Vocational courses to begin at Srishti on Aug 1

Vocational courses to begin at Srishti on Aug 1

Geetha Narayanan (middle) at the annual art exhibition at Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Yelahanka. The show ends today.

I want to be a lighthouse in the South’, this is the kind of emotion that runs high in Geetha Narayanan, founder, and director of Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology. 
She has changed the way education has been perceived for decades, with the concept of art and design. Surupasree Sarmmah of Metrolife, caught up with Geetha at ‘The Srishti Collective 2018’ to get a glimpse of her journey, challenges, and her constant inspiration. 

From starting with Rs 1,000 to becoming an education visionary, how has your journey been?

It has been full of unexpected twists and turns. It needed a lot of mental and emotional stamina because there are more downs than ups. My problem is, I have a very strong vision, I am quite uncompromising about pedagogy and how students should learn. I am very proud of Srishti because even if you look at it in a global way and not just the national way, as an 
institution of higher learning in the country, we may not be a university but we are definitely one of the best. 

Your approach to education is different, you believe in learning rather than teaching...

My real focus on learning and not teaching came from the base I got in educational psychology. This was when I was studying at MES College. I am thankful to my professor M R Srinivas Rao, who gave me my first taste of what it was about. Today, we give our students practical ways to learn rather than bookish way, we treat each one of them as individuals. We follow the one student, one timetable approach. What I am happy about what I have done is, today, there is a destination in South India for world-class education through art and design but not necessarily in art and design.  

Who has been your constant inspiration?

My students are my inspiration. I learn from them all the time. They always push me to move ahead

You spoke about having more downs than ups...

There is always a common denominator of a challenge. If you are not for profit, you never have money. No one has given us an endowment but we will be happy if somebody would. The many downs we had are the unexpected ones. We have to be prepared to take a fall and dust yourself up and go on. 

What are your plans with the institution?

Our future plan is to get a permanent home — land and buildings and then settle down for the next 20 years. 

Any developments after Srishti Collective 2018?

Post this, we are beginning our first vocational programmes from August 1. We will be launching seven B.Voc degrees at level five, six and seven of the national curriculum framework. This is a big breakthrough for us. 

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