While the government is pushing hard for skill development among the youths, various schemes are being launched to ensure that there are enough options to choose from. A special focus is on the digital education for imparting employability skills to the students in industrial training institutes (ITIs) across the country.
Aimed at fulfilling the need for anytime, anywhere learning, the learning modules will be accessible to 2.5 million learners through the Government of India’s Bharat Skills Portal as well as other platforms.
The digital lessons will be instrumental in introducing innovative pedagogical models like blended learning in Industrial Training Institutes (ITI), which will empower educators to create and lead 21st century classrooms.
Speaking to Indiatimes, Aakash Sethi, CEO of Quest Alliance highlighted on how the digital lessons will be useful for learners.
“We have seen that youth gravitate towards technology that provides them the space to learn and relearn skills that they will need for the future workplace. It is therefore imperative that any stakeholder working with youth livelihoods understand this changing landscape,” he said. Here’s the full interview:
1. How has the pandemic changed the teaching learning practices in the skilling sector?
In the post-pandemic era, it was clear that the purpose of education and skills development for young people in India had to be reimagined. As educators and leaders, we had to embrace the change and integrate new models that enable our learners towards greater autonomy. Educators have realized that they have to step away from their conventional role and become a facilitator who can help students discover their own learning process. The emphasis has also shifted from examination and rote learning to self learning and equipping students with 21st century skills.
It is also imperative to note that the National Education Policy 2020 states that the purpose of education should not be to only hone the cognitive skills of the student, but also aid in building character and create well-rounded individuals who are equipped with the key 21st century skills.
2. A lot has been spoken about the gap between the industry and academia in the skilling sector. What efforts have been made in this regard?
This is the exact problem we wanted to address and we have formed a forum with an attempt to address this issue. Quest Alliance has facilitated the formation of the Future Right Skills Network (FRSN) which is a collaboration of government, civil society organisations, and corporate social responsibility partners with an overarching mission to equip India’s youth with employability skills for the future. The network also has a partnership with the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE). The network is a collaborative effort of QUEST Alliance, Accenture, Cisco, and J.P. Morgan, which is on a mission to empower one million young people in technical and vocational training institutes with skills for the future.
3. What skills are needed for learners in Industrial Training Institutes (ITI) to become more job ready ?
Most employers expect that students at the entry level need to have basic technical skills in their field, communication, team work, decision making, digital literacy and other 21st-century skills. Having these employability skills are crucial for learners and the FRSN has helped the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) revamp their employability skills curriculum which was launched in September 2022. Last week, the Union Minister of Education and Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), Shri. Dharmendra Pradhan launched the digital lessons for this curriculum that is likely to impact 2.5 million learners.
4. Could you throw some light on what objective the digital lessons will serve?
The digital lessons were developed to help the need for anytime, anywhere learning. These lessons include modules on financial and digital literacy, diversity and inclusion, career development, goal setting, and entrepreneurship. These modules will be accessible to 2.5 million learners through the Government of India’s Bharat Skills Portal as well as other platforms.
These modules have been developed with active industry contribution and each lesson is followed by assessments which can help learners evaluate their learning. The storytelling approach has been followed in the modules so that learners are provided with relatable scenarios that they can apply to real-world situations. In addition to this, learners will also receive feedback that is specific, timely and would help enable improved learning outcomes.