The state of education matters when one thinks of a knowledge economy. How do we produce a talented crop for the future?
The situation is clear. Unless we have a skilled workforce, we cannot reach any goals. For that we need knowledgeable workers as well. All the stake-holders of the education sector, including the students, need to think about how to produce workers who will deliver to the requirements of the future!
“We need to understand whether we want them to be mere job seekers when they graduate or whether we want them to fit the bill whenever they are out in the industry,” says Prof V B Joshi, senior professor in human resources.
According to Prof Bhushan, the process of skill development needs to be accelerated. It also needs to be altered to cater to the requirements of the economy so that the gaps can be filled. According to him, there are several questions that need to be answered. The first one being, how do we increase the ration of enrolment? “Sibal claims that it is 12%, but so many students are dropping out!” says professor Bhushan. The trickledown effect is felt at every subsequent level, that when it comes to higher education, or beyond college, few are left. Few, compared to the population of our country.
To produce a talented crop, we need to garner in a huge crop and equip them with skills to improve the situation. Unfortunately, some of these skills are built from a young age, and if students do not get adequate exposure to learning at that stage, they lose out on that early learning. That marks the difference between ingrained knowledge and new knowledge.
Even then, there is no problem with new knowledge, as long as it is imparted and learnt in a right sense for the right purpose. “The state of education in our country requires a mechanical rote-learning method, which leads nowhere. Even if we start with improving that purpose, we will reach far,” opines Prof Joshi.
This again, he points out, stems from the problem of numbers. The fierce competition leads to need for high scores and that leads to rote-learning for precise answers. “In a system where teachers correct while referring to a standard format, how can you expect the student to be any different?” he asks.