EducationWorld Rankings
Institution Updates
Teacher-resources (68)
Search
Title :
 
Employment assessment programmes at colleges are typically designed to help students attain their goals at the completion of the course. It helps students to recognise their strengths and areas of improvement, identify industries and functions that may suit their skills and interests, measure gaps and provide feedback. These are necessary for students to prepare themselves to get selected and perform at workplace.

The time when candidates were chosen based on their graduation/academic scores are long gone. Today, organisations are keen to assess candidates across multiple dimensions in order to arrive at a holistic profile to enable them ascertain fitment to the organisation and the team.

Colleges are under pressure to enhance employability of their students. This has forced many of them to build ‘structures’ that will enable them enhance industry interactions and build employability programmes designed to bridge the gaps that may be present in the students. Employability enhancement programmes led by assessments have a role to play in this respect.

This article highlights five reasons why colleges should have such employability assessment programs.

Identify Strengths and Areas of Improvement: Corporates are comfortable with the domain knowledge that students acquire from colleges. What student need is to focus on their skills, ability and personality which are not a part of a typical curriculum in colleges. Scientific employability assessments reveal the strengths and weaknesses of students, particularly in these areas. This feedback is the first important step towards making them employable in a career of choice.

Plan Career: A good employability assessment would assess interests and other behavioural traits of students along with their abilities and skills. This understanding will help students prepare themselves for probable careers where they fit. Early assessment interventions will give students enough time to prepare better for their career.

Focused Training:
Assessments form the basis for training need identification. Once the training needs are identified, it is important to devise training programmes that will address the areas where gaps are to be filled.

Showcasing Talent Pool: Out of the 4000+ engineering colleges in India, corporates visit only around 500 colleges for campus recruitment. Corporates’ lack of confidence on the employability of students is one of reasons why students of a majority of engineering colleges miss out. Employability assessments can help colleges showcase the available talent pool and attract corporates for campus and off-campus recruitment.

College Branding:
The academic landscape in India is fast evolving. In this context, colleges that have undertaken systematic employability enhancement initiatives have attracted greater interest among the student community. This commitment and adoption of reputed tools would also help colleges in enhancing their ratings in the industry.

Practice and Experience: Many times, the corporate recruitment test is the first time a student gets a change to appear for an employability test and face an interview. More practice in the form of mock tests and mock interviews through the employability assessment programme will help students perform better in their recruitment test.

Today, a sound employability enhancement programme has become a ‘hygiene’ requirement in a regular graduation course. It is important for colleges to understand that the need of the hour is not just to assess employability but to devise sound employability enhancement programmes that will ensure that students become job ready by the time they qualify.

Today, 'Employability' is a ‘lifeskill‘.

The author is Nagendran Sundararajan, executive vice president, MeritTrac Services.
 
The children of today are gearing up to become adult citizens of tomorrow. The growth is parallel to the future of our country, reflected through quality of the present education system. A school must stimulate curiosity in the young, impressionable minds and equip them with tools to be better human beings.

It widely accepted that the learning process is instrumental in shaping one’s personality and the way he/she deals with situations of life. The shift of thoughts from bookish knowledge to knowledge of life, in schools, has brought forth a sea of change. People have warmed up to the idea of education being the key to a well-rounded development instead of just a mean to acquire degrees and monetary success in life. Education must facilitate the cultivation of a healthy thought process and groom our cognitive abilities. In the present competitive world, education is a basic necessity for human beings after food, clothes and shelter.

School education must focus on the following aspects, which contribute immensely to the development of the young minds as they step into adulthood.

Mental aspect

School is the foremost fountain of knowledge children are exposed to. It gives a chance for them to acquire knowledge on various fields of education such as people, literature, history, mathematics, politics, and other numerous subjects. This contributes to cultivation in the thought process. When one is exposed to the influences coming from various cultural sources, his/her on world and existence becomes vast. 

Social aspect

School is the first avenue of socialising for a child. Up till then, parents and immediate family members are the only people the child has human interactions with. And familiarity is a breeding ground of stagnancy. With schools, children are exposed not only to new ideas but also to same aged compatriots. This instils sociable practices such as empathy, friendship, participation, assistance which turn out to be important in their adulthood.


