Why don’t people learn?

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Our frame of reference towards learning in India is in some probability I feel biased by our education system. With a strong push-based education system, driven by marks, relative grading, heightened sense of competitiveness, social comparisons, parental pressures, employability driven degree-based education etc. etc., deep down there may be a resistance to formal learning once this student turns into an adult and gets employed.

Most of us as parents tell our kids, get into XYZ institute or course and your life will be set. In other words what we mean is you don’t need to learn any further. With this mentality, students in various professional degree courses live through 2–4 years of their degree education and carry an entitlement of getting a well-paid job. No sooner they enter campus, the conversation changes from learning to what package they could earn when they pass out.

As corporations and professionals we have also added to this mess. With competitive behaviour of companies under the garb of employer branding, students have been pampered no ends with physical labs on campuses, projects/assignments, PPOs, PPIs, etc.

After all this, when the student comes into the work place we suddenly expect a different behaviour. We don’t want them to carry an entitlement mind-set. We expect them to be entrepreneurial, proactive, take initiative, learn new things, align with the company vision, up-skill themselves on an on-going basis, etc. etc.

How is that going to happen?

Real learning begins only when a student moves from campus to the corporate world. The entire learning prior is merely a foundation for the life ahead. If organisations want their employees to learn, the model of imparting learning must undergo a drastic change. There needs to be recognition of “why” there is a problem in the area of learning. The issue is not quality or quantity. It is CONTEXT. If learning does not connect with the context for both the individual and the Organisation, learning is unlikely to be consumed, thereby unlikely to happen.

Anand Bhaskar

Founder & CEO Planet Ganges

Planet Ganges has deep expertise in the area of creating habit forming learning experiences for Organisations using machine learning & AI.

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PGC is a boutique Management Consulting firm engaged in the business of enabling its clients to transform their Org, Culture & Capabilities.

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