Skills Taught

Various Skills taught in the Foundation Course :

Foundation Intro    Many intelligent persons among us do not succeed in practical life in spite of their intellect, capacity and capability. In contrast, seemingly not so intelligent persons succeed in practical life. Why? Social scientists are constantly striving to find the answer. They are unlikely to ever come out with the perfect answer because it will be impossible to prepare a concrete formula for success. And also, the criteria of success will differ. This makes it impossible to confine success in a particular framework. In view of this, it is possible to argue that skills in practical life – speaking and behavioral skills – are also as important along with intellect. Such skills are called behavioral skills. One must be able to gauge the person in front of you (one must be able to gauge oneself ). One must understand the dynamics of relating with a person, pair, small or large groups. Practical training in the methods of transactional analysis and lateral thinking in vogue in the West can be useful. It has been included in the Foundation Course. 
IMG_4220 (2)Self-study must be accorded greater importance in the education system. In fact, if original, deep and self-reliant personality is to be developed, everyone should know the do’s and don’ts about how to study well on one’s own. At the very primary stage such as learning the alphabets and numbers, spoon-fed training will be necessary. But as soon as a student is literate and on his own, he must explore his horizons on his own. A teacher’s job is to point out the horizons and to encourage the student to explore them; not to lead the student everywhere by the hand all the time. So the students must absorb the art of self-study. This involves training in faster reading and better reading, taking down good notes (of books, discussions, speeches; and solving question papers – objective type or essay type) and use of an encyclopedia. And the word self-study conveys two meanings – study by self and study of self.
DSCN9318Education should give maximum importance to helping a student to awaken his creativity; (character formation comes above creativity development. But it is taken for granted. Without character, creativity turns demonic). We now have available scientific methods to awaken and develop creativity. These methods continue to be further refined through improvement and correction because creativity development does not follow a simple and straight mathematical formula like 2+2 is 4. In fact, a human being can never be fully defined in a mathematical framework. It is impossible to fathom this creature. In spite of being aware of all these facts, creativity development is the top priority subject in the Foundation Course.
OMPWhatever the problem, scientific techniques have now been developed to solve them by analysing them, considering all the probable options without any shackles on the intellect, categorising the options and then reaching the solution. Basic to these techniques is the science of how to think, the realisation that an independent thought process is possible and the techniques of independent thinking. Each alternative has its own plus and minus points. The step of reaching one’s own decision after a deep and comparative study of each of the alternatives is important. The responsibility for a decision taken in such a manner lies with no one else but us. It’s very important to accept the responsibility of one’s own decision, even if it is proved to be wrong. A little child starts taking its first steps. Stumbles down. Generally when it falls what do we say? ‘Oh, my dear child! Who made you fall? This table… damn it! This chair… hell to it!’ Unknowingly what are we teaching this kid? If you fall, it’s because of someone else. And if you walk nicely, then ‘you are the bundle of all virtues put together.’ At least now our kids are not infants. At least now they should be taught to take their own decisions. They should be told, ‘we will help you in the brainstorming, but let the decision be yours.’ In future they won’t get depressed, once they learn to take the responsibility of their decision. How to solve problems confronting one in real life without being bogged down or without surrendering to them is another priority subject in the Foundation Course. (All the subjects that follow are priority subjects. So no need to keep repeating the priority statement).
IMG_7933Presenting one’s view is communication. Whether it is to be presented to one person, two or a group. Even if it is to be presented to oneself and for oneself, it is communication only. A dialogue with self is a beautiful experience in communication. Communication can be written involving training in writing skills. It can be verbal, meaning public speaking skills (discussion, participation in and conduct of group discussion; listening to others without uttering a word, ability to listen carefully and being a good listener are also important skills). Even our merely being there, not saying a word with movements, getting up and sitting, speech, eyes and face do communicate. Our very silence can say a lot. This is body language. A systematic training in all these has been included in the Foundation Course. It is vital to be able to present our view, to first have the necessary confidence to do that, to have a clear perception of our view and basically to have something to say – often those who have nothing to say keep talking and those who have something worth saying are reluctant speakers, remain silent and are ignored. There is an apt saying in Marathi : those who can shout can sell even cucumber but those who cannot, cannot sell even alphonso mangoes. That is why the need of training in communication skills.
