In the digital age, human intensive jobs are turning automated. Looking at the rampant layoffs that are happening in the country, it is the need of the hour for our education system to design a curriculum that can skill the future leaders of tomorrow. At a time when artificial intelligence is threatening human IQ, it is creative thinking and innovation that will help humans keep their jobs. Promoting innovative learning techniques and encouraging creativity in early childhood will help educational institutions address such a crisis.
Employability skills need to be a critical parameter to indicate students’ learning outcome. There is a pressing need to revamp the teaching techniques across all educational institutions to drive them majorly through practical, project-based teaching. With more digital learning platforms coming to the fore, they can be used to teach students concepts in a way that they can apply to real-world problems and corporate scenarios. To be innovative in the way we teach with the help of digitisation and information technology is an important facet for teachers across the country to own. Teaching should not be limited to just theory, teachers can assign projects that can help students apply what they learn in theory to understand their implications in the real world.
India requires cutting-edge thinkers and innovators to grow, for which entrepreneurship learning has formed the very basis of business/economic education. Making students work in groups and encouraging them to come up with great business ideas is what should be taught from the beginning. The idea is not only to make it big in the future, but also to think creatively and learn the art of brainstorming, an important skill for the corporate world.
Education should aim to nurture individuals so that they are best equipped to face the challenges in life. Introducing business development and entrepreneurship study in the school syllabus can change the attitude of a child to that of an innovator or a first-mover. This ability to think out-of-the-box is required to build multiple other skills like design thinking, problem-solving and collaborating. Understanding the need to provide students with a platform to experiment, explore and execute their ideas is, therefore, the primary responsibility of an educational institution.
In January, the World Economic Forum, which holds its annual meet in Davos, released a report titled ‘Future of Jobs’. The report revealed that jobs will cease to exist because of the impact of rapid developments in the field of information technology and the industrial revolution.
It’s an alarming call to the state boards, policymakers and the government to understand industry-relevant topics while designing the curriculum. The role of all educational institutions is to try and bridge the gap by incorporating corporate-level expertise through case studies and workshops on industry-best practices. Visiting industrial sites in order to understand the back-end work that goes into manufacturing and creating the final product is a good way of explaining to students the working of a particular industry.
Colleges and other educational institutions need to focus on having a robust placement cell which works with corporates across the year. Many colleges in association with corporate mentors are organising workshops to train students in writing, oratory and presentation skills. Grooming students and training them for interviews and other personality development requirements are also a part of the soft-skills training.
The government estimates an incremental requirement of 110 million additional skilled personnel across 24 sectors by 2022. The demand will be highest in real estate, transport, retail, and beauty and wellness sectors. But the agricultural sector will see a negative growth with 24.8 million people moving to other jobs.
Rising unemployment due to the advent of new technology and threats from artificial intelligence and other data science tools are a threat to the manpower strength of the nation. Educational institutions, at large, will have to focus on right training and reskilling in order to meet this gap from colleges to corporates.
Read more: DNA