Why Mentorship Beyond Course Curriculum Is Important In Tech Education?

Mentorship is an integral element of what we do as educators when we ‘engage’.

 The path of mentor and disciple is one that leads to personal development and growth. Mentorship emphasises the development of a relationship that extends beyond academic planning. It doesn’t matter if you are a teacher, working professional, or a student, you'll almost always need a mentor to support you through the process. Whether we seek out a mentor to help us with challenges or just to have a support system in our personal and professional lives. We are all serving as mentors to someone, whether we notice it or not. 

Siddharth Maheshwari, co-founder, Newton School enjoys mentorship as a passion and shares “Mentors act as the compass to the journey of Tech Aspirants. Curriculum and Mentorship stand as pillars in the growth of a student's Tech Career. One key element of growth in Tech includes knowledge about the industry and Mentors help freshers to aim for better.”

Rupank Bansal, software engineer, Microsoft, adds, “Mentorship has taught me how to talk to a group of people who are listening to me and this has positively impacted my team meetings as well. I am now able to talk and lead a conversation far better than before. According to me, mentorship in ed-tech depends on the relationship of a mentee and a mentor. A teacher can only guide if the students are willing to discuss their shortcomings and career goals. Peer mentoring is another way that provides students with a sense of belonging in a bigger community where they might otherwise feel isolated.”

According to the Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme (EQUIP) report, in higher education, the student-teacher ratio was 24:1 in 2019. This ratio may be able to administer a class, but it falls short of developing each student's skills. A low student-to-teacher ratio indicates that the instructor is busy and that each pupil gets less attention. Apart from this, overworked teachers are unable to do research or urge their students to do so. Eventually, this impacts the educational quality of students. Because of a scarcity of professional skill sets, not even half of the Indian graduates are employable, reveals the eighth edition of the India Skills Report (ISR).

Necessary attention towards each student provides an opportunity for aspiring technologists to learn from a professional with sufficient expertise. Thorough guidance and one-to-one mentoring sessions allow students to reflect on their short-term goals and become aware of their abilities and shortcomings to be able to better plan their next steps in their careers. “One of the most important takeaways for me is that I'm learning with my students. As I teach, my own skills brush up. Mentors do play a major role as they are the direct point of contact about progress and everything of a student. During my college period we, unfortunately, did not have personal mentors to support and guide us but today, the scenario has drastically changed. One-to-one mentoring has become the USP for any institution or training platform to seek attention. Students require a constant in their lives, a trusting and supportive relationship that they know will be there for them when they need it”, commented Gaurav Agarwal, software engineer II, Microsoft.

Mentorship is perhaps the most underappreciated component of job hunting or laying the groundwork for a career. Another mentor, Stif Spear Subba, software development engineer - II, Amazon said, “Mentorships typically involve a mentor and mentee who have something to teach and a lot to learn, which is why finding time to be part of mentorship is critical for professional growth. There are many things that a fresher does not know like how they can maximise to truly progress or settle in their profession”.

A mentor's advice is priceless, and their ability to guide you through the unknown routes of your position and help you achieve your goals more quickly is what makes them so useful. Whether we are in our first or thirty-first year of teaching, we all need mentors. It could be someone assigned to us, a buddy, or a member of our PLN at times. We don't always recognise we're in a 'mentorship,’ because we're merely helping each other along our teaching paths.

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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