Paving the Path to Success
We have come a long way from the first man who honed his hunting
skills for his existence. But today’s skills are meant for perfection and
excellence in respective domains. So, what are the skills, technical or
otherwise, needed for excellence in one’s domain? Nothing in this world exists without
expertise or skill.
Skills can be inborn or bequeathed. But they have to be honed and polished. Even the gift of the gab is a skill, which needs to be regularly exercised.
It’s our responsibility to make the next generation employable. We need to grapple with mediocrity and bring out a set of youngsters who will be shining examples of professionals who excel in their jobs and individuals who contribute to the wellness of life, said Anchor-Moderator Das Mammen, Rajagiri Media, throwing open the discussion on Skill Development, the Key to Success and Self-assurance.
Dr. Kuncheria P. Isaac: Knowledge and skills are part of education. Skill has to be acquired. For example, if a driver has the required tech skill, he will easily manoeuvre a car through the traffic with the help of Google maps. Students need project-based learning instead of theory classes. They should be trained right from the beginning with the assumption that only the best will get the best jobs. So, it’s in the fitness of things to strive for excellence. There’s
no doubt that we’re heading for a tech-driven world. (Vice Chancellor, Kerala Technological University)
Anil Kumar T. V.: The most important question today is how employable our engineering graduates are. Our students are ambitious, but not employable. The main reason the lack of communication skills and inability to handle IT-related subjects of study. Everybody is gadget-savvy, but lack soft skills and life skills. ASAP (Additional Skill Acquisition Programme, Govt. of Kerala, India) is planning to address this issue. (Head, Training, ASAP)
K. L. Mohana Varma: Skill development was the focal point in the Gurukula system of education. Almost 90% of what we learn today is irrelevant. We have been in a system and are stuck in it. Modern apps like Byju’s Learning App brought out by a brilliant engineering student should set an example for all. (Journalist, poet and writer)
P. C. Cyriac IAS (Retd): Skills lie in following one’s natural aptitude. We need to raise the bar. For this, we have to stop forcing students to go to universities. Any student scoring less than 60% for higher secondary should be diverted to technical schools or other streams. The need of the hour is to promote technical skills. This can be done by upgrading our ITIs. We can very easily follow Germany’s example where a lot of lot of stress is laid on technical education. A revamp of technical education system is imminent. (Former Addl. Chief Secretary, Govt of Tamil Nadu)
Dr. Johnson Xavier Palackappillil: Attitudes are what make a person succeed. ASAP had good intentions but the training imparted in skills development was nowhere near the required standard. Students need to come out of the comforts of their classrooms and work the Earth. They need to feel the soil. Only an affinity with Earth and Nature can create excellence in students. The NCC has been of immense help in inculcating a sense of discipline in students. (Principal, Sacred Heart College, Thevara.)
K.G. Sreenivas: There has been great emphasis on skills development in order to widen and deepen sustainable employability, security, and livelihoods. How much of it translates into measurable, credible, and sustainable results is, however, another matter. We need to stress on life skills. Our policy planners have done a great disservice by alienating art and craft from schools. Lack of communication skills is what holds back students from developing their
innate faculties. (Journalist & writer)
Brig. Venu Nair: Skilling is one of the two outputs of education; the other being imparting knowledge. The main aim
of skill development is to achieve efficiency. We need to skill “the affected group” of our population, our youth. This so because 54% of our present population is less than 25 yrs of age and they form 62% of our workforce. To reap the benefits of this demographic dividend, we need to skill them suitably. Skills that we need to impart are both hard and soft. Hard skills can be imparted institutionally but soft skills which are mainly of the mind and heart are to be imbibed. (Defence analyst and educationist)
Prof. C.S. Francis: Our society is facing an unprecedented situation today. The overall prosperity we achieved
in the last three decades seems to be tapering off. The relatively easy childhood consequent upon the shrinking of family sizes, individualism and urbanization seems to have fallen short of building in our youth, character and substance. (Head, Dept. of English, SH College, Thevara)
Dr. Joseph Moolayil: The education process in schools must enable a child to explore himself and to have self-awareness through activity-oriented child-centred curriculum. It will help adolescents to understand themselves and establish their personal identity. Lack of information and skills prevent them from successfully exploring their
potential and establishing a positive image and sound career perspective. During schooling they must also acquire the abilities for adaptive and positive behaviour that helps to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of life. It’s better to have lighter syllabi till class seven. During this period there must be academic strategies which will enable students to explore themselves and develop better. This will help to opt for higher studies and a career of their choice rather than go by the suggestions of parents and teachers. (Associate Professor, Dept. of Chemistry, SH College, Thevara).
Fg. Offr. Dr. Joseph George: Skill development is undoubtedly a vital key to one’s success in today’s competitive world. In this ICE Age (Information, Communication, Entertainment), the onus is on teachers and parents to mould our younger generation’s conscience about how to use technology for growth, enrichment and empowerment. One good way of making youngsters’ perceptions and conscience right is by nurturing them through a system like the National Service in Singapore (NS), which is a statutory requirement for Singaporean citizens and second generation
permanent residents to undergo a period of compulsory service in the uniformed services. Our NCC can play a great role if students are compulsorily made to enrol in it during their high school or college days at least for a period of two years. (Assistant Professor, Dept. of Commerce, Sacred Heart College, Thevara. He is also ANO (Associate NCC Officer), NCC Air Wing of his college.)
Dr. Varghese Pudussery: Emotional skills are more important than technical skills. Human being need to learn to bond. Students should be taught life skills and emotional skills. (Director, Santhwana, Institute of Counselling and Psychotherapy, Kochi)
Dr. Varghese Panthalookaran: It’s true that we are heading for a tech-enriched world. The main purpose of education is to make us realise what we are passionate about. That’s why all subjects are taught in school. Students should keep exploring their unique skills. Robots may replace humans from his future work spaces. But no one can take away from us our core competence. We all need to go back to our core competence, which no robots can copy. What will be the future of humans if robots even start thinking for us? (Prof. Rajagiri School of Engineering & Technology, Mg. Editor, Pallikkutam.)