India Education: The Measure Mystery

Management maestro Peter Drucker quotes, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” All management professionals religiously abide by this unofficial rule to measure effectiveness. While I agree with the premise, I find myself questioning the measure. The measure is what can change the fabric of an industry. A measure indicates how an industry derives its success and eventual profitability. The education industry harps on college rankings, placement records, distinguished alumni, and eminent faculty to make applications attractive for potential students. Unfortunately, it grossly ignores the prospect of holistic education. 

Holistic education addresses the academic, social, physical, emotional, and mental needs of a student, facilitating all-round development. All other needs barring academics are pushed to the side with progressive higher education. It is known that affluent universities and higher education institutes use unconventional pressure tactics to instill discipline in their pupils. While I am all for disciplined learning, I wonder how a pressure tactic might motivate a child to study. While the pupil might study diligently fearing the red line on their papers, does it guarantee the thorough assimilation of the subject matter? Or will the student seek solace in mugging up answers? Can joyless studying facilitate real learning?

It is about time we changed the quantifiers. While primary education sets the foundation, it is higher education that helps shape our métier. The syllabi of universities are purely academic in nature, rarely application-based. Here’s where reputation management comes into play. Consistent efforts at changing people’s perceptions of what constitutes academic success are crucial. Holistic learning does not boast of having attractive measures of effectiveness like conventional learning. It may also seem like a ‘dead duck’ from a marketing perspective. Hence, the fear makes us concentrate on conventional measures to maintain constant application inflow. 

The education industry will suffer a major perception problem upon abandoning the conventional standards of success. No industry understands being relegated to a ‘surplus to requirement’ standard as well as the Public Relations fraternity. They essentially are sailing in the same boat. Undoubtedly, with the right messaging and intention both industries can find themselves in a position to create greater good whilst keeping up the figures. 

By joining forces with PR, the education industry can slowly affect change, leaning towards wholesome quantifiers of success such as—practical application of concepts, team building, physical and mental well-being of students, and measuring how well they can assimilate what was taught. India is home to one of the youngest populations, globally. The nation ought to invest in the future of those who’ll in turn build the nation itself. All the more reason for the education industry to embracing reputation management. Together, education and reputation management can build not just the students of today, but the leaders of tomorrow. 

Author: Digital Onca

Digital Onca is a blog that documents the concepts of Digital Marketing and Public Relations. Digital Onca is the effort to stay with the times, understand more deeply, more closely the working of a digital space that is steadfastly emerging around us.

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