Education should be oriented towards skill development
India's education system needs to be oriented towards skill development to address the issue of growing unemployment, says eminent scientist G Madhavan Nair.
Hyderabad: India's education system needs to be oriented towards skill development to address the issue of growing unemployment, says eminent scientist G Madhavan Nair. The former Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation also said the school syllabi is overloaded putting pressure on students. Assessment of Internal tests in schools is not proper, Nair said, noting that invariably every student gets full marks (20/20).
"There was a time when we used to depend more on descriptive type of answers, than on objective ones. Objective tests actually do not bring out the skills, how far the student has understood the subject...whether he can express properly.
We may have to convert at least 50 per cent of the questions into descriptive mode," he said. General complaint is that most of the school syllabi is "overloaded" resulting in students always being under pressure. "You have to reduce the burden." Students should be able to relate what they are reading and studying with the practical world, according to him.
"Whether its science or sociology or whatever it is, that link is missing, they don't know why they are studying this, and where it can be used. Practical correlation is very, very important," Nair told PTI. Scientific temper needs to be created, he said. "They (students) should have the courage to experiment, question and think differently; that opportunity has to be provided for. Analytical approach to problem solving has to be taken up right from the beginning," Nair said.
There should be more practical classes than theoretical ones as one goes to higher classes. "To a great extent, up to 10th standard, there is a strong syllabi. 11th, 12th standards and graduate programme, repetition is there.
If you distribute them (syllabi) evenly, perhaps the student would be able to perform. Experimental and practical skills have to be encouraged," he stressed. According to him, the unemployment problem is aggravated mainly because the educational programme is not oriented towards skill development.
"How to apply knowledge for solving practical problems is a must. People should get oriented towards that." A 12th standard student, for example, can't even attend to simple electrical or plumbing related problem at his home.
"We don't need all the people to go up to the PhD level. So, some people may stop at 12th standard, graduation etc. Each step, they have to be empowered. 12th standard student should be able to get into practical jobs. It can be in the offices, agricultural field or in shops... If you go to the graduation level, they should be able to do better.
"Today, graduation level students are doing what can be done by a 12th standard student. For computer related tasks, what is needed is some programming skills and knowledge of English, which is very much available with 12th standard students."
"Instead of channelising 12th standard students, we spend five years in engineering colleges, and then get into a job which does not require that kind of a qualification," Nair said.