The Skill-Development Initiative

The recent report published by FICCI (2013-2014), states that the percentage of formally skilled workforce available in India stands at 2% vis-e-vie n 96% for South Korea, 80% for Japan, 75% for Germany and 68% for UK. The initiative taken by the central government and by the state governments is commendable. It is forecasted that by 2020 the country will face a shortage of 13 million medium-skilled workers. With only 20% of engineering graduates employable (Livemint August 2013),  it really becomes a reason to reflect on our education system. While a student graduating from school has a 300% chance of securing a job in comparison to a student who drops out of school early, is the young graduate skilled enough?

Potential role of schools in skill development: While the initiatives are more focussed towards school drop-outs and unemployable graduates, why are we not conscious enough to provide skill development opportunities through our school curriculum? For a student in school, organizing her time well, taking onus of her learning, crafting a path for her future are also skills that need to be addressed at school level.  Along with offering them vocational training opportunities in electronics, masonry etc.  But some how the insatiable desire to complete the syllabus, or follow the traditional framework for schooling somehow removes the focus of school education from preparing independent learners for work life.

National School Curriculum should be revised to ingrain skill building as part of the curriculum and remove the myth that learning a skill such as carpentry or tailoring is not intellectually stimulating or is for the not so academically inclined

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