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‘Need reform in educational system’

“Life is not about what we need but what needs us more,” said innovator Sonam Wangchuk, the inspiration behind the character Phunsukh Wangdu played by Aamir Khan in
3 Idiots
.

Mr. Wangchuk was speaking at an event hosted by the Rotary Club of Madras on Friday. In his address, the Ladakhi innovator spoke about the need for educational institutions to stop pressuring children to memorise and reproduce texts from textbooks but to instead inculcate the value of learning by observing and doing things in the real world.

He calls the first eight years of his life when he was not enrolled in a school as beautiful and enriching. “Children, even without schools, learn anyway. Their minds are designed by nature to learn to be inquisitive and explore. But my luck ended when I was finally enrolled in a school,” he quipped.

Mr. Wangchuk, who is also the founding director of the Students’ Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh, said: “For years, Ladakh had zero percent results in examinations, but when we began training students and putting together those who excelled in the subjects with those who were poor, magic happened. We slowly took our model of education to other schools and later to the government. Today, Ladakh produces pass percentage of not less than 75%,” he said. Mr. Wangchuk is now planning to set up a university where students can learn with hands-on training.

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