SKILL BASED EDUCATION – A NECESSITY
Vinod (given name); one of our beneficiaries was asked by our counsellor about his ambition in life. He replied: “Sir, I wished to study electronics, but when I open my books, I am totally confused. I doubt whether I will ever be able accomplish my dream”. Vinod is only one among a large number of middle class and poor children who are unable to fulfil their dreams due to the inadequate educational system of Kerala Society. Though Kerala is well known as a state in very high literacy rates and educational achievements, the truth is different. We have a good number of dropouts after children finish Xth grade.
The fact is that our answer paper valuation up to Xth grade is so liberal that a very good number of children get through without learning anything. We deal with a very huge number of children who are unable to read and write even after their 10th grade! There are no methods of learning other than the lecture method. Most Indian schools have a strong focus on academic subjects, with little scope for creativity and few or no extra-curricular activities. Traditional schooling methods tend to emphasise role of learning and memorisation, rather than encouraging independent or creative thinking. Together with this the focuses on examionations make children hate academics.
As the teachers are incompetent to elicit discipline without a stick and are not sufficiently able to apply child friendly methods of learning and increased awareness and mechanisms to eliminate corporal punishments incapacitate them to impart quality education resulting in decreased learning. As children go up the grade, lack of ability to read and write makes them lose interest in studies. Besides this, the fact that the valuation of plus two (11th and 12th) is stricter makes children to drop out of school.
It is high time to rework our educational system and that is definitely a tedious and slow process with the Government machinery. The work round this problem is to introduce skill based learning after 10th grade. This can make children to sustain in education especially because of the fact that skill based learning is practically oriented and educe interest. This can indeed decrease the number of delinquent children as we can sustain more children in schools where better monitoring is available compared to being in home locality where they are prone to be influenced by anti-social elements and parents are often away at work and are unavailable to monitor children.