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Time is up For change
Time is up For change

CHATLINE S.S.KAVITHA grabs a few moments with Jayaprakash A. Gandhi who helps students understand their future career options

If the trend continues, B.E. will become more like plus-two and there will be a serious employment crisis in the days ahead.

He predicts the future but is neither an astrologer nor a god man. Armed with loads of data and well researched statistics, he simply fiddles around with mark sheets, cut-off percentages and ranks and tells every student on the dot where he or she stands in the big education bazaar. It takes him a few minutes to assess the possibilities of a student getting admitted to a college. He answers all the how’s and why’s with flair and undoubtedly is a rage at counselling sessions.

When he is speaking, it is difficult to switch-off. For, he holds his audience in rapt attention either chiding the present day education system or admonishing students for forgetting the habit of reading newspapers and updating themselves. In a single sitting, this leading education consultant and career analyst, Jayaprakash A. Gandhi, empowers you with the latest information on new courses, scholarships and career options.

Dedicated

As one of the very few persons in the country who gives a “scientific and analytical approach to career counselling”, Mr.Gandhi says the psychometric approach based more on emotions is suitable for children between VI and X Standards. For higher secondary students scientific approach is better.

“Everyday, I spend two hours collecting the latest details on education while my team members led by my wife Chetana cull out related details from various sources each minute,” says Mr.Gandhi, who has developed a software that helps in assessing the ranks of students with their scores.

He feels concerned that neither the students nor the teachers today care to update their knowledge. “Even parents lack in long term thinking and are merely bothered about the next step,” he speaks his mind.

But what makes Mr.Gandhi happy is the evolution of the education system and the world going hi-tech even though the information is not fully reaching out to people, particularly in rural areas. Whereas, he reveals, 70 per cent of the plus-Two students who pass out every year are from the hinterland.

The number of colleges and courses have increased manifold but the introduction of many new courses remain a ‘secret.’ Similarly, people lack proper knowledge of their eligibility criteria and the ensuing legal problems.

Cause of concern

“I bet not many students and teachers even know about the introduction of Doctorate in Pharmacy,” he points out.

The greatest cause of concern is the ‘lack of application’ of the principles which students mug up today. “Students should be oriented towards knowledge development but they are driven only by the exam system. They learn everything by-heart and forget everything easily once done with the examinations,” he rues. Commenting on the declining reading habit, Mr.Gandhi asserts the need for an exclusive source of information on education. “Newspapers have their weekly supplements and television has programmes but the immediate need is for a 24 x 7 exclusive channel that doles out ‘a to z’ of information on education.

His start

A Gujarati by lineage, Mr.Gandhi’s family settled in Salem four generations ago. Born into an affluent dairy and textile business, Mr. Gandhi was briefly involved in the family business after completing B.Tech and M.Tech from Anna University, Chennai, and Post-Graduate diploma in computer applications from MIIT, Chennai.

But, fate threw him on a different track. Once he arranged a career guidance programme for school students in Salem and when he found that students were not happy with the counsellor, Mr. Gandhi took it up as a challenge and plunged into career counselling with the sole aim of serving students.

After three years of learning and understanding the prevailing system of education, Mr.Gandhi started career counselling as a free service to the students, which he extends even now to poor and physically challenged people.

With an enormous database of information about all institutions and courses offered around the globe, he ventured into his maiden attempt at Cluny Matriculation School in Salem in 1997. Now he has completed more than 5,000 programmes enlightening students on the right choice of courses. How he is planning to set his foot at the international areana.

Apart from money and fame, the job gives him immense satisfaction. When a milk vendor’s son came from Thiruchengode driving a Santro, which he bought from his first month salary and requested him to take the first ride, Mr. Gandhi was moved to the core. “Such touching moments are plenty and people see me as part of their family,” he says.

“As a child I had no specific goal but wanted to become rich and famous. My grandfather christened me after two great leaders wishing that I should serve the nation in some way. I hope I am doing it today,” he smiles.

Every programme that he addresses, Mr.Gandhi comes up with a request too: “Respect the national flag and the national anthem.”

Apart from students, he does work for top companies, who are eager to know which way the cream of students will go and what they will do.

About the future scenario, he remarks: “Tamil Nadu is the only State that allows 30 marks as pass percentage out of 150 marks for major science subjects. If the trend continues, B.E. will become more like plus-two and there will be a serious employment crisis in the days ahead.”

And signs off with a prediction that a revolution will revamp the entire education system by 2020.

FACT FILE

Gold medallist in M.Tech

Kalvi Thilakam (Pinnacle of Education) and Outstanding Achievers Award from Indian Jaycees.

Vocational Excellence Award from Rotary Club.

Has been conducting live TV programme - `Kalvi Alosanai Neram' - successfully for last 10 years.

Correspondent and secretary of Narasu's Sarathy Institute of Technology.

If the trend continues, B.E. will become more like plus-two and there will be a serious employment crisis in the days ahead.

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