Learn…Unlearn…&…Relearn… the Skills
Sunbeam School Lahartara, Varanasi
Awareness about skill-based, solution-centric learning can bring in a positive shift in making students aware of the actual job scenario through real work environment in the industry. But, skills are dynamic; we need to learn, unlearn and re-learn in order to upgrade as knowledge and technology changes and transforms the workplace requirements.
Education, as a planned endeavour, aims at making the recipients productive and caring members of society. Learners are made familiar with the various practices of the community by the educational system. They are equipped with knowledge and skills and thus prepared for fulfilling the needs of life. Following independence, Indian society was primarily an agriculture based society. After that we entered the industrial phase and passing through the information stage, we are now progressing towards a knowledge society. A knowledge society is characterized by knowledge as the driving force of the major skills required for the sustainability of continuous learning process. Knowledge is an intangible resource which engages the minds to acquire essential skills of life. Holistic learning is all about the right mix of knowledge and skills. It helps in improving our abilities and enhancing the competencies. The main purpose of education is to get us well-paying, professionally satisfying jobs or prepare us for meaningful self-employment. This can be achieved only when there is awareness and respect for skill based-learning in schools and the options to mix and match vocational skills with popular subjects within the scope of the prescribed curriculum.
Awareness about skill-based, solution-centric learning can bring in a positive shift in making students aware of the actual job scenario through real work environment in the industry. If they don’t learn early-on about how their formal education is going to help them get their dream jobs or the career they aspire for, they will never get an opportunity to realize their dreams. And, of course, skills are dynamic; we need to learn, unlearn and re-learn in order to upgrade as knowledge and technology changes and transform the workplace requirements. There are different sets of skills which are necessary for meeting the emerging needs of this educational globe. Some of them are listed below:
Communication skills (verbal and written): Fundamentally, regardless of language or medium, truly effective communication is about openly and honestly sharing information in a way that creates mutual understanding among everyone. There are various barriers to effective communication, and teaching students techniques to overcome them will be more difficult for some of these barriers than others. Teachers who can successfully devise activities that educate the students on active communicative techniques will provide those students with a useful skill throughout life.
Commercial awareness: One of the another skill which is the imminent need of the contemporary world is commercial awareness because then the students will get a fair idea about their commercial competencies. The students become well equipped with present socio-economic scenario around them and thus frame their strategies to meet the demand and supply of the commercial activities.
Life skills: These skills help in the development of social competence and problem-solving skills, which in turn help our students to form their own identity. Empathy can help us to understand and accept others who may be very different form ourselves, which can improve social interactions. Life skills are important because without an honest heart …a perfect individual cannot exist. Self-awareness helps us to recognize when we are stressed or feel under pressure. It is also often a prerequisite for effective communication and interpersonal skills. These skills impart humanity, brotherhood and serenity to understand the potential of our own self. A person with intense life skills simmers down to take stock of themselves and their lives, they arrive at a feeling of self-actualization very early in their lives.
Teamwork and Problem solving: Problem solving and Teamwork are most closely aligned with traditional educational methods. These two crucial and important sills act as a nexus for the entire classroom to develop. If teachers work towards the development of Team building, then half of our work would be done. An institution where the students mastered these basic skills, prove to be beneficial for the society. They play a vital role in the society and are considered as an integral part of development.
Creativity: School is one of the institutions for students’ creativity development. School only needs an extra effort that will enable it to build a conscious and creative generation that will keep pace with the rapid change and recent development in this era of globalization, economic transformation and information communication technology age as new discoveries emerge every day, hence, the role of school is needed in guiding students toward creativity to take advantage of modern development. Research has shown that creativity leads to intellectual development and brain growth, when creativity is nurtured well by concerned institutions. School and other social institutions play an active and influential role in developing students’ creativity through their available resources and their specific planned goals. A creative school environment is one that exposes learners psychologically and socially to facilitate creativity in which learners are motivated to discover things by themselves, it promotes all necessary ways to creativity to help students develop the creative personality traits.
Vocational Skills: It is education within vocational schools that prepares people for a specific trade. It directly develops expertise in techniques related to technology, skill and scientific technique to span all aspects of the trade.
There are also those set of students who are not able to cope with mainstream education. This could be because of economic reasons or academic in-capabilities. So what are the options available to them, so that they lead a dignified life without being exploited or being vulnerable? Introducing skill training at a young age will go a long way in directing these students to opportunities that will have a larger impact on the general fabric of the workforce in this country. Vocational education in India is now moving within the purview of a formal structured program at different levels of education. It prepares the students to weave their own tapestry of skills so that they would be independent and can earn their livelihood with pride.
With digital connectivity and modern transportation shrinking the figurative distances between people more and more, and global economies binding different nations closer and closer together, it is increasingly difficult for even the most resistant to ignore or not accept that we are all citizens of the same planet and must work together to ensure its continuance as a liveable place.
As part of this, it is essential to begin educating students about this fact at a young age so that they can understand their place in the world around them. One way to get started in creating a globalized classroom is to look around at other teachers’ experiences. The students would learn to live in the world which is connected through the thin, yet strong, bonds of global citizenship. As educators, we need to realize that learning can now take place around the clock and across the globe, with or without us, and that the young people come to school knowing much more than we do in some areas. They have the potential to learn anything they want to learn at any time they want to learn it. Therefore, instead of focusing on the content, we really need to focus on what it means to be a learner and how to help students learn deeply and most effectively. We need to model metacognition and demonstrate the value of thinking about learning skills of life. We need to lead them to think deeply and help them understand how to synthesize and analyze and to create—to operate in Bloom’s realm of higher-order skills.
Shimmi Sharma, with her ambitious aim, inspires young minds about love of learning and helps them become free thinkers. She currently teaches English at Sunbeam School Lahartara, Varanasi. Academically, She is an MA in English, Education and Psychology; holds Post Graduate Diploma in Higher Education; Bachelor in Education and Certificate in teaching Functional English. She is a die-hard literature fan with special tint of writing.