Coordinator’s View

Mentoring Sessions?


Mentoring is the core of Interactive Online Mentoring Sessions (IOMS), the flagship of Gyan Vigyan Sarita (GVS). The evolution of GVS has happened after realization of need for mentoring. It started in conventional Chalk-N-Talk mode in 2012 and later in 2015 it started shaping into IOMS. Sessions is continuity, consistency and perseverance of an endeavor. Sessions is continuity, consistency and perseverance of an endeavor. This article is in continuation to the articles on Interactive Learning and Online Learning, a series to analyze in threadbare the IOMS.


Mentoring in essence, philosophy, methodology and objective is different from teaching, tuition and coaching. Teaching is a formal engagement in which teachers impart education to their pupils in a predefined schedule and curriculum. It is within a pre-drawn boundary and teachers are duty bound through a system. Satisfying curiosity of students is optional for a teacher. Tuition is a higher level of teaching tending to be more a personalized, unlike teaching in a class. Tuition is outside school where a tutor teaches either to an individual student or a very small group of students. It renders more scope of personal attention of tutor on students. Those parents who can afford paying beyond school fees, for their children, engage tutor, either as per need or to impart a competitive edge. Coaching is next higher level to tuition; it is professionally managed commercial venture. In coaching stakes are high both in terms of fees and promise. Despite best of the competitive claims offered by various individuals and institutions which are operating schools, tuitions or coaching, none of them owe responsibility of shortfall of student and/or parents in their expectations. Moreover, none of them owe responsibility of either failure or shortfall. Proficiency at learning is never unilateral, even when best of the efforts are put in teaching. Unless a student reciprocates to teaching equilaterally, everything else is farce.


In the event of equilateral participation of students, it turns out to be that at mentoring learners receive from their mentor more than what the mentor has planned to deliver through mutual interaction. Such a transfer of knowledge is natural, spiritual and happens unknowingly. All that it requires is passionate commitment at mentoring. It derives in mentor an inspiration of selflessness pursuit for excellence. In such a situation learners are able to predict probability of their success and become ambassador of their mentor. Such learners are fired for excellence and possess mettle to accomplish it, and mentor is always there to fuel the fire. Ways and means for it evolve automatically. Arjun, a privileged learner who was full of passion and dedication at learning, and for that matter Eklavya, a deprived learner who was full of grit and mettle to learn, are excellent case studies for accomplishment. It is beyond doubt that mentoring is different from other modes of imparting knowledge and skill both qualitatively and quantitatively.


Mentoring has three modes in vogue. Professional Mentors are more like professional pursuit and has commercial leaning similar to tuition or coaching. Whereas, Nominated Mentors have a duty is management practice in grooming of skill among juniors more particularly fresher. Passionate Mentors is that we have referred to above and is driven with the sense of Personal Social Responsibility (PSR). In this IOMS initiative PSR is the philosophy which is pursued in non-organizational, non-remunerative, non-commercial and non-political manner. Doing anything requires resources. Yet, unique about passionate mentoring is that resource requirements are minimum and are marginally above the survival needs of a mentor on the principle of Zero-Fund-Zero-Assets (ZFZA). Need of funds gets further constricted in case of elite persons, inspired with PSR, take up mentoring passionately. Such persons are financially independent and by virtue of their health awareness, barring a few, are physically self-supporting generally upto 75 years of age. Engagement of such persons on mentoring is – (a) big social-reform, (b) a great boosts self-confidence and psychological health, (c) provide spiritual satisfaction, a  need of the age and stage, (d) collectively complements public education system which is hard pressed with scale of the task in our country and (e) it is a step towards people’s participation in democratization of education.


As we interact with people we learn that there are many individuals and organizations, supported with either mandatory CSR provisions, or religious beliefs or individual considerations, which are making philanthropic contributions. Most of these contributions are financial in nature. Here, an introspection into motivation of such a philanthropy – is it financial surplus? is it profits or earning more than expected? is it a give-and-take bargain? Toughest philanthropy is in dedication of time and effort, which is most scarce and invaluable resource. In such an endeavor scarcity of resource, of one kind or the other, is bound to occur at some point of time with every individual. This is where collective complementing of efforts is a pragmatic approach. This proposition has been mooted in the form of a Consortium of Entities PSR Inspired. Such a consortium propound autonomy to each of the entity in respect of plans, operation and methodology, as long philosophy is selflessly driven with the sense of PSR. It expects each of the constituent of the consortium to be ready to share to others their experience and expertise in case of need.


Such a PSR driven initiatives by elite persons, who are capable to make a difference, ushers a social reform. It entails an environment around where peace, harmony, mutual faith, and spirit to grow together, to the best of one’s competence and capability, flourishes. It is a legacy that we must leave behind not only for the beloved descendants but create a socio-cultural treasure.


All this does not, and cannot, happen in a single stroke or a spurt of a moment. It has to be consistent commitment of dedicated efforts over a long period. This is where Interactive Online Mentoring is purposely not limited to either intermittent or occasional engagement. It is a regular activity wherein students are being mentored in daily sessions and hence the name coined for the initiative is Interactive Online Mentoring Sessions. Target students, most of them from deprived families, are groomed on daily basis. Even on festive occasions, importance of good food and clothes is compared with good mental nourishment through continuity of mentoring sessions. Even on weekends, special mentoring sessions are organized to best possible extent. These special sessions are aimed at mentoring target students in those areas, which are essential for proficiency at learning and growth in problem solving skill, which remain inadequately addressed in regular mentoring sessions.


Summary: Upliftment of students through institutional education is a must. Yet collective complementing of efforts of schools by elites with a sense of PSR has a great potential socio-cultural reform. The task is humongous and offers no room for complacence. All that it needs is translation of potential synergy of elites into its dynamic form.




< Contents                                                                                                                                Next >