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Right Fit to developing competent resource for businesses

Wednesday, 14 May 2014 - 6:35am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
Vikas Godbole and Vaibhav Soni discuss some parameters that hold key to developing competent resource for businesses.

The following five are the key role players in preparing talent:-
1. Family
2. School education
3. Higher education institutions

Family
Family's role in cultivating basic social and behavioural traits is well acclaimed and accepted. The basic education that a child receives from parents carries immense importance in terms of developing thoughts, attitude, humanity, humility, empathy and basic cognitive abilities.

The modern day living is widening the gap between parents and child. Since both the parents are working they are unable to devote time to mould their children to a desired shape. The improving financial status and easy availability of luxuries are driving young minds astray. This lack of basic value preparation at home is evident in a child's behaviour in the school. Even today, a majority of children are driven by what their parent want them to be, rather than what they wish to be. Such a child ultimately is developed in to a product sans desired qualities and skills.

A parent's attitudes, aspirations and behaviour are all important to a child's intellectual and social development, as is their ability to:

  • • Understand their child's day-to-day progress
  • • Undertake family learning together
  • • Talk regularly with their child about their learning.

For some parents, developing this confidence can be difficult - especially if they also need help with their own literacy, language and numeracy skills. Hence it is necessary to develop parent guidance schools to train them on child upbringing. Today's parents need to share the responsibility of developing talent rather than only expecting from the education system.

School Education
In India school education up to level 10 so far appeared to give holistic knowledge. The numerical skills of an Indian child are far better than those of a child from any other country. However, our system is too theoretical and exam oriented. Our students are kept busy with exams giving them little time for other activities. Probably, this suppresses their imagination and also makes them weak physically. Also, they don't develop team spirit and sportsmanship.

The role of school education in developing talent from a job perspective is either not defined or poorly understood in India. The present school education system does not match the 21st century needs. Besides, it is not aligned with higher education. Except the commerce subjects, no other subject taught at the 10 + 2 level actually gives insight about the degree course. We do not give vocational or basic technical knowledge that may help students to understand the anatomy professional careers.

The + 2 education ideally should prepare student to make a particular career choice. It should be viewed as a launch platform for various courses from engineering and medical to architecture and fashion technology. This model may help student to pre-select a career, and perhaps discover whether they have a suitable aptitude. Future success in one's career largely depends on affective and psychomotor skills and not so much on cognitive skills. Lack of preparation at school level transforms into poor raw material being rolled out to higher education institution. To develop talent, the basic raw material preparation should undergo a sea change.

Higher Education Institutions
During the past three decades the transformation of education from a class to mass sector has impacted its quality adversely. With the exception of some premier institutions like IIT and IIM, the rest appear to be business organizations interested only in making money rather than developing talent.

The higher education institutes directly provide human resource to the industry. A majority institutes are ignorant about establishing Industry- Institute Interface critical for talent development. Consequently, the industry has to remain dependant on a handful of institutions for their human resource needs. There is serious crunch of desired profiles in youngsters. The number of unemployed graduates swells because they are simply unemployable. India turns out about 350,000 engineers and 2.5 million other university graduates annually, yet at any given time five million graduates are unemployed, according statistics available with Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci). A survey by McKinsey Global Institute found only 25% of Indian graduates is employable.

Hiroshi Saeki of the World Bank's Education team for the South Asian region and co-author Andreas Blom published a research paper recently that said 64 per cent of Indian employers are only somewhat satisfied or less with their current engineering staff's skills. "The improvement of professional skills would be needed for Indian engineers to be more competitive in both the national and the global market," Saeki says.

"Many students don't know how to interact in a professional environment or send a professional email and handle basic computer programs. These basic skills are very important," says Saurabh Chandra, chief executive officer of Neev Information Technologies Pvt. Ltd, a software services provider.

Chandra says his company could was hire only 10 of the 400 candidates who applied for a particular position and that after relaxing its standard. He blames educational institutions for the problem. There has been little change over the years in college curriculums, learning materials and conduct of examinations to make them relevant to changing market needs, he says.

McKinsey just published a groundbreaking study about the impact of education on employment ("Education to Employment"), and it demonstrates the challenging mismatch between our educational system and the job skills employers need. Here are the key findings:

Forty-five per cent of employers say lack of skills is the "main reason" for entry-level vacancies

Only 42 per cent of worldwide employers believe new graduates are adequately prepared for work.

Educational institutions are out of sync with employer needs. They are not in touch with corporate recruiters and the needs of business. They are just degree distributing centres and think talent development is not their responsibility. This attitude needs to change if India has to face the challenges of 2022.

The authors Vikas Godbole is director and Vaibhav Soni, assistant professor, RKDF Institute of Management Bhopal)




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