Ankit Maggu, the Co-founder of the organization, develops strategies so that the platform grows towards the ultimate ambition of filling the skill gap in the market. He directs the organization, sets future targets, and manages day-to-day tasks to ensure success in the long run. Ankit keeps an eye on changing trends and expectations of the aspirants, and companies to make the necessary alterations. Because of his unique idea and initiative, Geekster is mentoring hundreds of students with tech skills mainly on Full Stack Web Development. As a capable and visionary leader, he has accomplished the target of onboarding 150+ companies and referral partners including some top product companies. He aims to make India a tech powerhouse of the world.
The foundational education system, also known as K-12 (kindergarten to grade 12), was established with the goal of providing students with a quality education while also preparing them to succeed in life. The existing K-12 school system in India is among the world’s largest, with over 1.4 million schools and 250+ million students enrolled, making it a massive system of education that is challenging to handle. Decades of investment have aided the K-12 sector’s evolution and its capacity to inculcate new demands, but much of its traditional thinking persists. Furthermore, the K-12 system in India is subject to sociocultural, economic, and political influences, which further impedes its agility and disruptive evolution. As the world transitions from industrialization to the digital revolution, where technical education knowledge is required to secure a job, the foundational education sector in India is facing several concurrent challenges.
The current educational system does not foster the growth of vocational and technical skills that are essential in today’s market. According to numerous surveys and reports, millennials feel alienated in workplaces that are being transformed by disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation. This has a severe influence on career advancement, steepens the learning curve, and more importantly leads to unemployment. Since the K12 education system is mandatory to be implemented by public and government schools across the country, policymakers and researchers require unbiased assessments of what works well and why. To improve technical education in India, here is what the K-12 education system must include:
Help students adapt to the future of work.
As the K-12 education system is the cornerstone of the initial learning process, the goal should not only be to provide knowledge-based education to students but also to prepare them for specific jobs. The COVID-19 pandemic has most likely ramped up workplace automation, as businesses continue to automate tasks to cut costs and increase productivity. School systems must assist students in adapting to rapid changes in the workplace as well as other effects of rapid digitization, ranging from ethical standards and cybersecurity to its impact on health, education, and many other sectors of the economy. In the digital age, educational institutions must broaden their understanding of what it means to be literate in the twenty-first century. This can be accomplished by supplementing traditional learning with technological education rather than replacing it altogether.
One issue with incorporating skill development into the Indian school curriculum is that it is difficult to reconcile with the current education system’s heavy reliance on rote learning. STEM education, on the other hand, is a one-of-a-kind approach to teaching and learning that is centred on individual students’ learning styles and preferences. STEM, an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics was coined in the United States in the 1990s. The education system differs from traditional science and mathematics approaches in that it emphasises the application of these subjects in the real world. As the Indian K-12 curriculum currently lacks a holistic STEM-based teaching-learning pedagogy, widespread implementation of this approach will benefit students’ emotional and academic progress, as well as acquaint them with future career options.
Greater collaboration between schools and industry
If solving problems is to be prioritised as an educational objective, it must begin early in order to be effective, with the most fundamental foundational skills taught with an eye toward their practical application. Greater cooperation between school systems and industry, whether through work placements, industry participation in course planning, or industry experts brought into schools to illustrate the real-world application of theories and techniques, will be critical to improving students’ work readiness.
In Germany, for instance, 60% of school dropouts continue their education through “dual vocational training” (rather than attending university or a full-time vocational college). Students are employed as trainees and gain the relevant skill through the job offered by the employers while also attending vocational college one or two days per week. This system could be useful in a country like India, where the annual dropout rate for secondary school students was 14.6 percent in 2020-21.
Modernizing the content of K-12 curriculum
The current school educational system is not geared toward employability and instead focuses on attempting to learn through an outmoded curriculum. Textbooks, in specific, have always been an important component of the K-12 education system. Acknowledging the need to improve their quality, modernising their content, and including additional learning resources to provide alternative perspectives on concepts is the need of the hour. Cost-effective but high-quality alternatives which include Online/offline ICT-based Open Education Resources (OERs) and hybrid models of providing learning opportunities, as well as the availability of good library services, should also be taken into account.
Technical education contributes significantly to the country’s human resource development by producing skilled labour, increasing industrial productivity, and improving the overall quality of life. As technical and vocational programmes have the potential to lift millions out of poverty, India’s education system must ensure that its future leaders are acclimatised to the change and prepare students accordingly for a technical world not yet known.