Today in most situations formal education does not prepare a kid for a career. It only enables the award of a degree and certificate. While we may say that the current education system possibly lays a theoretical foundation, it lacks in application. Further, it assesses the ability of kids to memorise and reproduce and not apply their intelligence to solve a problem.
What do we need to do to change the system ? In my view, education should prepare kids to assess themselves and realise their full potential. As a kid, I should be clear what my strengths are and what my passion is ? We should take children to places where they can live their passion. Imagine a creative child working in an organisation like a BPO where the job is process driven and not much scope for innovation. On the other hand, imagine an analytical child trying to innovate and create new designs in an advertising agency. Both the kids are likely to be unhappy and may not be fully equipped to do their jobs.
Our system conditions the child to believe that some careers are more prestigious than others. The inequity in salary and wages also makes children force themselves to take up high paying jobs although they may not be enjoying it. Similarly, the environment also does not encourage entrepreneurship. It is generally believed that smarter people take up certain kind of jobs only.
All these fallacies in our system makes us believe that it is time to reset our education system. Starting from schooling we need to delink education to our ability to memorise things and reproduce. It should be more vocational after an objective assessment of the child’s potential. Some kids are analytical, some creative, some love sports and others dramatics. We need to create a system which enables each child to make a self assessment on what they are good at and what type of work will give them joy.
My experience teaches me that we need to enjoy what we do in life. If we enjoy what we do, we give our best and live our passion in life. Otherwise, it becomes a ritual and adds to stress and agony in life. It does not matter if we are playing a sport or teaching in a college. We need to do what brings out the best in us. We need to experience joy in doing it and add value to ourselves and society at large.
At primary level, kids should not be in a competitive environment like today. They should be free to play and learn and understand what they enjoy doing more. This will take them to their area of strength. At the mid school level , it should help them self assess and then decide on which area they would like to study. At senior school and college level, it could be a right blend of theory and practical application in the field of their choice. This should be supplemented by compulsory internship as part of the curriculum to test their application skills.
All the above steps will prepare a child to go where they want to go. No destination is final. If a child realises that they have made a mistake on the way, our systems should be flexible enough to for them to choose an alternate path. This way we can ensure that children find their passion in life always.
As in the photo above, a child is not the most educated when young but could be more intelligent and creative and can trouble shoot many issues if they enjoy doing what they do.
Organisations needs to support internship for children so that they can assess themselves and make them industry ready. This could include businesses who can prepare kids interested in starting their own ventures and improve their risk appetite.
After all education is the foundation for a better tomorrow.
The journey has to begin today.
S Ramesh Shankar
2nd June 2020