Education and employment

Kh Siile Anthony
Education is all round development of a person. In India it evolved from the ancient period known as the Gurukula system. In this system, students live with the guru (teacher) in the same house. It was a close association between students and guru, considered as equals irrespective of social standing. It was free education and there was no fee structure.
In the pre-British days, Hindus and Muslims were educated through Pathshalas and Madrassa respectively. Later British Education system was introduced which created a class of Indians who would act as interpreters between the Government and the masses. With Lord Macaulay’s education policy in 1835, English became a core language. And English education got more funds as compared to other oriental learning. It was considered as the ‘Magna Carta of English Education in India’, a comprehensive plan for spreading education in India. Subsequently, professional courses were introduced in 1854.
After 1947, the Government of India decided to provide free and compulsory education to all children up to the age of 14. The Government finally made it by introducing the Right to Education Act in 2009.
In order to streamline education, the Government of India implemented the recommendations of Kothari Commission under ‘National Policy on Education’ in 1968. Its main features were universal primary education, new pattern of education and three language formula (English, Hindi and regional languages in higher education). In 2019 the Government of India came out with a draft ‘National Education Policy’ and passed in 2020 which attempted to bring major reforms in the Education system.
Government of India introduced policy of liberalization, privatization and globalization (LPG) in 1991 to make its economy, the fastest developing economy in the world. The LPG policy opened up avenues for jobs to the educated youth in multi-National companies and organized private sector. However, with the massive increase of educated youth, the absorption capacity reached its saturation and left many educated jobless. In 2015, Government of India introduced “skilling India” Policy with the aim to skill millions of youth so that they get employment and also improve entrepreneurship. Under this policy, a large number of youths were trained in various trades.
There will be more challenges in the days to come with the advancement of technology and increasing level of education. The employment opportunities are shrinking with the increasing number of educated youths. 65% of the Indian population are youth and they are below the age of 35. Which means you will be competing with the major population of the country.
Is education or having degrees a guarantee for employment? It could be yes for some and no for many. Once again, is present education system relevant for the market job demand ? It could also be yes for some and again no for many. What do we do now under this circumstance ? The better option would be to skill oneself in addition to the degrees that one possesses. This will give better opportunities to get job in the public or private sectors.
Survival of the fittest theory is relevant today where there is cut throat competition. One should be ready to face any eventualities in order to survive. A time will come when only the strong will survive and the weak withers. Almost all the educated youth wishes to hold a white-collar job but those ideal positions will only come if you know how to study smart.
One way to combat unemployment is that youngsters need to go back to the village and rural areas in order to tap the explored and unexplored resources. Considering the prospects of our area, Government of India is focusing on five sectors for employment and income generation i.e Handloom, Handicraft, Horticulture (HHH), Bamboo and Tourism. Apart from these five sectors, youth of our community can focus on Hospitality, Retail, Sports and Music which can give a gainful employment.
Youth need to be Proactive. You must have probably heard the saying “early bird catches the worm”. It may be cliché, but it’s absolutely true. Those who are proactive and make things happen, get a chance on many opportunities. Carry yourself with confidence and determination. Don’t allow setback to knock you down. That is natural, it happens to everyone. Failures and setbacks are a part of a bigger thing called success.
Youths who put in consistent efforts to their determination and who are not afraid of taking calculated risks will always have an edge over the others. Be one amongst them. Educated youth should not only look for Government jobs but take the risk and become an entrepreneur to provide job rather than being a job seeker. Don’t wait for opportunities to find you. Instead look around, make inquiries and take initiative. Opportunities are many and they are like butterflies. They belong to those who run after them.
During this Covid pandemic period, it is pertinent to recall what Albert Einstein said, “Education is not for the learning of facts, but the training of minds to think”. It’s also the time to devise some alternative means of livelihood as most of our occupational activities have been put on hold.
It is said that 85% of the jobs that would exist in 2030 have not been invented. The proposed National Educational Policy 2020 of 5+3+3+4 seems more flexible and offer more possibilities than the present 10+2 pattern.
5+3+3+4 means 5 years of foundational education. (3 years of early education comprising of nursery, LKG and UKG along with 2 years of classes I & II). 3 years of preparatory will cover classes III, IV & V (It is play, discovery activities-based pedagogy). 3 years of middle will cover classes VI to VIII. And 4 years of secondary schooling will cover classes IX to XII in two phases (IX & X in first phase and XI & XII in second phase. The NEP 2020 describes this stage as four years of multidisciplinary study, which means that if you wish to learn chemistry with geography or mathematics with music, you will be able to make such choices).
It says that by 2025, at least 50% of learners shall have exposure to the proposed NEP 2020. The latest education policy, if implemented properly, would enable the masses to be self reliant and teach the society to solve crisis more efficiently as NEP 2020 lays emphasis on vocational studies and critical thinking, besides others.
The writer is Joint Registrar, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi