Need of Skill based Education

Dr. S. S. VERMA; Department of Physics, S.L.I.E.T., Longowal; Distt.-Sangrur (Punjab)-148 106

2022-05-29 16:48:17

In India, approximately 65 lakh graduates pass out every year which includes approximately 15 lakh engineers. Common men are spending their hard earned money to provide education to their children with lots of expectations and children are also wasting their prime life period to acquire degrees but finally very few graduates are able to get jobs which can even make them meet the both ends comfortably. There are people becoming successful with educational degrees in different fields but their percentage is very-2 low as compared to unemployed people with educational degrees. While their success is gratifying, an important lesson to be learned is that even those who are not academically great can do well in life; in fact very well in life.

In present times, with the growing influence of social media on each and every one in the society has really transformed the concept of education in comparison to earlier days when education was considered as a mean of livelihood/career as well as social respect. Presently, people have started to understand, accept and practice that even with minimum education level, a person with his interest/hobby and hard work in any practical/skill work can earn his livelihood and can make it as his career towards his respectable social standing. It is well accepted by young generation now that getting degrees will not assure any type of employability/job/career or livelihood even after good scores and tough and unreliable competitive examinations. Students even after high school are moving to developed countries not to improve or acquire higher education but to make sure about their comfortable earnings. Similarly, while staying back, they are inclined to start their skill based career as early as possible. Even at school level students are finding ways to earn while learn and are going ahead with skill learning courses and techniques which can be more career profitable as compared to simple educational degrees. By simply being educated and acquiring a degree, you cannot earn money instead you need to have skill based education.  Social media is full of stories where people without degrees worked hard and became very successful in even with small-2 business like tea shops, eateries, vegetable & fruit sellers etc.

Despite the advent of technology and accessibility of education and resources, not much has improved regarding employability and successful career making options with the youth. Unfortunately, our schools, colleges and universities don't teach students how to make career in small or big things whereas, they teach only the outdated bookish concepts which are nowhere related to industrial requirements.  A computer graduate does not fit to any IT company just on the basis of his college learning about computer education. He has to go through the hand-on training in industry where he will work on live problems and then will mold himself to the need of the company. It means, every person has to do it on his own and learn with live examples from any source around in the society. Most graduates who are unemployable are also directionless with a lack of job-relevant skills and domain knowledge. In fact they did very little to skill themselves during school and college days too. Their friends too are sailing in the same boat and cannot be of much use. It is not the fault of the students only but is a systemic problem. However, if the system is not good enough, a student has to find a way to move forward in life. Make a good living, work confidently and move up the ladder -- whichever ladder he wants to climb. The present mode of education in schools, colleges and universities suffers with following limitations:

Lack of domain knowledge: Students are coming out with very limited basic domain knowledge for which he had primarily enrolled himself. Moreover, he/she has no other 'skills' that are required for getting employed. The college or educational institution neither gives them skills which are essential for employment nor any domain knowledge required in a real work environment.

Lack of mentor: When there is no mentor to guide these students they end up making wrong decisions, often doing nothing on their own and completely waste their 3 to 4 years of ‘prime time' as they are unable to find a direction. Majority of parents have no clue as to how to guide them.

Transformation and missed opportunities: There are thousands of students who transformed themselves from being mediocre to becoming extraordinary performers but there are students losing a lifetime golden opportunity and some who missed the boat to glory and success.

The gaping skill gap: The person should be prepared to learn. Should make extra efforts to do something more than what told or taught to do. He should volunteer to walk the extra mile. Have a little more knowledge than the text books. He should be well informed and read about what is happening around. He should have right attitude to learn and a positive outlook towards life and overall personality development. One should always be able to comprehend things, grasp questions and open to new ideas.

Help yourself: New entrants to the workforce must take the responsibility of being employable on themselves. Companies are looking for young, passionate and hardworking graduates to fulfill junior positions. Only the most employable graduates will be offered these career-starting opportunities. Young men and women, who on the other hand want to become entrepreneurs, also must start somewhere to sharpen their axe. Therefore, it is important to be differently-skilled, to take the first step to do it yourself and sharpen your axes.

Role of educational institutions

The world is changing rapidly with the scaling economies and it needs a skilled workforce to drive the nation. Skills are highly required for different sectors in different ways to increase productivity as per need. In India, most schools and colleges only provide formal education with a standard curriculum. Schools and colleges in India have to initiate skill-based education along with a regular academic curriculum. Skill-based learning develops and improves the art of learning and helps to grow in academics & in the modern world. Learning with activity is also a part of this methodology that enhances the thought process behind skill development. This is an advanced method of learning, implementing, and improving skills gained through a knowledge-based learning system. The method motivates students to think, analyze, and apply thoughts and insights they learned. This modern learning method will help learners into motivated independent intellects and prepare them for future challenges. Students and young people are the strength of modern society and the country. It is very important to make them skilled for the economic growth of the country. In order to implement skill-based education in schools & colleges, it requires the following:

  • Upgraded curriculum and infrastructure of the schools and colleges with modern 21st century needs.
  • Change in teaching methods with latest technology tools and giving much importance to practical learning.
  • Imparting vocational skills or job-oriented skills from the very basic level.
  • Self-management skills, teamwork, commercial awareness with interpersonal & problem-solving skills.
  • Activity-based learning methods should be used in an incremental manner for the school students learning higher standards.
  • Building employability skills with relevant core skills and academic knowledge.

The relevant skills to be taught to students

Every student needs to develop certain skills in order to prosper in his academics as well as in his career. Educators and teachers also teach certain important life skills along with their regular curriculum. This helps them to prepare well for life outside schools and colleges. Many of us know that these are the most essential life skills but sometimes the delivery of such skills in the blended classrooms is somehow difficult. It requires special attention so that the teachers can easily impart these skills to students. So, let us know what are those important and relevant skills that today's students require: conviction skills, strong problem-solving skills, thinking creatively

Emotion management, agility, eagerness to learn new things, adaptability as per need, technical skills like designing, coding, etc., effective communication skills (Oral & Written), teamwork and dedication, maintenance skills, assessment, analyzing, and imagination skills. These are the most relevant skills that need to be taught in every school and college. It needs to be a part of the regular curriculum for every student to prosper in life by understanding modern living methods along with his roots. This helps them to upgrade themselves in a dynamic way and to lead society in a better way. Schools and colleges can start developing employability skills within these students in different ways. Colleges can partner with different training institutions that provide professional development skills like personality development, communication skills, interview skills, etc. Also, colleges can appoint such faculties who are able to guide, especially developing employability skills. Give importance to hands-on education.