Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Skill empowerment

It can be said that today’s education should not be just about familiarizing children with what traditionally travels through generations. It is not even about a slew of established disciplines in science, social science, language and literature. It has gone beyond all this. There are now deep and vibrant connections between industry, markets and education. Around the world we have universities and colleges introducing new courses to deepen this integration between industry and market, on the one hand, and education and research, on the other. In our part of the world we have had experts always point this out that our education system should orient itself with the changing trends. It must learn to adjust its content and delivery systems to the emerging demands of market and industry. That is the only way we can create new jobs, and absorb our degree holders, and researchers, in the networks of employment. It is now a beaten line that government cannot accommodate all educated youth that complete degrees in colleges and universities. The existing avenues of jobs are too little to meet the challenge of rising employment. Even if government creates more jobs by putting in more resource into its governance structures that is no answer to the problem that is as huge as unemployment is. So how do we solve this problem, and create new means of livelihood. The world has found answer not in creating more posts in government departments, or raising new departments. The answer has come from equipping students with different skills that allow them to enter into markets and make a niche for themselves. In a nutshell there is a need to impart different skills to our students so that they can independently establish themselves in the emerging industrial and service sector. This way we open up new means of livelihood and also address the problem of over dependence on government employment. Not only this, we open up the doors of markets and industries around the world for our students. Skill empowerment is enabling market-oriented and required skills to make youth employable gainfully. That is to say it is a necessary condition for gainful employment in an economy. It can also make a person contribute his own labour, intellectual as well as physical to his own business rather than work for somebody. Therefore, it leads to a path to effective self-employment. Here it is also a fact that in different departments, many skill or employment-related schemes are operating for providing jobs and skills to the unemployed youth in general and educated unemployed youth in particular. But the problem is that instead of spending money on skill empowerment and training they spend substantial amounts on vast administrative outlays and other unproductive means. Money is being spent on infrastructure development, managing staff, bonuses, and huge salaries of top managers, etc. Therefore, these sectoral initiatives fail severely. Also low educated and rural people are unaware of these schemes and their benefits. In pandemic times when movement has been restricted it is very necessary to revitalize our traditional sectors especially livestock and handicrafts. All the bottlenecks have to be removed and we should impart better and job-oriented skills to our youth so that they progress. The government should take all major steps and efforts to provide gainful employment to our youth. Keeping in view the bad political economy and COVID-19 shock, possibilities and opportunities have to be carved out for absorption and adjustment of the youth by way of creating cost-effective self-employment and skill development prospects in both government and private sector. The growth model of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) is suitable way out in which private sectors will provide a helping hand to government for undertaking productive development projects by sharing profits. Today our economy has a large pool of talent and human resource that is educated but unemployed due to many reasons. But, lack of appropriate job skills, soft skills, life skills, and practical knowledge are important reasons. Herein it is very essential to engage youth in skill development tasks for improving employment prospects and for that matter we must invite different departments of the state (core in particular) and successful companies to join hands with (and help) educational institutions. This will for sure improve employability per year and adjust youth in different sectors of the economy.