Foundation IntroManagement skills have assumed great importance all over the world. And rightly so. At this stage, it will not be necessar y to teach the students a l ot of theor y, mathematics, models and graphs. Here, the emphasis will be on simple management skills for everyday use in life such as how to manage one’s various responsibilities; how to set priority; how to increase efficiency; how to plan one’s work; and, very important, how to manage time. This training will help the student to absorb these skills so as to make one’s personality and work more impressive and oneself more efficient. It may include class-room teaching as well as conducting outdoor management games.
Leadership skills do not mean leadership in the political sense. It means taking initiative in every work in hand in all walks of life; doing things on one’s own; and cultivating traits necessary for achieving success. Just as this leadership is not political leadership, it is also not leading other persons or groups. It is leading oneself. This is a vital skill to be acquired during the training.
UPSC-MPSC-Poppers 088It is not necessary that every person should have a multidimensional personality. Some may have so great a single dimension – playing or singing talent, humor or skill at administration – that all other dimensions will not only pale into insignificance but will also prove to be meaningless and ignorable. This can happen after one has chosen one’s field of work. In fact, unless something of this kind happens, it will be impossible to achieve towering success and contribute something fundamental in any field. But that comes later. It is crucial to blossom and develop along all the lines while one’s character is formed during the young days. Therefore, it is necessary to consciously expose oneself to as many fields as possible and bloom in a multidimensional way. So the Foundation Course will show the students good films. There will be sessions on how to appreciate films. The students will be acquainted with all the aspects of drama, music, literature, science, arts and sports. No one knows when one strikes the right note of his/her life. When one does so, who knows, these students may devote their whole life to one of the fields. They will reach the heights of success there. But before striking that note, one should at least get introduced to all the fields. This is the basic concept behind all the effort. The students will get the experience of story-telling, bird-watching, stargazing and trekking through hills and valleys. They will have to perform given tasks singly, in twos or groups. They will have practical exercises like residential camp in tents outside the city, living in rural areas, participating in ‘shramayadnya’ meaning physical labour, ploughing fields, digging trenches, building roads and constructing latrines. It is vital for the new generation to imbibe the principle of dignity of labour through such experiences.
UPSC-MPSC-Poppers 049The science of yoga is a major heritage not only of India but also the entire world. Basic training in yoga should become a compulsory part of all the educational systems all over the world. Postures, ‘pranayama,’ healthy dietary habits and ‘dhyana’ (concentration – meditation) form part of the training in the Foundation Course. All young boys and girls must go in for exercise in a big way during the personality development process. The exercise should include yogic postures, sit-ups, suryanamaskars, weight training or aerobics. Students will be introduced to all these forms. It will be up to them to choose later for themselves what they like.
IMG_4350The Foundation Course will introduce the students to various educational and professional courses. Today, there is a general misconception that only certain educational courses l i ke engi neeri ng and medi ci ne, or cer tai n professions (in Maharashtra, only jobs) mean a successful life. The Maharashtrian middle class nurtures only one ambition – somehow get and stick to a clerical job. Away from these beaten tracks, there are many new educational and professional possibilities. The new generation should be more and more aware of the possibilities in selfemployment. The Foundation Course will take on that task. Chanakya Mandal Pariwar also conducts an independent, full-fledged course on Entrepreneurship Development. We make it a point to introduce it to the Foundation Course students.
Several youngsters unnecessarily nurse a fear-complex about written and especially spoken English. Of course excellent command over English is an essential prerequisite to success in the global competition. (Not only English, you must also be fluent in Marathi, Hindi, Kannad, Bengali etc). The Foundation Course will provide you training in that.