Knowledge is Power

Knowledge is Power

Our topic for the week, “Should students read books which are not prescribed in syllabus?” is generally understood by almost all but the value of enhancing our knowledge in fields which are not directly part of the syllabus is not clearly understood. This blog aims to clarify the value of acquiring broad based knowledge irrespective of our chosen field of work. To clarify the subject we will analyse the concepts of training and development and understand the great significance of development and acquiring broad based knowledge in our lives.

Concepts of Training and Development, Value of Knowledge

If you read any manual of ‘Human Resources Management’ you will find chapters on the topics and elaborate differences between training and development. To me the concepts mean the following:

  • Training: When we know exactly as to what is required to be done by a person through past experience we can train him/her to do that. Examples: Working on a machine, solving a Math problem, playing an instrument, an engineer required to perform a clearly defined task, a doctor required to perform a surgery, etc.
  • Development: When we do not know exactly what is required to be done by a person through past experience we can only develop him/her to perform the task. Examples: CEO of a company, district collector, sports coach, chief minister or prime minister. The method to train for such jobs is through acquiring broad based knowledge.
  • Zone between Training and Development: How can we develop a successful player to become an effective captain? How can a good teacher become a good principal? How can a doctor be trained to evolve new methods of treatment? We do not have a clear and specific answer to such questions. The answer once again lies in acquiring broad based knowledge.

Value of Broad Based Knowledge

The education and skill development systems evolved by the society work on a plan to train people to work in a predicted future environment. The truth is that the future is often unpredictable and competencies for which people have been trained are inadequate to meet the future realities. We have progressed from the ‘Industrial Age’ into the ‘Knowledge Age’. In the ‘Knowledge Age’ advancements of the society have been greatly accelerated by the extremely fast pace of exchange of knowledge and information. To prepare ourselves for an unpredictable future we have no choice but to seek broad based knowledge. The future requires us to be a ‘Jack of plenty and  master of some’. Hence not only students, but all progressive persons of the society must read and acquire knowledge about subjects which are beyond their syllabus, or field of work, or be prepared to stagnate in the fast paced world!

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