Direct Neural Programming had been the dream of many education "reformists" and technocrats. The perfect way to teach skills, divorced almost completely from the requirement that human teach human. One single avatar of a skill could be used to propagate that skill until it became obsolete. Billions were poured into its development and marketing, thirsted for by corporations, the military, and politicians, each group wanting the surface and the sinister. But it was not to be.
Somehow, someway, a band of gnomes learns how to be ninjas. In fine gnomish style, they open an academy to teach this art to other gnomes. Wacky Hijinks ensue. Or the gnomes become some of the finest assassins in the land. Or both.