Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Do the students lack skill sets or something more profound-who educates the educationists?

The lead story of Sunday times of India of January 29 , “ Hiring headache for corporates-firms ,colleges tie up to tackle skill deficit” . In the editorial that follows “The great Indian talent hunt” some excerpts

“In absolute numbers, the workforce pool may look impressive but only 20% of this is good enough for India Inc. After the top few educational institutions, the quality drops sharply.” –Kiran Karnik, President, Nasscom.

“The 1400 engineering colleges in the country produce 4.5 lakh graduates annually . But since world class talent is limited to only about 20000-40000 graduates, there is stiff competition for this pool”- MS Krshnamoorthy.

In another article “A matter of degree? Not quite”, it is stated how courses are refurbished to meet the demands of the industry and make the graduates employable.

Here too the focus seems to be more on the courses than the individual concerned. As given in one of the links on this blog, many students after passing out discover that they simply do not have the mindset for the job or their heart lies somewhere else. Since one has to work for 10-12 hours daily, it implies half of life and if that is spent in an occupation not of one’s liking, it can truly be a life of frustration and misery as one human resources professional pointed out. It is not for nothing that it is said that choose your career not on the basis of what you know but who you are. That also depends on where the heart lies and whether that passion pays of commercially as well; so it could be a combination of both head and heart. In the book “Karma, Destiny and Career”, the author describes how people in United states go back to school after discovering that they are in the wrong profession and how it effects their friends and family adversely.Sometimes one can not afford to be even in the wrong sub-occupation as elucidated in another post on this blog.

Issue is “When will the education system be geared to the needs of the individual” as our shastras have the word “Swadharma” and some of our intellectual and spiritual greats- Osho, Krishnamurthy, Sri Aurobindo and Swami Vivekanand have spoken of the right vocation for the right man. The focus has to be on the individual; not a degree or a course alone. Even the caste system was originally conceptualised on the basis of qualities of an individual and not birth.

One should at least attempt to ensure that the individual is attempting the right degree instead of acting on some whim or fancy or peer pressure or false lure of money or qualification. A stitch in time saves nine and it would be good both for the student and the organization he works for.

14 Comments:

At 7:22 PM, Blogger Venkat Ramanan said...

Hi pal,
Very thought provoking article! I could relate to what you have said in your article! I resonate with your thoughts in the previous posts, as, in my previous job, I felt very mean, but later found out that that I was the right person in the wrong job vis-a-vis my managers who thought I was teh wrong person in the right job!
Regarding education in our country, I have no words! It makes me sad to think of how we educate out kids right from kindergarden. I watch a school which is right next to my home. Two teachers man one class. They "shout" out rhymes which the kids have to repeat. I fail to understand the objective of this exercise. In group, the kids shout, and the teachers don't mind if they shout it out right or wrong or if they say something else. Some days, teachers carry conversations among themselves or eat in the class when the students "cry" out the rhymes. classes for kindergardne stretches from 8:30 to 3:30 (which I say is ridiculous, given the "outrageous" methods followed in our schools). Schools should ensure maximum learning (not studying) in minimal time (say 9 - 1) not through rote but by thought processes. Students are not encouraged to ask questions in our schools. Any student asking doubt is considered one making fun of the teacher, as many of the times, teacher ends up not knowing answers. They could admit they don't know and can clarify the doubt later, but our Indian ego doesn't let them do it.. If this is the case with an Urban Indian Matriculation school, I can little imagine the plight of rural kids enrolled in a school in rural India!!
I blame the poor schooling for lack of skills in grown-ups in our country. Engineers are not engineers by passion but because of peer and parental pressures.
We talk so much about these issues and most of then netas and babus are very much aware of these things. When will they ever take some steps?

 
At 10:40 AM, Blogger Hiren said...

Since independence, education has produced stalwarts in several areas but now reforms are needed in certain areas. As you have correctly pointed out, I cannot understand why still learning by repetition is given so much importance when application using open book exams should be the norm because that is what happens in real life and that is how one knows where real aptitude lies.

 
At 8:32 PM, Blogger Prmod Bafna said...

