Education Policy must be compatible with employment needs

By and large, the education and training must be clubbed.

India must not lose focus on the research and innovation.
India must not lose focus on the research and innovation.

By R P Gupta

As per CMIE Survey report, during September to Decement-2022, out of total 400 million job-holders, barely 12% are graduates. About 40% job-holders are matriculates (10th class), 28% are non-matriculates and balance 20% have passed barely 5th class. Surprisingly, un-employment rates among graduates, matriculates and non-matriculates are 17.2%, 10.2% and 1.6% respectively. This reveals that; India’s Education Policy is not so compatible with its employment needs.

In the modern industrialised economy, formal education is most crucial which started in India from 1830. After independence, it gained momentum which helped in gradual transition from Agro-economy to Industrial economy. But now, there has been mismatch between the employment needs and matching education and skills. In sequel, unemployment problems have been enlarged causing frustration among educated youths. On the other hand, it is also true that; there is shortage of man-power with few specific educations and skills. Therefore, current education system needs major overhaul.

I believe, human capital is the most precious asset for the overall growth and development of Nation and that must be gainfully deployed. Failing which, the poverty rate shall be enlarged causing social unrest. However, the work-force should have appropriate education and skill as per market demand. That will reduce un-employment, raise income of job-holders and also improve efficiency of economy. An efficient economy shall reduce cost-push inflation and improve global-competitiveness. That will boost exports and generate new jobs.

Initially, India must conduct detail survey for assessing the current and future demand and supply of man-power in each sector with requisite knowledge and skills. This will facilitate youths for selecting their educational career. Based upon such survey, the education policy, the curriculum and subjects must be decided. However, it should be dynamic with changing market needs. For this, few suggestions are mentioned below; those are not exhaustive.

Everybody should be motivated for completing Matriculation and need-based financial assistance may be provided. Yoga and/or sports must be compulsory for building healthy body. Few subjects from ancient education, prior to formalisation, may also be included for promoting, morale, ethics and self-development. That will build responsible society and augment happiness.

After Matriculation, there are ITI and Diploma courses of 2-4 years for few subjects such as engineering, nursing, hotel management etc. This may be extended for multiple natures of jobs as per market demand. More so, it should be combination of formal education and vocational training. The duration of course shall depend upon the nature of jobs. The students and parents may be guided for career selection based upon aforesaid survey and aptitude of student.

For balance students, higher education may be pursued in the existing format but with a change in curriculum as per market demand. In every curriculum, 6/12 months training must be compulsory somewhat similar to medical education. Simultaneously, soft skills of effective communication and managing problems must be developed.

In addition, India must not lose focus on the research and innovation related education for few selected students. Since, the market-demand of research scholars is not so promising; Governments (State and Centre) must open new institutions and absorb such scholars for the future needs.

As per last employment survey, about 48% of job-holders are self-employed. Out of which, 60% might be farmers and balance are running Micro and Small units. Surprisingly, their average income is lower than the employees with regular salaried jobs. Many of them have chosen self-employment under compulsion due to non-availability of regular salaried jobs. With appropriate education and development of entrepreneurial skill, the productivity in the agriculture and small business shall upsurge benefitting those persons and thus, economic efficiency of Nation shall also improve. Rather those can generate new jobs.

Besides Industry sector, there are several skilled and semi-skilled employees such as, drivers, plumbers, electricians, cooks, masons, carpenters, construction-workers etc. Likewise, in regular industry and service sector, there are several skilled and semiskilled employees. Most of them have acquired skill from their father or relatives in a conventional manner after working with them at nominal/nil wages. Most of them are non-matriculates from poor family. If those are imparted education clubbed with the vocational training, their income shall upsurge besides improving efficiency of economy. For example, an educated driver after acquiring knowledge of vehicle maintenance and traffic rules and holding degree/certificate will certainly get priority in the employment with higher wages.

By and large, the education and training must be clubbed. After completing education, every youth must be ready for jobs. The career selection after matriculates should be market driven, as per regular survey. By this, average income of job-holders and the productivity of economy shall upsurge generating more jobs. Teachings of moral, ethics and self-development shall reduce social conflicts and eventually Nation will prosper towards “gross happiness”.

Also Read: Edutainment; the future of education?

Before making aforesaid radical changes, a wider consultation with academicians and employer should be done. Also the education policies of few developed nations must be critically examined. However, the starting point is the detail survey and identification of problems. Good education policy clubbed with pro-investment climate and easement of business laws can deliver miraculous result for overall prosperity.

This article is written by author, Turn Around India. Views expressed are personal.

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First published on: 21-05-2023 at 13:00 IST