Mr. Shakti Behera
If there is one college in Odisha that has stood the test of time & produced stellar results year after year, then it has to be Cuttack-based Shakti +2 Science College. Backed by quality classroom teaching, dedicated teaching & non-teaching staff and infrastructure, Shakti +2 Science College is one of the most sought-after colleges for students in Odisha. Like every year, Shakti institute has always grabbed the headlines this year too after coming out with flying colours in the CHSE examinations. Despite being a self-financing private college, it has left behind all the +2 Science Colleges in the State. In an exclusive interview with the Founder Mr Shakti Behera Most Inspirational Personality, Managing Director of Shakti +2 Science College, Cuttack.
Heartiest congratulations! Shakti +2 Science College, Cuttack has once created history in the CHSE Examinations this year too. how does it feel?
I feel ecstatic! I am grateful to God that our hard work has paid off. It wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication and passion of my students. It’s challenging because we are competing with colleges that have been there even before I was born. But we have been able to produce toppers due to our meticulous planning. In this competitive age, it has boiled down to ‘survival of the fittest’. We are just trying to fit in, into this.
Your college has been churning out toppers year after year. What do you think is the secret behind this phenomenal success?
There is no secret or short-cut to success. It is pure hard work and dedication. We constantly try to motivate our diligent students to study for about 12-16 hours. For our average students, I try to make the lectures as entertaining as possible. The idea is to make the students study without making them realize that they are studying. The more they enjoy the learning process, the more they retain the concepts quickly.
What is that one thing that distinguishes Shakti +2 Science College from the rest?
I started my career as a typical tuition master. The journey from a tuition master to an edupreneur became possible because of my passion for teaching. I even think of interesting and innovative ways of teaching my students in my sleep. We have trained our teachers to follow an interesting approach while teaching. Also, we always try to provide a homely atmosphere to our students in the college. I treat my students as my own children, and I think that has made all the difference.
Tell us how are the students at Shakti +2 Science College get prepared for the CHSE & other top competitive exams?
We try to train the students from a very basic level. For competitive exams, we teach foundation courses to the 8th, 9th and 10th standard students. We also pay special attention to +2 Board exam. We provide our students with the best quality notes containing some unique points which would give them an extra edge in the exams.
By profession, you are a teacher since you started your career, but now you are running one of the finest +2 Science colleges in Odisha. How difficult is it being a successful Edupreneur in today’s highly competitive world?
I am still a teacher. I can never leave teaching. Even to this day, I devote most of my time to teaching only. Well, being an edu-preneur requires patience and hard work. Sometimes, it can be challenging to produce the desired results, but I never stop trying. Students are the heart and soul of our college. I always ensure that the needs of my students are taken care of, and their demands are acknowledged. However difficult it may get; I never compromise on the quality of education imparted to our students. In today’s world, there is cut-throat competition in every sector, and the education sector is no exception. To survive in this rapidly changing world, you have to constantly adapt and upgrade yourself to new technologies
In the last few months, education has undergone a massive transformation in terms of online and digital, thanks to COVID-19 pandemic. How has Shakti +2 Science College coped up to this new normal?
Change is the only constant in life; hence, it is extremely important to adapt to change. Six months back, no one had ever imagined of a situation like this. Most of us were not even aware of online platforms like Zoom and now, Zoom has become a part of our lives. Our students come from different places in Odisha, some of them hailing from interior regions. It gets challenging to bring all students online and make them sit for 1 hour with full concentration. Students easily have many distractions when they are at home, due to which they lose concentration and fail to catch up on the concepts. In order to avoid that, we keep repeating the concepts over and over again, just like a breaking news on a news channel. 80% of our students come from rural areas and lack proper guidance. We need to handle them in a different way. It is very important to keep them and their parents motivated.
What are your future plans for Shakti Group of Institutions?
My aim in life is to teach my students and make them stand on their own feet. Since the last 20 years, I have been teaching 10 to 20 underprivileged students every year without charging a single penny. By God’s grace, I have been able to sponsor their education and help them become successful in their lives. I intend to continue this in the future as well.
Any words of wisdom for young edupreneurs of the state?
Try to do something for society. It is easy to get lost in your own world of success, but don’t ever forget to help the people in need. Always try to give something back to society, to children, to old people, to anyone who needs help. Also, there is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs. All the hard work, all the sacrifices, all the struggles, downfalls, it all pays off. Just believe in yourself and keep on trying. No one can stop you. Dream big and most importantly, start. Don’t wait for the right time to start. ‘Now’ is always the right time. Always stay humble and kind. Stay true to your roots and try to learn from your failures.
Tell us about your other interests outside of education.
I like to travel. I try to learn new methods of teaching, interesting ideas from different parts of the country when I travel. I am on a constant path of learning. I try to learn as much as I can and apply it to my teaching methods.
Do you have any inspiration in the field of education, that has propelled you to become one of the most Inspirational personalities of Odisha, today?
I had qualified for IISC, Bangalore after completion of my P.G. in Mathematics, but couldn’t join due to financial constraints. From that day, I decided that I won’t let this happen to any other deserving student. That’s when I realized that I could touch so many students’ lives with my teaching and help underprivileged students fulfil their dreams by sponsoring their education. I was born in a poor family, so I make sure that at least my students don’t get deprived of their ambitions due to lack of money.
Written By Subhajit Panda