The importance of Job-readiness through practical exposure and learning
We now live in the 21st century, the age of technology which is an integral part of our life, India is the 3rd largest user of the internet (450 million, 75% below the age of 35yrs) after U.S and China. Information is available to children at the click of a button. So the rote method of schooling is obsolete. With exponential change in technology this gap will only widen. School needs to be a place for collaborative learning of skills and attitudes and not content. Flipped classrooms, online learning, free courses on open platforms, with the conventional learning system that India follows we have 22% students opting for online education and it will only grow. Higher order thinking skills required in real life like applying, analysing, evaluating and creating now need to be an integral part of learning in schools. We need to develop innovators, critical thinkers, problem solvers, lifelong learners to meet the ever-changing unpredictable world.
Today we have teens who are working with Google as coders and are earning a living for themselves or they have started companies and are budding entrepreneurs. The top most companies today do not own brick and mortar office. Their presence is online which is huge disruption and unexpected.
Need of the Hour
Schools now work on nurturing children to become entrepreneurs and the nuances of starting a business. For example in Billabong High International School, while learning Charlie and the chocolate factory they don’t just learn it as part of literature. They create a business plan for manufacturing chocolates. They manufacture them, package and sell them too. When grade two children read The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark, they camp in school at night.
Skill enhancement Courses
In fact according to me children should get the opportunity to experience various fields of work as apprentices in real companies. This will help them in picking the right career path and understand the demands of the real world. We are in the process of developing a junior diploma course where children can experience different aspects of a career they would like to pursue. For e.g. if a child is aspiring to be a fashion designer, they will learn different aspects of the industry like creating a business plan, different aspects of designing and more and at the end they will also organise a fashion show to showcase all their work as a performance of understanding.
Preparing children for the Future
The other thing to understand is that the job scenario will be changing completely. The jobs that will be in demand are not in existence right now. So we need to empower children with skills and habits of mind like adaptability, flexibility, persistence, empathy, etc. to cope with the dynamic and fluid environment.
In our EVS readers for all concepts we have included various careers for each so that children are exposed to various options. For Eg. Years back no one picked a job of a Travel Blogger. Today we have a series of people who have made their passion of travelling into a career option for them.