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Bridging The Gap Between Conceptual And Contextual Learning

To establish such a system, where learning is aided with right proportions of concept and context, our system requires to take a leap of change, with a solution to every little arch that bends our growth. Significant measures, proposed herein, need to come into practice to affect the roots of the existing system.

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Education is the root of liberation, driven by constant change. It is the pillar that defines our future – and it is also a pillar that needs significant transformation. There is an acute demand and supply mismatch in Indian employment landscape, as only 1 in 3 Industry executives believe the current education system succeeds at skills development. Also, 70 percent of India’s Venture Capitalists have indicated that startups are experiencing difficulties scaling due to challenges obtaining employees with the right skills.  This is a direct consequence of the visible disconnect between the industry and the academia in the existing system.


Education is essentially a two-play act; it demands both concept and context to complement its body. Still, conceptual learning has long dominated the landscape of Indian education, and perhaps, this is the reason we find ourselves at a standstill. The prevailing disconnection has significantly capped the prospects of a job for a graduating student and its effects multiply for degrees such as engineering, which demands technical or contextual experience to succeed in the industry. Close to 80% of the engineering graduates are still unemployed, a statistic that is indicative of the need for a transformed approach.


There is a visible urgency to introduce a problem-solving mindset within the curriculum and to promote a broader vision.  Engaging our system with a futuristic mindset will help bridge the gap between conceptual and contextual learning to maintain the balance between industry and resource.


To establish such a system, where learning is aided with right proportions of concept and context, our system requires to take a leap of change, with a solution to every little arch that bends our growth. Significance measures, proposed herein, need to come into practice to affect the roots of the existing system.



INDUSTRY FIRST APPROACH

The modern-day industry demands a workforce that is aware and in sync with the incoming age of innovation. Thus, all colleges and industries must seek to adopt initiatives that imbibe internship programs, live projects etc., within their curriculum and enable their students with first-hand industry experience at every stage of their education.


As per the IBM report, Upskilling India, only 40% of Indian Industry Executives said new employees recruited in local labour markets have requisite job skills. The colleges should promote a curriculum relevant to the specific regional industries in a way that helps students to find work in their native places and eventually enable regional development and holistic growth of the country.


EXCELLENCE FIRST APPROACH

National certification remains an unexplored prospect for growth. The government needs to plan exit programs for graduating students and collectively promote professional certifications from private bodies. Restricting the power of final certification in the hands of a national testing body will inevitably improve the quality of graduating students.


Colleges need to instill a dynamic element to their curriculum, with an urgency to introduce changes every year. They need to revamp their curriculum and introduce contextual learning to the existing format that still follows a conceptual path.


 


*Source: Upskilling India Report, IBM, 2017


The biggest challenge faced by our education system is to bring together the conceptual and contextual learning methodologies. Change is happening, but it needs to be rapid. We can no longer pretend to be in sync with the consistency, because the longer we do, the more difficult it becomes to bring about a change. Education is indeed liberation, but only if it keeps up with the demands of innovation.


*The author Vikas Gupta is Managing Director- Wiley India


This article was published in BW Businessworld issue dated '' with cover story titled 'BW Education Issue Apr-May 2018'

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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