Physical aspect

A child, after conception, goes through various physical development. While home provides a restricted outlet, in school, a child can channelise his energy into more sociable avenues. Studies have pointed out that while in familiar environment, the child is is equipped to deal with sudden bursts of energy, the learns to be at his/her best behaviour only when exposed to same-aged individuals. Plus, familiarity leads to taking advantage of situations, while in school, the playing field is levelled. Also, the presence of activities such as sports, craft help children direct their boundless energy into something productive.

Overall aspect

Earlier, schools were considered as places to learn events in history chapter, solve tough mathematical problems or recite poems and sonnets. In current educational scenario, a child learns to go beyond the traditional way of rote learning. They are taught to develop a mind of their own and through the flexible curriculum, curiosity is promoted. The child is freed of the shackles of mental blocks and lets his/her imagination run its course. Importance of imagination is stressed upon extensively. Play enactions and an encompassing curriculum leads to a well-developed cognitive system.

Conclusion

Life is also about learning, apart from living. While we can learn to a certain extent from our parents, they tend to be unilateral. At school, children are exposed to various sources from whom they can imbibe immense knowledge, instrumental for their development. Hence school is necessary for children to inculcate “the workings of life”

Education forms the foundation of any society. It is responsible for the economic, social, and political growth and development of society in general. The thread of the growth of society depends upon the quality of education that is being imparted. So schools play an important role in moulding a nation's future by facilitating all round development of its future citizens.

The author is Deepika Sharma, Principal SRS International School.
 
A robust education system reflects any country’s growth and prosperity. Education acts as the foundation for a brighter future of an individual. Over the last few decades, great strides in India’s education system were made though the focus on developing the right set of skills and providing training to create global citizens is still missing. There is a dire need to empower individuals who have the power to make the difference in the world by eradicating the most of the complex issues.

By incorporating design, which by and large shapes our ideas better is inherent in our every act. We design, we create experiences to make the life of individuals more comfortable, information readily available, work more efficient, spaces more convivial, and in turn making people's life more meaningful. The strategic importance of design for national and industrial competitiveness is a world known phenomena. For India, the value addition through innovation in design has and will play a pivotal role to enhance competitiveness for both manufacturing and service industries. The Government of India has initiated a consultee approach with industry and designers to develop the broad contours for a combined vision towards a design enabled Indian industry. It is with the objective of creating positive impulse in the national economy and high quality of life for everyone.

With such a positive outlook and government push, lets’ take a step back to reassess the Design education scenario in India. Back in the 1950s, the Indian government noticed the negligence of design and quality for consumer items. With a strong emphasis, a focused educational programme was created to develop the industrial design and visual communication skills for Indians. The famous American industrial designer duo Charles Eames and his wife Ray were invited to India to formalise Design education in India. Under their report guidelines, National Institute of Design was set up in 1961.

Since then, Design education in India has witnessed multifold changes and upgradation. The acceptance and practice of design in India have grown tremendously. There are a variety of design schools across the country who claim to improvise the design education standards by imparting the much-required training to students. Though with a faster-changing world even the standards in Design education are very high. And the question remains is how can we remove the loopholes and sustain a high-quality education from a conventional structure?

The awareness of Design education and the growing demand for design professionals is a positive indicator. It educates people to differentiate between a good or a bad product and it certainly helps shape a better future of our world. There is a growing need to eradicate the redundancies in the traditional course curriculum. A strategic streamlining of the education structure which offers practice exposure encourages focused learning is much required. Along with basics of design, this societal problem will be addressed by applying design concepts in the knowledge structure. It will help build interest and develop their skills.

Admission Process: A sharpened focus while admitting students to Design curriculum with emphasis on aptitude, quality and acumen. Even Design scholarships will help the right students to develop their capabilities who otherwise could not afford to take up these programmes.

Practical Learning Approach: The world is changing every day and so do our Design processes. A lean and efficient learning experience must be provided to help the future designers create a better tomorrow as opposed to the conventional process. The best way to go about with practice will be to adopt a project-based, and internship oriented curriculum much in the real world to learn and experiment. Collaboration is the key to success for future. To provide aspirants with significant exposure to work across streams live projects creation opportunities are required. It will in-turn help them build their professional skills, including communication, brainstorming ideas and practical thinking which are equally important.

