Skill education or vocational training is typically the cornerstone of any economy. Ironically, although India is considered to be a melting pot of knowledge and skills, the vast majority of its educated youth lack ‘employability quotient’. Equally problematic has been the quality of India’s vocational education content and delivery systems. Now that the digital era is here to stay, here is how the skill education sector can leverage this new medium and prepare the country for a new-age economy:
High-quality content dissemination: Digitisation allows unprecedented systematisation of instructions, knowledge and training material and storage. This has ensured a great degree of standardisation and benchmarking in terms of quality. The skill education sector can leverage this by preparing, curating and using this off-the-shelf high-quality standardised material (such as video lectures) for dissemination, based on learners’ needs.
Better training facilities for support staff: Digitisation makes it easier for the governments and industry authorities to recognise and give accreditation and certification to training programmes and material. The skill-providing industry/institution must make all this accessible to its learning community. For instance, a start-up can use online instructions or training material from global leaders to train or upskill its staff.
Live interactions: With some traditional technology giants offering free-to-use video conferencing and group interaction apps for collaborative learning, live instructions from a single point of delivery can be delivered to any number of learners, irrespective of geographies and time zones, while reducing infrastructure and travel costs.
Flexibility to choose online and classroom training: Some skill education providers offer both classroom and online training, so collaboration with ed-tech companies and applications that take into account the low Internet bandwidth and erratic connections can be explored.
Higher demand for certain sectors: Digitisation has led to new-age careers and professions spawned by new technologies. Thus, there has been a demand for professionals in Banking, Finance, AI, machine learning, data science and mobile development, among others. This deficit can be addressed through online courses and training.
However, data penetration is still a major challenge, especially in rural areas. In many training models, physical presence in a closed environment and interactive exchanges are needed, and this is possible only in classroom pedagogy. Only when things are back to normal will we understand if people are ready to adapt to the new norm or if theybprefer classroom training for a wholesome experience.
The writer is CEO, ICA Edu Skills.