Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, was in India recently for the ET Global Business Summit in New Delhi. In an interview during the event, he spoke on India and why he thinks India is not pushing towards technological advancement enough.
While speaking to Times of India, he was asked about his views on India and if he can see a global tech giant emerging from India, Wozniak said, “I am not an anthropologist and I don’t know the culture of India well enough. I don’t see those big advances in tech companies. What is the biggest tech company here, Infosys maybe? I just don’t see that sort of thing coming out of Infosys and I have done keynotes for them three times.”
He also believes the root of this problem lies in the cultural differences that prevail in India and also in the Indian Schooling Systems.
“The culture here is one of success based upon academic excellence, studying, learning, practising and having a good job and a great life, for upper India, not the lower. I see two Indias. That’s a lot like Singapore you study, work hard and you get an MBA, you will have a Mercedes but where is the creativity?”, Woz added.
He suggested, for solving this issue, a shift in our education system is required where schools should focus more on learning rather than exams, Where children should be allowed to think independently rather than sticking to the syllabus.
According to the Apple co-founder, the change has to happen in the thought processes of the parents where they will allow their children to venture into new areas.
Wozniak also suggested changes in the way how coding is taught in Indian schools. He says children only get to a stage of “symbolic reasoning” at around age 12, which is why you can’t teach algebra until then. He said that programming can be taught only when the student is ready for algebra.
Interestingly, a few days after Woz left India, Indian industrialist Anand Mahindra responded to the Steve Wozniak’s comments on the Indian education system. Mr. Mahindra said, “I love it when such comments are made. Nothing like a sweeping stereotype to get our juices flowing & prove it wrong. Thanks @stevewoz Come back soon. We’ll make you sing a different tune.”
I love it when such comments are made. Nothing like a sweeping stereotype to get our juices flowing & prove it wrong. Thanks @stevewoz Come back soon. We’ll make you sing a different tune… https://t.co/Zy4QemamQJ
— anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) February 27, 2018