Quest for Right Faculty: To impart quality in Design education, we need educators who can bring together and put that value across to the Design aspirants. To avoid the shortage of qualified faculty for Design education, we need to act now. With newer additions every day, we require teachers to narrow the learning gap for students.

Learning Environment:
Even though Design education has been in existence in India for a couple of decades, the country still lags behind its counterparts from global Design education fraternity. There is not enough traction in our current learning system. A creative fusion of hardcore Design with technical aspects through an independent, creative and self-reliant approach will certainly change this scenario. The institutions should offer more opportunities for students to grow, think efficiently and independently.

Specialisation focus:
A continuous evaluation of course curriculum by mapping the latest industry demands will help while developing Design courses. More than focusing on one particular area in the Design vertical, the institutions should ideally equip the learners with a know-how of the related areas. For example, a specialisation in Systems Design must focus on why the need for System Design (feasibility), for whom it is getting developed (empathy), and how it will work/help (functionality) aspects.

At the governance level, the liberalisation of institutions will help better designing of course curriculum to create empowered professionals of tomorrow.

Innovation is essential for creating that edge in Indian Design education to help students work better in unpredictable market conditions and intense global competition. Incremental improvements by themselves will not do. The points listed above will help improve the quality of Design training in India.

The author is Dr. Sanjay Dhande, chief mentor, Avantika University.

 
"Rote memorisation at the early stages of learning can have a crippling effect on the developing brain”. - Melanie West, leading child psychologist.

As another set of school examinations draw closer, students all across the country and at all grade levels are spending many of their waking hours engaged in a similar ritual: Memorising large amounts of material with the hope that they will retain it all just long enough so that they can write everything back on a final exam. Once this act is complete, the information is banished from their heads and they will probably never think of it again. Rote learning is the dominant paradigm or model of education in India and this is a big problem.

Globally, being equipped to compete in an fast evolving environment is a prerequisite; there is a need for students entering the workforce to be well-versed with their chosen domain of knowledge, with an in-depth understanding of the basics. But, are we making sure this happens in India? Perhaps not. We need to revisit our education system which is based on a typical, known and practiced route predicated on rote learning. It's an approach that can actually obstruct the basic understanding of concepts and can kill curiosity and deeper learning.

In a research study conducted by Wipro, the question asked to school children was among Mahatma Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, who is still alive? Only a little over a third of class 4 students interviewed as part of a five-city school survey in India got this one right, with a small percentage saying it is Mahatma Gandhi. As many as two-thirds of students, also from class 4, who were asked to state the length of a pencil — placed against a ruler — could not give the right answer. Nearly half the students in classes 4, 6 and 8 thought the shape of a square object would change if it is tilted. And about 45 per cent of students in these classes seemed to believe that a spider has six legs, despite the arthropod being described or named as ‘eight-legged' in almost all Indian languages. 

These findings are not based on responses from underprivileged children going to State-funded schools in rural areas. These are drawn from 89 of the country's top schools, each of which had a library, a laboratory and enough computers, and 93 per cent stated they had internet facilities. And 63 per cent of the parents of these children hold a degree, post-graduate degree or doctorate, and more than 41 per cent of the fathers were into their own business. The significance of this study is that it shows that even the country's top schools exhibit signs of rote learning. 

Education before the internet age was all about knowing things or facts. It was believed that at a particular age children should have a certain amount of knowledge. According to Google CEO Eric Schmidt, the world now creates as much information every two days as we did from the dawn of civilisation up until 2003. The idea that our school boards can define a standardised set of facts from this ocean of information that all children must know and memorise in order to succeed in life is increasingly ridiculous.

India has the largest youth population, with around 356 million in the age group of 10-24, and we need to seriously reevaluate our education model which places an undue amount of importance to rote learning. India’s rank on the Human Development Index (HDI) stood at 130 in the latest report released by the United Nations Development Programme's in 2015. India stood at the lowest among the BRICS nations on this index. Meanwhile education is one of the key contributors to the HDI. Educators feel the reason for India’s poorest show in the HDI is the outdated form of education that stresses on rote learning without encouraging creativity and questioning.

For a nation like India where the youth can play a pivotal role in changing the fortunes of the country, it is necessary that students shift away from rote learning and pursue holistic education instead.


Authored by Parmeet Shah, Founder, upcoming IB School in Mulund.