Education

Sorry trolls, there is an employment crisis & we need to fix it!

Lt Col. A Sekhar
Sorry trolls, there is an employment crisis & we need to fix it!

Travel by autorickshaw, Ola/Uber in any metropolitan city....more so in Chennai and Bengaluru. Start a chat with the driver...The straw poll conducted over a month brought out that three to four of them are engineers...

Go for recruitment of school teachers....60 percent of the applicants are engineers...often Post Graduates...From the iconic Narayana Murthy to any number of studies, employability quoted is always less than 25 percent for engineering graduates...

A conservative estimate of the vacancies for school teachers goes upwards of 15 lakh in India... 

Yet (now that the elections are over), we can safely state (despite the threat of trolling of all kinds, especially from family members) that there is an unemployment crisis....

Flip the coin over, ask the employers, and the tale of woe is always overflowing. Hard and soft skills are difficult to come by.

See the conundrum...Unemployed youth available in crores....yet, quality jobs are lying vacant. Vocational jobs even more so.

Have I shocked you enough...? If not, here is more...over 1.6 crore students sit for the Grade XII examinations across India (as per figures of 2018). MHRD data enumerates that only 25% of these students get college admissions, for these are the number of seats available on ground.

Therefore, 1.6 crore students....

Despite high pass percentages, about 30 percent of them do not pass....say 48 lakhs...

The rest...of 1.1 crore or so students; only 25% get admissions to colleges.... over 82 lakhs do not reach college...

Where do this 1.3 crore Class XII appeared/ passed students go? It can be safely assumed that WhatsApp University, despite its huge appetite, cannot accommodate or proselytise all of them....It is ripe for many a PhD thesis...

Young Indians of today, born mostly after the initiation of economic reforms in 1991, who have not seen life without internet, google, mobile phones and satellite TV, have given a second chance to PM Modi with high expectations. They have, for the present, trusted him, accepted his mann ki baat. Yet, they are impatient, and can be less than accommodating when their aspirations are not fulfilled. The various agitations for reservations, which happened sporadically over the last three years, offer a clue to their mindset.

A humongous task… Indeed, it is… What is the way forward? With a misplaced sense of courage, I attempt to answer this question.

1. Appoint a political heavyweight as the Cabinet Minister for HRD; and relatively young, dynamic ministers as Ministers of State with well demarcated job responsibilities. It is safe to say that this Ministry was among the more disappointing performers in NDA 2. There is a world in India, beyond CBSE, Delhi University cut offs and the echo chamber of the Delhi media. The real reforms have to happen there.

2. Get the new Education policy approved, with bipartisan support. ‘Take the Chapter on Nehru out...this year...put it in...next year’ phenomenon, is to put it mildly, silly and counterproductive. Education is far too important to become hostage to the present era of hyper-partisan politics. Make the policy future sensitive. Bring all stake holders, including opposition political parties onto the same page so that policies may offer the right balance between continuity and change.

3. A complete, bottoms up review of the NCF keeping the excellent 2005 document as the starting point. Again, non partisanship is the key.

4. A permanent, yet flexible mechanism for fee regulation, across all sectors, with the right balance between ground realities and social responsibilities.

5. Integrate vocational training compulsorily with the academic curriculum. I have had electrical engineers unable to work a tester, and a rheostat, and chemical engineers unable to differentiate between sodium and potassium when shown to them!!!

6. Wholesale change of the command and control structures in academia, be it School, College, Technical, professional education. The bureaucratic red tape is not a figment of imagination, it is a grim reality, often, a Gordian knot...Trust, but check is to be the guiding philosophy....

This is my take… What is yours?

 

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of ScooNews.

Image Courtesy: dayafterindia

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