Need for a targeted approach to skill building

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Dr Samuel Roy
Principal, Swami Awdheshanand Public School, Nagpur

Skill development can be achieved in the traditional classroom situation of closed walls through well-designed schools. This can be achieved if schools have good supportive system like pedagogy, curricula, teaching methodology, etc. Also, empowering teachers in the present scenario is very much needed.

In imparting education, traditionally the basic focus was “3 Rs” of reading, writing and arithmetic. However, as the ever increasing pace of technological innovation drives changes in the world, educators must re-evaluate whether the skills they teach truly provide their students with the best opportunities to succeed in school, the workforce and in life overall. So this ‘Paradigm shift’ would lead to leadership skills, digital literacy, proper communication, emotional intelligence, entrepreneurship, global citizenship and problem solving abilities to our children.

Challenges for schools in skill development…

The greatest challenge is to use the opportunity of skill development to change and develop as a leader, and to reduce the barriers of learning. The challenge of changing the culture and perceptions also matters.

Skill development in traditional classroom…

Skill development can be achieved in the traditional classroom situation of closed walls through well-designed schools. Students learn best when schools are accessible, safe, hygienic, comfortable and cognitively stimulating. Teachers can impact the learning environment in many ways, including the physical, psychological and instrumental setting of the syllabus . The changes required are, new technology, digital literacy, learner-oriented curriculum, and all the more a love for learning.

As an educator, I personally feel that the schools need a good supportive system like pedagogy, curricula, teaching methodology, etc. The school expects to get good textbooks, orientation for teachers, practice, choice, authenticity, digital support etc.

Empowering teachers in the present scenario is very much needed. So we have to make teachers as classroom experts, by giving opportunities of exposure, removing tasks from teachers’ work loads to make time for personal growth and innovation. We must make sure that teachers have a voice in the selection of curriculum, tools and process.

Skills to be focussed at various levels…

Dr Samuel Roy
Dr Samuel Roy

As an educator, I would suggest to focus on the basic academic skills in reading, writing, calculating, listening and speaking in primary level. At the secondary level communication skills, team-work, self-management, adaptability, creativity, inter-personal sensitivity, problem solving and life skills are to be focused. In senior school level, I would suggest vocational and technical skills in addition to the leadership skills, and entrepreneurship.

Cognitive skills and hands-on-skills…

A blend of cognitive abilities (brain-based skills) and hands-on-skills (hand-eye based skills) is the need of the era, as the present world need more creativity and innovation rather than not-learning. Our curriculum should have problem-solving skills and decision-making skills together with emotional self-regulation and life skills.

Vocational education…

Vocational education is education that prepares peoples to work in various jobs, such as a trade, a craft or as a technician. But now it is in theory only. So we have to take it to the field. It should be more practical, relevant, up to date and moreover useful to earn some living, freedom to start household industries, small-scale industries and any entrepreneurship will make vocational education more relevant.

Blended learning…

A blended learning system provides several learning models and developing my suggestion to this is to improve quality and universalize education system. The PPP (Private, Public, Partnership) model should concentrate more on the social responsibilities and come up with new creative projects to uplift the education system, through which the society. Ultimately the ‘vision’ should be changed for the revolution in education system.

The pedagogy has to be practical; learning can be enhanced through field visits, e-learning, industry driven projects, digital or video inputs. Some of the prominent employable skills are:

• Communication skills (verbal & written)
• Commercial awareness
• Attitude towards work
• Lifelong learning
• Self-management
• Team-work
• Problem solving
• Self-motivation
• Adaptability
• Creativity
• Interpersonal sensitivity
• Technology skill.

Need of life skills….

Life-skills, like, stress-management, time-management, money-management, home-management, etc. should be concentrated. Home making, society making, healthy and hygienic environment creation, healthy relationship in the family and outside etc. also should be cared. Critical thinking, facing challenges, communication, self-control, self-confidence, self-reliance etc, are the basic values for an individual to be a balanced personality and so a better society.

Skill based learning, therefore, requires a targeted teaching approach so that teachers can better assess as continuity in education, historical awareness, visual intelligence, eye hand co-ordination, common core mathematical understanding of geometry and ratios, discipline, art appreciation, self-expression, understanding art as a visual, etc.

Dr Samuel Roy, Principal, Swami Awdheshanand Public School, Kamptee, Nagpur is a well-known Educationist and motivator who travels all over India and abroad to motivate teachers, parents and students. He is an alumnus of Mar Ivanios College, Trivandrum. His educational achievements are M.A. (Litt), M.Ed, LLb, PGCTE (CIEFL DIRPM) and Ph.D. He is a member of Accreditation Committee, CBSE and Board of Studies, HSC English, Maharashtra. An avid researcher, he has conducted over 500 workshops for different schools and colleges across India and abroad. He has published 4 books on different topics and possesses a vast experience of 25 years of teaching and 6 years of administration. He has been awarded with Ambedkar fellowship, Sir Sayyad Ahmed Khan Award, Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad fellowship and Best journalism award.