I teach repair at the National Skill Training Institute in Kolkata. What that really means is that I help students come up with simple solutions for complicated problems using research and local knowledge through what we call Solve My Problem sessions. We believe that most problems can be solved locally, and in that, our motto is that knowledge should travel and tangible things should stay local.

One of the most fascinating changes that I have seen in the last 7-8 years is the introduction of lo-fi hi-tech in our education models. Take for example, virtual reality, where before our students would never have thought of opening up a jet engine to understand how it could be repaired, it has now become a norm. It has completely changed the way diverse yet localised education works. You can endlessly keep breaking objects inside a simulator until you get it right. It’s magical.

Thanks to these advancements many of my students have gone on to successfully create their own repair or crafts businesses.

VR Repair Kunji

Afsar Mallik, Crafts Instructor, National Skill Training Institute (W) Kolkata

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