Today, the idea that to qualify India we must formalize the informal self-learning sector, has gained a lot of traction and it is not hard to see why. The large youth population, which we have often equated with a demographic dividend, needs something tangible to be employable not just in India, but around the world.
Even in a developed country like France, a January 2021 opinion poll published by Center Info cites data to say that since the start of the Covid-19 crisis, almost half of respondents think they will change. employment in the more or less long term. (49%) and a third (33%) in the next two years. More than 1,626 workers aged 18 or over took part in the online survey and the idea that emerged was that vocational training is more essential than ever for a stable professional future. Some 42% of respondents are concerned about the pace at which their profession is changing and many believe they need support and professional training to remain employable. Almost 48% of respondents also planned to take up training in the next 12 months, as retraining programs are increasingly used to make a career transition.
In India, there is a self-learning sector capable of producing entrepreneurs, but India’s demographic and economic complexities require a strategic and holistic approach. We must build synergistic relationships between industries and educational organizations to ensure that students not only gain insight into the requirements of different vocations, but also market-relevant skills.
The biggest problem today is that there is a huge gap between conceptual and practical learning and when students leave university they have science degrees or business degrees or arts degrees and don’t really know how apply their knowledge to the ever-changing demands of the job. Marlet.
Early professional training can not only give them insight into an area, but also pave the way for more advanced technical and practical learning. Additionally, all students have different abilities that our system often does not encourage or recognize. This is where Vocational Education based on Vocational and Technical Education (CTE) can help.
The world increasingly needs an unconventional workforce and we can meet this need by training our young people through diversified professional training modules that teach them health, applied sciences, commerce, banking and finance, IT, commerce and tourism, retail management, BPO, hospitality and traditional crafts.
Computer scientists, nuclear technicians, fashion designers, electricians, cardiovascular technologists and web developers are also in high demand around the world, so why not start early to prepare our young people for these opportunities?
This does not mean that conventional schooling is totally obsolete. Along with practical skills, we must also cultivate an appreciation for human values, language, the arts, an understanding of the environment, and cultivate empathy. Evolving models of education are working hard to achieve a more organic and responsive way of teaching and learning.
Education modules based on reflection and action will make our young people not only employable citizens, but healthy human beings. But yes, rote learning is no longer useful. Practical training helps students not only to apply their expertise practically in a specific field, but also to become independent at a young age.
Vocational education can also improve the quality of life and meet the economic needs of a largely unskilled population and make them a human resource. It can help our illiterate adult population to rise above their situation.
We live in the information age, sure, but we can’t grow in one area and ignore the other. We cannot ignore that a large part of our population struggles to meet even the most basic needs. To uplift our disadvantaged citizens, we need to create infrastructure where they can access the skills and training to change their lives.
In a world where digital divides and economic disparities push children into underpaid and exploitative manual labor at an early age, we must create a model of education that serves all of our citizens, not just a few. Even those who missed out on a college degree due to social and economic inequality deserve a chance to learn and earn a living. Since age is irrelevant, vocational education provides an option even for older people who may have missed an opportunity to study. Professional courses are also an easy and cheaper alternative for students who do not wish to follow a three-year course.
The acquisition of skills also allows these people to become independent workers with dignity who would otherwise have had to seek employment in saturated sectors. A skilled workforce is also a huge draw for foreign investors who want to set up businesses in India.
In addition, pre-qualified employees save companies training costs. The point being that we need to link education to labor market variables in a developing country like ours. We can no longer allow our education system to be in an unconscious bubble disconnected from reality.
Warning:The author is an educator, founder and CEO of TreeHouse
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent the position of this publication.)
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