Hmmm thought provoking indeed.. and the whole education system here is to be blamed.. i am now in my final year of bachelor of commerce.. and when we graduate, you dont need a wise guy to say we're still not exactly ready to go out there and showcase our prowess. Simply because what we're learning in todays education system is simply not connected with anything we would have to face in the day to day bullets of this mad world. For me a being a student myself i know that what i am doing is just a matter of fulfilling and obligation than anything else. I live in bangalore and work here with my dad but not everyone is as fortunate so to speak.. This whole thing can only be set right by educated people who will actually take interest in setting a proper course structure to prepare the youth to go out there and face the world with a more effective career counselling because as of now thats missing. Great job on tapping these subjects i found a way to vent out the frustration and put forth the disillusionment :)

 
At 10:51 PM, Blogger Phoenix said...

hi

informative post! but why did u compare me with mr. krishnamurthy

 
At 12:31 AM, Blogger Deepak Jeswal said...

Hi Hiren, a friend suggested me to read ur blog. I dont why , but it struck a deep chord somewhere within me. Perhaps because i always had an ambition to be a writer but ended up in a society-viewed cozy sales job that is only given me heartburns now. Will go through ur blog thoroughly during the coming weekend.

Regards
Deepak jeswal
http://randomexpressions.rediffblogs.com

 
At 5:31 PM, Blogger sandeep said...

I agree with you that indigenous in a country differ with time and space. My point is that not all individual are equally circumstanced. There are divergent societal inclination which compel many persons to choose a subject as a career. This may have hyper repercussions as it may derogate a person from his immediate grant. I mean to say 'students shall be given a liberty to choose a subject for their career' and in my opinion, today, most parents thing that science is 'the only' option.

 
At 2:42 PM, Blogger Rusty said...

if something has to start it has to be initiated right away from primary education. Do you feel it can be possible in Indian Education System. Is the system up for change ? I believe not. Then how does one stand a chance lest his or her family provides moral as well as financial support.

Lot of things need to change my dear friend...let's be optimistic !

 
At 10:37 PM, Blogger Paurna said...

mr hiren,if u don't mind can u tell me how being in the wrong profession lead to financial problems for u.emotional is understandable but financial ???i am perplexedyx

 
At 5:20 AM, Blogger Shreyansh said...

Hey I read some of your posts and ur blog seems to be interesting. I am hard pressed for time right now , but I would come back to read the other posts.

Btw, I replied to your comment on my blog.

 
At 9:42 AM, Blogger Hiren said...

xFreaKx, "Do not feel compelled to join the family business just because it is there"-advice given by Dale Carnegies which I ignored and dearly paid for. On the flip side you are lucky to get practical workexperience to decide where you can really excel .

Pnoenix, you must have written something profound.

Deepak, hope you are able to pick up some tips from this blog.

Sandeep, it is not a question of liberty. It is the ability to choose the right occupation early in your life that sets you up for success.

Ashish, in India, things normally happen only when they go out of control. We have to wait for that unfortunately.

Paruna- If you are not good at something, your earning potential will always suffer vis-a-vis the expectations. Some people are destined to earn in one occupation to be able to fund thier real passion.

Thanks, Shreyansh.

 
At 9:44 PM, Blogger Kandarp said...

Hi Hiren

Very good article. Well reasoned and well written. I completely agree with what you say. We do need reforms.

 
At 4:20 AM, Blogger AKS said...

Hi ! Hiren

I feel the reform in eduction has already started. The quality of an institute has now been measured by the employability both in terms of quality of job exepcted and in terms of the surity of achieving one. As a result most institutes have started focussing on making their student employable.

What is happening is we are at just the first stage where the focus of the institutes is to get their wards a job - the fit to them does not matter.

But in my view this will lead to the ideal approach of enabling the students to find their "lakshya" and then try to help him choose and achieve a career made for them.

This will happen because institutes will soon understand that placing their students is not just a one time activity. They will need to keep both the parties happy. Students shold feel they reached a job of their liking - only then will the institutes get positive word of mouth from them.

On the other hand - employers will not return to the institutes which could not offer them best fit students.

 
At 1:00 AM, Blogger Hiren said...

Aks you put it really well
"This will happen because institutes will soon understand that placing their students is not just a one time activity. They will need to keep both the parties happy. Students shold feel they reached a job of their liking - only then will the institutes get positive word of mouth from them"

Totally agree with you on that. So much so that I feel that an employment psychologist must accompany the students till they have found a job of their liking.

 
At 2:13 AM, Blogger erasmus-in-india said...

great blog! can I add it to my link list?

check mine:

http://erasmus-in-india.blogspot.com/

This blog was mainly about my Erasmus at IIMB. In other words, me, my indian jaan and my impressions during my exchange program in India.

feel free to promote my blog and to add it to your link list. tks!

keep writing!

 

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