Currently Bharat is racing ahead with economic growth which obviously brings in more job opportunities for youth. Instead of demanding to improve resource alignment to demanding sectors with right systems and processes, politicians from opposition camps are behaving like stereotypes and doing mudslinging. People at helm of affairs are mostly filling old wine in new bottles with fancy names for programs/curriculums.
In the absence of appropriate change management by those responsible and accountable in formal education, ecosystems are naturally coming up with solutions through informal education avenues, which will evolve. Social media and open source ed-tech platforms are possibly offering innovative and intuitive alternative to practically develop human resources through informal means for nation building.
It is not difficult to assess the state of affairs with the education system to which youth have been subjected and the consequences of this on their fate.
Politicians from opposition camps are the first to jump when they hear about joblessness in the country, but they are always quick to blame current leadership for not creating enough jobs.
Do they have any idea what the current demand for human capital in India is? Are they conducting any research into how we will meet the demand?
The real problem isn’t a lack of jobs; it’s a lack of awareness of the demand and gaps in the process of preparing youth for Industry Readiness. How should the entire ecosystem collaborate to integrate their services from end to end, using formal or informal methods?
Let us take a closer look at the current state of affairs in education.
The education industry has been corrupted by greedy politicians posing as social workers and expanding their educational empires to make ever more money. We will not name names because that is not the purpose of this article. It is well known that the majority of educational institutions are owned and run by political families who receive government funding. Their ecosystem is complete and perfectly complementing to further their selfish goals. They are not motivated by the outcomes they produce, but by the market demand.
Why did I bring this up in the first place? Because any deserving youth is discouraged from choosing the right learning path due to financial constraints.
Our educational system has evolved to produce only certificate holders, rather than Human Capital ready to contribute to nation building when they complete their academics.
For youth to begin a successful career, they must be able to perform hands-on on a given job.
The question is whether educational institutions are aware of the various career options for their students and then teach them exactly what it takes to be successful. No. They do not always do this because it is impractical to tailor their curriculum to the numerous career options available.
Students learn the fundamentals of various building blocks of major knowledge areas until the 12th grade. They gain more specialized knowledge areas after graduation. Unfortunately, education is primarily concerned with securing marks rather than instilling knowledge in the minds of youth for future career success. The process of converting knowledge to skill through multiple steps of creation, contextualization, and application for real-life scenarios is not strictly followed.
Let us now contrast open source learning with institutionalized learning. With the advent of the internet, lower-cost plans, and ample bandwidth, youth now have much easier access to alternative learning systems.
Alternative systems are more intuitive, creative, and evolving at a faster rate. For example, YouTube, MOOCs, Coursera and so on.
Children are learning more about their interests from YouTube than from their teachers in the classroom.
The National Geographic channel provides far more engaging content than any traditional classroom could. Many experts are setting up shop on social media to teach the exact skills required for them to be successful.
Looking at the overall attitude of the education system, one might wonder, “What is the need for going through a formal education system?”
What if, after completing elementary school, a child aligns themselves to the most appropriate career path for them using scientific means such as psychometric assessments and other career path selection tools/systems available on the market?
After completing elementary school, the child can begin learning knowledge areas that are relevant to their career goals through the use of integrated learning platforms that are available virtually. The emphasis should be on what to learn and where to find the best learning content. When informal learning methods produce better results, why would anyone want to pursue a formal learning path through traditional institutionalized methods of learning that have failed due to greedy people who have laid only traps for the youth to waste their precious time for learning?
Perhaps not every industry sector is ready for informal learning and skilling today, but the day will come when adoption of informal learning will increase.
I believe that the informal learning industry will expand as the demand for skilled workers grows. Formal education has essentially failed.
Informal learning aligned with career paths and required skills would be a reality. Learning the fundamentals and advanced concepts, converting knowledge to skill through skilling programs until they are Industry-Ready, which is more appealing to youth than a certificate promise!