Current Education methodology and Self Introspection
This is my first article for D Street Analyzer. To begin with, I would like to put forward my view on current education system and its limited applicability with respect to corporate jobs. We teachers always blame the students that they do not have a proper approach towards learning new things, but I have a slightly different view on this. Yes, I do agree to some extent that the students are required change their approach from mark centric approach to knowledge centric approach, but we teachers are also required to do some introspection on the teaching methodology we follow.
In the context of the above, I hereby present my personal views on the topic under discussion.
Over and above this, some short-term courses should be started (without charging any extra money to the students) on the topics like SAP, GST, Financial literacy, NISM etc.
- Attendance in the classroom should NOT be compulsory. As a teacher I need to possess the ability, skill and knowledge to attract students to the classroom. If the students feel that the value is being added, they will attend despite of attendance non-compulsion.
- Students should be clearly told that the syllabus they are learning has the limited acceptability in the industry, so they need to upgrade their skills (within the classroom & outside the classroom) so as to come closer to the industry requirement. Internship in one full semester should be compulsory, this needs to be taken up with University of Mumbai, but students on their own should look out for internship opportunities.
- We as a faculty should enhance & upgrade our knowledge base by working in the industry for at least 6 months. 6 months are not sufficient to learn the corporate dynamics but at least this will help us in understanding the industry requirements.
- Make limited use of text books, have at least 1 or 2 sessions on conceptual clarity before you move ahead with the actual syllabus.
- The teaching methodology in the classroom should be experiential and not based on the textbooks (to lesser extent based on reference books). We should try and access the latest subject material available in the international market rather than referring to old reference books. But, the importance of old reference books cannot be ignored, for conceptual clarity, old reference books are still considered as a rule. For eg.: Saxsena & Vashisth for Cost Accounting, Khan & Jain for Financial Management, R L Gupta for Accountancy, Singhania for taxation, Phillip Kotler for Marketing.
- Guidance lectures and workshops from industry experts should be part of regular time table. Invited industry experts should be from the middle level management rather than top management. It’s a general experience that the experts belonging to the top management offer guidance which is superficial rather than practical oriented. For eg.: Rather than achieve your goals, be passionate about your work, never give up, students need to know what work they need to do in corporates, how to manage multiple bosses & responsibilities, how to prioritize the work when all the priorities are urgent, importance of deadlines, how work life balance can NOT be maintained etc. Such realistic guidance is possible through middle level management (at times junior level management) experts.
- Specific slot should be reserved for value adding activities like reading the business newspaper and analyzing it for important matters.
- Faculties should first understand the current topics like economic slowdown, GST impact, Demonetization etc. and then should discuss it as a part of regular lecture. (Without having any political bias)
- Overall approach of the faculty should be knowledge & employability oriented rather than syllabus & examination oriented. We must clearly communicate to the students that we need to created professionals and not just the degree-holders so that students take keen interest in learning.
- Some specific methodologies that can be adapted in the class room:
- Cost Accounting: Give students a product and ask them to prepare cost sheet in the classroom (mobile phones & internet usage should be allowed) and award the student who comes closer to the actual cost. Now some faculties will argue that how we will come to know about the real cost of the product. There the experiential learning (of the faculties) will play a crucial role, such indicative (not actual) costs are available on various Government platforms. It can be used as a reference point.
- Direct Tax: Ask the students to prepare computation of income from various sources and file the return for real cases.
- Indirect Tax: Same as above for GST.
- Business Law: Provide actual cases for which results are already declared and ask the students to give their opinion. The cases should be corporate cases and not criminal cases.
- Financial Accounting: Provide actual annual reports to the students and ask them to analyse it. Provide them with raw data and ask them to prepare P&L, Balance sheet, Cash flow.
- Financial Management: Provide annual reports to the students and ask them to calculate the Ratios, prepare expansion plans for those companies along with financing options.
- Equity & Financial market related subjects: Ask the students to prepare investment plans for different class of people, let the students interact with Principal, Vice-Principal, all faculties, non-teaching staff, office boys and guide them on various investment options. Let the students suggest which company to invest in based on their company analysis, and as a faculty we must actually invest nominal feasible amount in that company. After a year, profit should be shared with the students by way of small treat and in case of loss, the students should treat the faculty. Mock trading platform should be part of regular curriculum, specific slots should be allotted for this activity.
- Management, Human Resources & Organizational Behavior related subjects: Create real cases in the class room and ask students to solve it. The topics could be,
- How to handle the boss.
- How to manage more than one boss, how to prioritize their work.
- How to handle corporate politics.
- How to handle work life balance, for eg., Wife’s birthday and Parent company reporting on the same day, how to tackle such situations.
- How to handle medical emergency at home and audit at workplace.
- How to handle non performers in the team.
- How to say GO HOME YOU ARE NOT RQEUIRED to the employee (from HR point of view) & How to handle the same thing if you are asked to Go Home.
- How to justify lower increment to team members.
- How to fight with your boss on increment (Professional fight)
- How to handle Sales and marketing guys (if you are in finance) & handle finance guys (if you are in sales, marketing)
- How to handle HR if you are not part of HR.
- How to deal with factory people
- How to handle ME TOO matters (from HR point of view)
- Everything about interview and interview skills, CV making.
- How to draw Plan B when you are working in corporate.
- How to say NO to your boss / top management (professional way).
- How to avoid mistakes, and how to handle the matter if your team member has committed some mistake.
- How to stand for right things, ethical matters irrespective of all the pressures.
Thanks & Regards,
CMA Sarvottam Rege
M.Com., FCMA (India), CMA-USA
Mentor, Corporate Consultant & Academician with Industry Oriented Approach
CMA Membership No.: 19018 (India), 7110039 (USA)
Member of Institute of Directors (IOD) (Membership No.: 200103)
Contact No.: +91 8452848028 / 9892605240
- The view mentioned above are Author’s personal views and has no connection with the institutions he is associated with.
- The author has 22 years of Industry experience & 11 years of Teaching experience.