The Hon’ble Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, set new standards in connecting with the youth in his virtual masterclass. The online interaction in a question and answer format exhibited all the synchronous-asynchronous remote learning components with rich, anecdotal content punctuated with storytelling.
Occasional references to his new edition of the book Exam Warrior was an exemplar in asynchronous referencing. The Prime Minister alluded to “eat your frog” first thing in the morning, a famous saying attributed to Mark Twain. The reference came when an anxious student wanted to know how to handle complex subjects from the prime minister. Elaborating the concept, the PM added, “we must all embrace the uncomfortable as we all tend to devote most of our time and energy on the comfortable aspects of our work and study.”
Season 4 did not confine to students and examination alone. Going beyond, the PM responded to questions from the teachers and parents ranging from parenting issues to counselling and nutrition. This time, the hallmark of PM’s class was his natural, lighthearted, next-door-saviour approach to the students’ queries. He was also very particular in identifying the students with at least one attribute they possessed.
For Tanay from Kuwait, it would have been a lifetime of a compliment for the PM to tell how beautiful, impressive voice he is blessed with. Similarly, for Suhaan of Delhi, it was utter disbelief to hear the PM say that he can surmount all his challenges with his calm, smiling and confident demeanour. The effulgent Divyanka of Pushkar Rajasthan was another recipient of the PM’s generous compliment.
The PM’s central message to all the students is not to put a lifetime of premium in one examination. In any case, the outcomes of one examination cannot determine the entire future of a child. In answer to a question that students remember everything until they reach the examination hall, the PM dealt at length about how focus, concentration, and an efficient learning process determine what we retrieve and what we forget.
Engaging in creative expressions, pursuing a hobby, not allowing ’empty-mind-moment’ are self-development techniques, PM said. Carving out moments of blissful experiences from punishing schedules are rejuvenating. He quoted his occasional time spent on his favourite swing as an example to a student who wanted to know how to find so-called free time during tight schedules of examination preparation. Turning to the enthusiastic parents, the PM offered some solid advice. Never impose your views and choices, never judge your child on external standards, and train them with motivational stories, books, movies and experiences are the time tested parenting mantras, the PM said.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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