A reputed educationist and former engineer graduate from NIFFT, Prashant Pandey believes that coaching institutes for admissions in IITs and NITs are a mere scam which have been set up for making students afraid of their results and in turn spend heavy money in preparations for the competitive exams. Pandey, is a director of an educational trust which runs two schools under the name Praxis Vidyapeeth in Uttar Pradesh’s Basti, near Lucknow. He is planning to establish a new school with a brand new idea.
Talking exclusively with GYV, Pandey spoke about his life and his idea of school education.
Q. You are an engineer graduate but now you are teaching students. How this change happened?
A. I used to teach students earlier too. After graduation , I got a job with JSW. I left soon as I was into teaching. I wanted to teach students. After leaving the job, I went to Kota to teach at coaching centers. There i witnessed black marketing of the education. I left and came back to my hometown. There along with my friends, I decided to open a school.
Q. Opening a school is not easy these days, and what were your primary goals that you decided to open a school?
A. Yes, it is hard and even harder to attract students but I had decided not to advertise and lure students to take admission in my Praxis Vidyapeeth. Rather, I had decided to only let the people know about what facilities I am providing actually. This was hard initially, but as the days passed, people recognized my sense of service and now I have two schools and planning to open a third one too.
Q. You are against coaching centers, you even term it a scam or black marketing of education. What is the difference between yours and theirs teaching?
A. See, coaching centers only want to make a chaos in your mind regarding your admission in good college. The mentality among the student is like if they will get the admission in IITs or NITs, then only they will get the success. But I think, success and failure depends upon what you want to be and what is your original idea of success.
In my school I have ensured that students learn and do not let them enter any coaching institute. When my students go into the IITs or NITs, they say that their friends there had been preparing for the exam from class 9th only. Can you believe, how much money they have wasted. We have to change the thought of parents that there is not only Engineering, there are a lot of other fields where their wards can excel.
Q. We have heard that you have a totally new concept behind your upcoming school. What it this about?
A. I have noticed that in the current education system, we are producing money making machines and not sensible human being. When I look around, I find that education is all about money. Students pay and teachers teach for that money. I wanted to change this. So, I decided to open a school where a student will pay the fee of what he is capable of and they will work with us to learn all types of jobs. This will make them humble and teachers will earn respect as students will think that it is not the money that matters, rather it is the values.
Q. Why do you think, this system will work? How you will meet the expenses and what about the results?
A. This will work as we have already done it as a pilot project with 10 students in which they were told to pay the fee only according to their capabilities. This gave a tremendous output as the students involved in the project started giving better results and we made a long lasting relation with them. They realized that it is not the money that matters only.
As far as the expenses are concerned, we have decided to open a dairy business and organic farming so that the expenses can be met. I expect that around 60% students will have the kind of moral we are talking about and almost all students will learn to know that no job is smaller.
About Praxis Vidyapeeth
At present there are 2500 students on rolls in the school. During the lockdown, more than 700 students took admission, highest in that area during lockdown. Due to its unique motto of teaching, the school is considered one of the best among middle class. Last year, out of 10 district toppers in matriculation, 5 from this school and 3 out of 10 in the intermediate.