In a world today where all roads lead to systemic change – politics, economy and you name it – education holds the key, because it is the new generation that is going to usher in the change and more importantly sustain it. India is a special case; it is the youngest country in the world. It is a country with large young population, with so many millions in schools and colleges receiving education and so many millions about to enter the system. In such a scenario, education cannot be allowed to remain a bookish, theoretical exercise that is somewhat disconnected with the contemporary world. Education should be utilised to channelize the youth towards nation building.
For a country that aims at upskilling 500 million people, it is unfortunate that education policy does not seem to pay heed to skills development. Moreover, skills development is not even an item on the agenda of government panels chalking out future plans for the country. Countries like South Korea have made it a national priority. As a result, they have been able to integrate skills development into education system and transform the youth into the ‘demographic dividend.’ World over, there are lessons to be learnt from small yet powerful countries that took giant strides and rode on the wave of skills development. If India is to assume its rightful place in the world, we have to rethink our education policy and focus on skills development.
Station-e: A Model for Skills Development
Universities: Universities are the platform from which the youth launch themselves into the world of business and industry, testing their worth and proving their mettle. If they fail to impress their employers, all their knowledge goes in vain. It is imperative to ensure that when students take admissions into Masters at university, their soft skills should also be honed so that they are able to find employment true to their talents/ knowledge. Station-e has developed the concept of Skills Development Centre (SDC), which can be established at university campus. It can serve as the soft skills training hub for the university and provide placement facilities as well. Easy to establish with ready-to-use, customised training modules, the SDC can work wonders for employability and marketability of the youth power.
Engineering and Management Institutes: The best opportunities for employment today lie in engineering and management fields. However, when it comes to interviews, many deserving students are rejected because they lack communication proficiency. The management domain operates on the finesse of communication, yet we have never cared to teach our students basic communication skills. There is a course on communication, but it is a mere ritual. Station-e has developed the concept of Skills Development Centre (SDC) especially for engineering and management institutes. Students would undergo training into various soft skills including communication skills and they would be thoroughly prepared for interviews. This will serve to enhance the employability of the youth, as well as enhance the efficacy of the engineering and management institutes.
Schools: Station-e has developed a customised model for schools. It is our misfortune that schools in this country do very little in honing the crucial skills of the students and hence the skills deficit continues to haunt us in colleges and universities. To address the issue at the initial level, we have devised the concept of Digital Classroom, which seek to develop the skills of students at the school level and ready them for higher education.