Skill-based Education Vs Knowledge-based Education

Both these modes of education have their own significance in relative contexts. So students have to understand what career they want to pursue; based on this finding, the next steps can be planned and the modes of education can be determined

NEP 2020 is a game-changer in the educational landscape that is bound to open up more avenues for people to earn a better standard of living. The National Education Policy of 2020, is aimed at meeting the Sustainable Development Goals of 2030, which will reduce inequality, provide quality education to all and procure lifelong earning opportunities pumping up the economy holistically. With this policy, vocational training has been given equal importance to traditional academics, making skill-building significant for mitigating the imminent skill gap.  

Skill-based education can be defined as developing practical skills on the premises of their applicability in professional settings and putting emphasis on specialisations. Whereas, knowledge-based education is learning about a broad and diverse range of theories that start from the basic level of schooling.  

Skill-based education is more necessary than knowledge-based education

Competence Evaluation: Skill-based education is more focussed on the practical aspect of the training, which lays heavy emphasis on applying the training in real-life contexts. Hence, the evaluation is conducted in accordance with the specific industry and market standards, deeming the ability of the individual to apply the learned skills in the jobs they undertake. So competence is graded on the basis of assessments and hands-on projects. With knowledge-based education, evaluation is established more on the ability to understand theories and critically interpret the fundamentals qualitatively and/or quantitatively. Hence from the two, skill-based education gives quicker progress in the professional ladder.

Applicability of the skills: When it comes to the applicability of the lessons learnt, skill-based education is much more practical as it equips students with industry-relevant skills and gears them up to bridge the skill gap in the market, ensuring a stable future. Whereas in Knowledge-based education the theories are broad and do not specifically target one aspect of the industrial realm. This means that students after completing knowledge-based education will again have to go for another vocational training course that makes them job-ready.

Flexibility: When taking the flexibility and accessibility of vocational training courses to that of knowledge-based ones, skilled-based education can be undergone by anyone who wants to upskill or reskill themselves to fit better in the job market. That means, even a school or college dropout can take-up a vocational training and get ready for the job. The different types of vocational courses enable access to everyone, irrespective of social, economic and cultural background, garnering a hopeful future with greater prosperity. In terms of knowledge-based education, the major downside is the fact that it has strict eligibility criteria, limiting the accessibility and the consequent scope of the fields.

Financial limitations: Quality knowledge-based education can be rendered expensive, limiting the diversity and scope of people who can afford this. With a skill-based education, there is an array of multiple training courses, organised by different organisations, companies and institutions that can be financially liberating and empower everyone to be a part of this course, whoever is interested.

Experience: When it comes to academic experience then knowledge-based learning is the key to building a fantastic career in academia. But when it comes to the professional ground, even if students might have significant years of academic exposure, they again have to take up vocational courses to reskill the existing knowledge and upskill for better career opportunities. Hence, with skill-based education, students can directly hop into their chosen profession with a CV that highlights their interest within their domain.

The road ahead

Needless to say, both these modes of education have their own significance in relative contexts. So, the first thing that students have to do is understand what career they want to pursue. Based on this finding, the next steps can be planned and the modes of education can be determined.

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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