Blog | Skills More Important Than Education

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India, July 2015. Ahmedabad is synonymous with quality in education. This city hosts country's premier management institute IIM that produced brilliant corporate honchos, management gurus, entrepreneurs etc. From this, one should understand the expectation from the student community by various stakeholders in Ahmedabad to respond to the challenge at the budding stage itself. As a result there is a painstaking chase be it in choosing the top play schools, nursery schools or the best CBSE schools in Ahmedabad by the parents.

Are parents in Ahmedabad so obsessed with providing the best education to their children? A survey by ASSOCHAM in 2011 says it is so. It says, "About 65% of parents spend their take home salary for their children's education." This happened in 2011. Now it is 2015, how much more the parents are spending for their children's education? For that a new survey is required. Yes, there is an obsession for quality education in Ahmedabad. Many factors contribute to this like the level of awareness among parents on the educational quality, salary package being drawn by IIM educated managers, CEOs and the quality education provided by various schools that created an educational benchmark for the Ahmedabadi people.

Changing technologies, and economies call for specialisation in knowledge. Peter F. Drucker the renowned management guru foresaw knowledge workers in a knowledge economy whose main capital is knowledge education. In line with this, institutions are fine tuning the education by digitizing the education. Then the question may emerge how these affect play schools, nurseries, and CBSE schools. For this, there won't be immediate answers as today's education is characterised by rote memorisation. That does not mean that school authorities turn a blind eye to these developments. Quality focussed institutions lead students to expand their knowledge base by referring them to scholarly resources available in the digital library and they update their students on the skill requirements of the industries.

To make this more effective institutions should give lectures on what is 'Make in India', what is the underlying intent behind 'Skilling India'? If education institutions are successful in making students think, half the work is done. A few of them will emerge to respond to the challenges and they will do the homework to be resourceful engineers, domain specialists, managers, entrepreneurs who will shape tomorrow's economy.

There is a saying, "If the infrastructure is in place, investment will follow". Similarly if the groundwork for economic nationalism and cultural nationalism is laid in the young age, definitely the nation will be immensely benefited from emerging skillful workers, leaders, researchers, knowledge workers that is nothing but the result of successful inculcation of vision right from play school.

Today's knowledge economy looks for tangible results. Unfortunately it is in this area the education sector is lagging behind. According to Wikipedia, "Human capital is the stock of knowledge, habits, social and personality attributes, including creativity, embodied in the ability to perform labour so as to produce economic value." Our education system is not effectively producing human capital for the economy. The benchmarks set by yesterday's leaders, media needs change. From generic traditional education we should go to micro specialised education. Micro specialised education doesn't require long academic duration. On the other hand micro specialised education is the answer to industries' skill demands.

If there are concerted moves from government, industries, and education institutions all stakeholders would have been benefited. Ahmedabad the pioneering city in the field of education can usher in change by disseminating knowledge on 'Skill more important than education', in the play school, nursery school and CBSE school to convert 'Make in India' initiative of the Prime Minister a huge success.