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Learning is more than keeping score: notes from youth icon, Zubair Junjunia

SG

Shishir Ghosh

Jun 04, 2020

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Learners today, find themselves in a rather curious limbo. While they conform to the tired beliefs of a conventional education system designed for industrialization, they also have to seek out ways to remain relevant to a rapidly changing job market. Somewhere in the throes of rote learning and standardized testing, learners are losing their creative identities.

Zubair Junjunia, our guest on Out of the Box with Beyond 8, found himself in the same limbo as a student in the same flawed system. However, what makes him stand out as a fitting role model for the youth, is his willingness to step up to the challenge of creating a lasting change. As the founder of ZNotes, Zubair has been able to gather 2.5 million learners across the world to come together in the pursuit of quality education suited for the new age. In short, he is the perfect embodiment of the Gandhian philosophy: be the change you wish to see in the world. For those of you were not able to join us live, here are the top takeaways from Zubair’s talk:

Approaching problem-solving in education

In the rapidly globalizing world, almost every child attends school, is a student by default. However, we must understand that every one of them will learn differently. In order to stay relevant in their careers and life in general, they must first ‘learn to learn’, says Zubair. The primitive methods of education, which was once defined as ‘receiving scholastic instruction’, have long been superseded by principles derived from experiment and evaluation, such as Bloom’s taxonomy. Citing this, Zubair maintains the importance of young learners to identify the four components of learning- factual, conceptual, procedural and metacognitive, which he so eloquently explains during the session. Learning cannot simply be defined as committing facts and concepts to memory anymore, mentions Zubair, as he invokes metacognition in education. A successful student is therefore one who is able to combine the factual, conceptual and procedural elements in different percentages - to master a subject.

The role of reading in learning

As basic as it sounds, Zubair believes in the power of the written word. Reading of any kind, especially in areas not directly related to one’s core work is the best way to broaden one’s world view. One common factor that runs through most successful people is their thirst for more knowledge and in turn, their desire to devour every book they lay their hands on. Irrespective of the course one pursues, reading is still one of the most important skills in education.

Stoking your passion

them, Zubair advocates exploring new avenues until you find one that you are enthusiastic about. As for himself, each day is the best day, because he consciously fills it with activities that reflect his ikigai: sharing ideas with peers, talking to students, running and swimming. Building your life and your schedule around something that pushes your gears, will not only ensure a successful and consummate career going forward, but will also help you appreciate what you do.

As Zubair rightly puts it, real life is never based on a syllabus and it is not a game where the highest scorer wins. Real life can be truly savoured when we step out of the race and ‘learn to learn’.

Find the entire Q&A on our Youtube channel:

For more inspiration on learning to learn, visit Zubair’s Instagram page @zjunjunia. Join us again on Friday, June 5th at 11 AM on our Facebook page as we give thanks to our Karthavyam heroes and get a glimpse into their stellar contribution to their communities.



About Out of the Box with Beyond 8

Be it the way we learn or teach, there are always better ways to do it and often they lie out of the box, on the paths less taken. Out of the Box with Beyond 8 is an initiative that encourages the education fraternity to push the boundaries and challenge the status quo.

We are not an alternative school.
We are the alternative to schooling.

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