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Skill-based learning is both effective and purpose-driven

By Pramilla Gupta,

Skill-based education develops and promotes art of learning and development.

Skill-based education places the ownership of learning in the hands of the students and helps them restrict the big gap of understanding, writes Pramilla Gupta.

Skill-based learning is about planning, implementing and analysing skills gained through knowledge-based learning methods. The students are motivated to think logically, analyse concepts and apply their insights. The idea behind this innovative and most in-demand learning method is to develop learners into independent thinkers and prepare them for the challenges in the future.

The world changes and so do economies along with it, the need for a skill-based workforce is on the rise.

In India, skill-based education is considered to be a vocational skill that is obtained through short-term training or courses not part of the formal education sector and which provides employment in informal sectors. Such skills are also a part of the government’s Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna (PMKVY) scheme, which aims to promote recognition and standardisation. However, expertise needs to be developed in the formal learning system as well.

When the Indian economy opened to the outside world through liberalisation and globalisation, it created a great demand for graduates with skill across vital industries, which led to a huge race to secure more marks and more degrees. After the internet and mobile revolution, job-seekers in the formal sector saw new opportunities to learn necessary skills from the internet and through internships prior to a full-time job. The reliance on formal education to obtain job-ready skills saw a slow decline.

The current Covid-19 pandemic has advanced the use of local products and has helped people recognise the importance of a skill-driven society. Being a young nation with 75% of the population in the working age, employment becomes a major concerns. With the help of schemes such as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), the students can receive both security and benefit as it aids in an equivalent acknowledgement of both informal and formal learning.

The students are the human capital of the country and it is essential to empower them for the development of the economy. Some of the benefits of skill-based education include:

1. Skill-based education places the ownership of learning in the hands of the students and helps them restrict the big gap of understanding. The assessment demonstrates their competency rather than grades and the education process is a great boon for drop-outs, as they can easily move ahead without a gap.

2. It scintillates creativity along with critical thinking, making the learners analytical. It focuses more on synthesis, evaluation and application of the learnt facts.

3. Skill-based education is definitely more effective and purpose-driven, which helps the students receive a clear objective along with a vibrant culture. It is a perfect mixture of opinions, values and routine to form a solid foundation. It promotes and develops the art of learning and development hence empowering the students to become successful in their chosen field.

4. It promotes synergetic problem solving. The students learn how to work in a constructive manner to solve problems in a collaborative manner. Skill-based learning helps to integrate the learners with real life experiences and promotes effective communication skills: oral and written, in situational contexts, unknowingly enhancing the relevance and appropriateness in their behaviour patterns.

5. It also ‘hones leadership’. The skill-based education helps the students become altruistic, chivalrous and gracious. Through activities and events, the students build adroitness that helps them listen, organise and inspire the team, thereby building leadership qualities in them.

Several educational reforms in form of continuous and comprehensive evaluation, age-appropriate admission, and focus on activity-based learning have been introduced at the elementary level, yet rote learning and periodic pen and paper test are still being practised in schools. The children have little opportunity to ask questions in the classroom, discuss among themselves and took participation in debates.

In some schools it has been found out that instead of removing social stereotypes and beliefs such as caste system and discrimination against girl child are being strengthened and nurtured. In such a situation, it’s doubtful whether campaigns like Make in India and Skill India will be successful.

The need of the hour is that the teachers themselves be aware of all these and go ahead and try to remove existing flaws in the education system. It is evident that there are many obstacles in the path, and it’s very daunting to achieve the goal. But one step at a time will make the journey happen. If the teacher comes forward and asks for help, rest assured, there are many people and organisations who are more than happy to help them and undertake all possible measures to make their journey smooth.

Skill-based education guides the students where to look, doesn’t limit their world to what to see and so it is the true celebration of inquisitiveness of future seekers of the Millennium.

Pramilla Gupta, manager, VSPK International School, Sector - 13, Rohini. Views expressed are personal.