Unlearn Formulae : A New Educational Paradigm
Rahul Khandelwal, an alumnus of IIT Delhi and founder of Unlearn Formulae is on a path to the change the Indian education system by addressing the problems at the grass roots. He has chosen Math as his tool to bring upon a change in the children and help them be better individuals, decision makers and independent learners and thinkers when they grow up.
1. What is Unlearn Formulae? How did you come up with the idea?
Unlearn Formulae is an initiative to create independent learners and thinkers. It is about learning to write one’s own script, very early in life i.e. in school years. UF is about unlearning the countless obsolete formulae of life and profession to instead become a learner for life.
Before starting Unlearn Formulae, I was working with Pratham, a leading NGO in the field of education. My work profile involved program management, training government school teachers and content development for children studying in primary and upper primary schools in rural India.
While working there for 2 and half years I created a mathematics module to cater to the needs of children from classes I to V. The module was implemented statewide in Punjab under Parrho Punjab Learning Enhancement Campaign 2010-11 & in Himachal Pradesh, under Aadhar 2010-11.
At Pratham, I realized that it was amazing to work with a large institution as it provided one a huge platform and tremendous outreach to bring about desired change but there were certain pitfalls too. I wanted to deliver in a manner which I felt would have maximum impact in long run and hence I started Unlearn Formulae in December 2010.
2. What is math to you?
Math to me is a tool to get in touch with the core of the students. Their fears, their hesitations, their self-doubt and their belief and confidence in themselves. Once you get to the core of the problem, you can help them grow as confident, thoughtful and rational individuals.
3. But Why only math?
We are not just teaching Math, we are working towards making children be able to make better choices in life. Catch them young is the motto here. Learning is easy at a tender age. We are trying to make them think for themselves and become independent learners and thinkers. Here we try to take the fear out of them. We try to make them respect each other’s perspective and most importantly respect themselves.
The bigger agenda is to convert them back from being machines to human beings. I don’t know how I will do it but again having faith in Mother Nature. I have started my journey and also have started seeing some results. I want these children to be happy when they grow up and enjoy life rather than always cribbing about it.
4. Most of the new start-ups in education are focused on developing products such as education tablets to transform and modernize teaching system. Why then did you choose a different path?
There is no point creating a medicine if you don’t know what the disease is and how it can be cured. Just making some fancy solutions and installing the latest hardware in school is never going to bring a change until and unless the root of the problem is attacked. So here I am trying to understand the very basics of the problem and address it at the very beginning rather than just forcing upon another solution.
5. What are the challenges you face as a start-up?
Working alone is the biggest challenge but I must say. If you work with faith and persistence things will fall in place. The challenge is to keep up the motivation high.
6. Where do you want to see Unlearn Formulae in future?
I want to see Unlearn Formulae empowering educated housewives through technology and required training, so that they can run their own neighborhood learning centers.
7. What is your advice to aspiring social entrepreneurs?
If you have some idea which you have faith in or you are passionate about it, TAKE A LEAP OF FAITH with patience and persistence as your tools.
Contact Unlearn Formulae
Call : +91-9891748288