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January 16, 2023 6:13 pm

Making Teaching-Learning A Participative Activity

Alie Sohel

THE job profile of a lecturer in any professional college comprises imparting training in a specialized field of expertise. As such the prospective students admitted in any professional college, be it at the skill level or the degree level; need to be well versed in the concepts learned on completion of schooling. More so, the student who intends to study engineering or diploma in a professional college must have acquired respectable, if not excellent academic merit, particularly in the streams of science, mathematics and English. However in case of skill development institutes, mainly at the Diploma level the target group of trainees more or less, as has been observed down the line of last few years, consists of those students only who are of average merit or below average category of candidates where the merit generally hovers over the range between 35 to 65 per cent in the tenth or twelfth standard.

Zeroing in on the academics of these students who are admitted in the three year diploma colleges, it is observed that during the course of their schooling, the learning process has not proven effective to the point of retention of the fundamentals, upon which the college pedagogues can start building the foundation of skill training and start shaping up the technical minds. Thus, the aghast trainers in colleges come to the sad realization that the merit of this group within the bracket of 35 to 65 per cent falls short so as to help them grasp the concepts like calculus, design, drawing, optics, mechanics, logic or any such mind challenging topic which forms the basis of any engineering or technology driven curriculum to be pursued at the diploma or degree level.

Further, it comes down to the task of fixing the responsibility and to find the problem area where the teachers can do amends, if they can.  A teacher, a pupil, the process of learning and training forms the learning-training chain. This chain is akin to a water-cycle or a food chain; one weak link will make a whole chain weak. There are stages, phases and benchmarks involved along this learning-training chain, which are to be completed in the overall development of a perfect and trained human resource in order to transform a raw human product, born and given to instinct, into a refined and thoughtful human being, honed and perfected once chiseled with rigorous learning and skilling techniques.

We have to take these stages, phases and benchmarks into account one at a time. So to begin with, it’s a language which every student should learn in his early schooling period. He should know one language at the least up to the intermediate level so that he can express himself. The stronger the language, the stronger the personality in making, which will help the student pick the concepts of science and geography easily, for instance.  Here comes the role of the primary school language teachers. If a student succeeds in getting admission in a professional school or a business school but is not able to write a paragraph on any topic of his interest, then the problem lies somewhere in the learning-training chain, which needs to be identified quite early and rectified at that stage before it gets carried forward beyond schooling stage. BODMAS rules are to be learned and the first program in C or Python is to be run in the middle school. If a student is passing the matriculation class and is not able to decipher the distinction between a planet, and a satellite, the problem obviously in that situation is with the education system and the evaluation process thereof. These common shortcomings found in the student community at large need to be addressed during the middle and secondary level prior to letting these issues percolate to the graduation level.

The extra-attention is required when the student is in the bracket of 10 years of age to 15 years of age where we the teachers have to be extra cautious to check if the student has covered all the benchmarks required of him in the fields of science, general knowledge, computers, mathematics, and at least one language. This is the time which acts as a launch-pad for the individual where from his career will take off. The middle school student needs to be exposed to the world he has to compete in, which lies waiting for him to take on. A professor from a university or a professional college should come pay visit to the middle school and deliver the guest lecture in order to inspire these adolescent minds and spread the awareness about various careers available to choose from and what is expected of them in each stream post schooling era. Besides, the schools should also arrange visits of their students especially in early teens to show them around the professional colleges and university environment. The sooner this activity kick starts in our education system, the better it is. The gap between the secondary education and the professional education needs to be shortened by taking the initiatives where the two are seen in a mode of participation and collaboration. Exposure to skill development should be made an integral part of the secondary school curriculum so that the proclivity towards the skilling of manpower starts early.

Knowledge combined with skills turns into a force field which runs the economic engine of a nation. The better standards of skills empower an individual to adjust more effectively to the challenges and opportunities in domestic and international job markets. India is one of the youngest nations of the world with more than 50 percent of its population below 25 years of age. India, therefore, has a potential of becoming the world’s skill capital with the opportunity to produce the competent skilled labor and export the same to the outside world where the demand for the skilled manpower is ever growing keeping in mind that average age of the population in the industrialized and developed world is much more older compared to India, which places the nation in a better position to reap this demographic dividend.

The author is Lecturer, CSE, Department of Skill Development, J&K

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