By 2026, 64.8 per cent Indian population will be in the bracket of a working group. As against this demographic dividend, India might have a shortage of skilled people- engineers (6 lakh), graduates (39 lakh) and vocationally trained personnel (7 lakh), according to CII report on linking skills to jobs. In addition, India might fall short of the target of skilling 500 million people by 2022. One should also consider that the country has set for itself monumental goals such as‘Make in India’, ‘Digital India’, ‘Smart Cities’ to name a few and the ground reality suggests that we do not have enough skilled people to execute it effectively. In view of this, it is understandable that ‘Skill India’ is an official government program.
Like China, we wish to emerge as the manufacturing hub of the world. ‘Make in India’, ‘Digital India’ etc are manifestations of this aspiration. For this to translate into reality, we need to empower a whole generation of youth with high-end skills and advanced competencies which can match the competitiveness of China and other countries.
When it comes to teaching-learning of skills, classroom culture of theoretical discussions may not prove to be adequate and effective in imparting the right skills to the youth. Therefore, development of a futuristic ‘Skills Lab’ that categorically focuses on imparting skills to the learners through activity based learning and advanced technology. Learning skills is about ‘doing’ something in real life situations and hence to evolved course modules that provide ample simulation of real life situations and sufficient practice for the skills to become internalized as second nature. Secondly, technology if appropriately employed can play a vital role in skilling people.
In sync with this, ‘Skills Lab’ is a ‘lab’ equipped with next generation technology for various skills such asCommunicative English, Computing Skills, Vedic Mathematics, Leadership Skills, Team Work, Goal Setting, Interview Skills, Group Discussion, Resume Building and other life and soft skills to be imparted, learnt, monitored and measured. ‘Skills Lab’ has the potential to draw the learners into ‘putting skills into practice’ and ‘measuring’ their own ‘skills development’ through the tech tools at their disposal in the lab. ‘Skills Lab’ is also the most suitable model of skills development implementation as it presents a model that provides ‘quantification’ of skills development through technological tools and ‘demonstrable’ skills enhancement which is measurable against any criteria.
‘Skills Lab’ is a revolution in the making. It is an idea whose time has come. It is also a mass model as it can be scaled up to the national level with meticulous precision to address the need of ‘Skill, Scale, Speed’. It can be modified as per the diverse requirements of the different institutions, regions, and segments of learners. ‘Skills Lab’ can be a transformational system to supplement the core education practices and take the quality benchmark to the next level