, Head, Academics, Himalayan Institute of Alternatives, Ladakh, who spoke about the importance of changing skills needed for the future. The second session entailed a 30-minute table discussion, wherein the participants were divided into 10 groups dispersed around 10 tables. Each table had a representative who presented five different skills and came out with several ideas and solutions to prepare students for the future. A few top skills included – Collaborate & co-create, Critical Thinking & Creativity, Emotional Intelligence, Building Value system, Ability to Contextualize, Motor and Sensory skills and Learnability.
The third session began with the unveiling of the institution’s new learning model – Pearl Total Learning System, which was presented by Prof. Nandita Abraham along with other faculty members. The interactive sessions saw principals, leaders of high school education, industry experts and career counsellors like Pervin Malhotra, Director – Career Guidance India (CARING), Vinita Kher, DPS Society, Ashok Wadia, Jai Hind College, Mumbai, Dr. Rajpal Shripat Hande, Mithibai College, Mumbai,Balasubramanian Murali, DPS Srinagar, Michael Thompson, JBCN International School, Mumbai, Sr. Jessy SND, Notre Dame Academy, Patna to name a few. All the participants came up with interesting and practically implementable ideas to build connected communities, empower learners and prepare them for future.
Biju Dominic, CEO, Final Mile Consulting said, “Education goes far beyond schools and colleges. The last few years have seen a fundamental shift in human behaviour. What we learn today becomes outdated in the next five years. Today we take emotional decisions that are based out of our non-conscious minds. We, however, need to change this and understand the importance of taking rational decisions. There is a dire need to mould the minds and behaviours of our kids and help them develop love for acquiring knowledge.”
Geetanjali JB, Head Academics Himalayan Institute of Alternatives, Ladakh said, “The future of education depends on how we help humans in building qualities like love, inspiration, meditation and so on. The next revolution is going to be an intellectual revolution and the next currency is going to be common sense. We need to understand that we can’t teach creativity to robots. The purpose of education should be having awareness about the internal as well as the external realities of life.”
She further added, “Students need to realise that ability to fail and rebound is what will drive them towards success. They need to be equipped with applied knowledge, which will further prepare them to deal with real-time challenges. And it is important for us to catch their curiosity, empower them to ask questions and answer them all. Let us not make education a utilitarian figure just to get good jobs.”
Speaking at the event, Professor Nandita Abraham, CEO Pearl Academy said, “It’s a special day and a very special year for Pearl Academy. It has been an inspiring 25-year journey for us and today we have gathered here to collaborate, discuss and come out with newer opportunities and solutions to prepare our students for the next 25 years. I am extremely delighted to host 100 fabulous minds here to present various innovative concepts and ideas to enhance the existing skill-sets of our Gen Z learners. Going forward, we will continue to take such initiatives with an aim to prepare our students for the future and emerge as leaders in the coming years.”